Introduction: Temporary Urgency Change Petitions and OrdersThe Biological Opinion requires that Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) apply to the State Water Board for annual Temporary Urgency Change Permits (TUCP) to lower minimum flows in the Russian River from Coyote Dam to confluence with Dry Creek, and from Dry Creek confluence to Hacienda Bridge (also known as Guerneville gauge). These permits have been regularly granted by the State Water Board and include various requirements that can differ each year and are referred to as Temporary Urgency Change Order (TUCO). More information can be obtained at website. http://www.scwa.ca.gov/tucp/ Environmental review is not required for the TUCPs because they have urgency status. (Whenever State declares an emergency, environmental laws are not in force.) TUCOS are usually in force between May and October and allow minimum flows to go as low as 70 cubic feet per second (formerly 125 cfs) in the lower river during normal flow years and as low as 35 cfs during critical dry years. Sometimes flows are naturally higher than this level, but when they diminish, SCWA is only required to bring them up to 70 cfs with releases from Lake Sonoma. The Orders always declare four findings, some of which RRWPC has protested on numerous occasions. (State never responded to our comments.) The Order declares there is a reason for urgency, that no injury exists to any other user of water, and no unreasonable affect upon fish, wildlife, or other beneficial uses will occur, and the proposed order is in the public interest.
RRWPC comments on the Temporary Urgency Change Petitions/Orders include:
- RRWPC Comments on Russian River TUCP (2020) by Sonoma County Water Agency, 6/16/2020
- RRWPC Comments on SCWA Low Flow Urgency Petition, 5-14-17
- Flow Facts for Estuary Community Meeting, 5-16-13
- Order Approving TUC, 6-10-11
- Email Series on 2011 TUCP: May, 2011.
- D1610 Urgency Change Petition Comments, 6-23-10.
- RRWPC Response, 6-7-10 to Bill Hearn Article on Biological Opinion, Sonoma County Gazette, 6-3-10.
- RRWPC Comments on 2009 Temporary Urgency Change Petition: 4-10-09.
- Comments on approved Temporary Urgency Change Order authorized by State: 4-3-09.