HCP/NCCP Process

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The Imperial Irrigation District is currently in the process of preparing a Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP) and Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) in consultation with the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and the United Sates Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The NCCP is generally described as a collaborative state effort to identify and provide for the measures necessary to conserve and manage natural biological diversity at the ecosystem scale within a Planning Area while allowing other covered activities to occur. Similarly, a HCP is a broad-based landscape level federal planning tool utilized to achieve long-term biological regulatory goals and provides a legal protection to discretionary activities covered by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). For permitting purposes, an approved HCP is required to receive an Incidental Take Permit for federal threatened or endangered species, while a NCCP provides similar coverage from a state perspective. These permits will also cover non-listed species that may become listed in the future, and as such serves as a risk management tool to ensure a higher level of regulatory certainty that will run parallel to the IID/SDCWA Transfer Agreement. An approved HCP/NCCP guarantees the terms of the permit will not change over time, a condition commonly known as a 'no surprises' assurance.

More specifically, the IID's HCP/NCCP permit is anticipated to cover 96 fish, wildlife, and plant species for a term of up to 75 years. Covered activities include all water conservation projects and mitigation measures, whether undertaken by IID or by farmers, tenants, or landowners, in connection with both the conservation and transfer of up to 300,000 acre-feet/year of Colorado River water pursuant to the Transfer Project and/or the QSA, compliance with the cap on IID's annual diversions of Colorado River water established by the QSA, and adaptive habitat management and monitoring activities. All activities related to IID Water Department operations including water delivery, drainage, and O&M will also be covered by these permits. All mitigation activities associated with the IID's HCP/NCCP are funded by the QSA JPA, to which IID's financial contribution is capped as per the terms of the QSA.

Download 
Planning Agreement by and among IID, CDFG, and USFWS regarding the Imperial Valley Natural Community Conservation Plan and Habitat Conservation Plan [PDF] 

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