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GC Sec 66670-66682
66670. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the White
Slough Protection and Development Act.
66671. The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the area of
White Slough, consisting of at least 336 acres of tidal wetlands, 132
acres of tidally influenced wetlands, and 103 acres of adjacent
upland, comprises a valuable wetland and urban resource in western
Solano County, provides diverse habitat for waterfowl and endangered
species, includes degraded areas which can be improved for both
wildlife and the public, and is adjacent to developed areas that need
adequate transportation and protection from flooding.
66672. The Legislature further finds and declares that the area of
White Slough was not within the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay
Conservation and Development Commission from the time the commission
was established in 1965 until the winter of 1976-77, when storms and
other natural forces caused levees along the Napa River to breach,
allowing greater and more frequent inundation by the tides into much
of the area of White Slough. Because neither the owners of the
property in the area of White Slough, nor any public agency repaired
the levees in a timely manner, subsequently in 1977, most of the area
of White Slough became subject to the jurisdiction of the commission
and thereby subject to this title.
66673. The Legislature further finds and declares that the breaches
in the Napa River levees have caused a major sewerline to be covered
by tidal waters, which could lead to serious water pollution in
sensitive wildlife habitat areas in the event of leakage or breakage,
to problems of infiltration of tidal waters into the sewerline, and
to damage of wetlands during the normal maintenance of the sewerline.
The breaches also allow the flooding of State Highway Route 37 and
nearby developed areas which has already caused damage in excess of
one million dollars ($1,000,000) and threatens to cause additional
damage in the future.
66674. The Legislature further finds and declares that it is in the
public interest to provide flood protection to the residents and
property surrounding White Slough, to relocate the flooded sewerlines
in White Slough, and to enhance the ecological values of South White
Slough, even though those improvements require some fill in tidal
and tidally influenced wetlands. The Legislature further finds and
declares that the United States Army Corps of Engineers has studied
the flooding problems of White Slough and has identified the
construction of levees protecting existing filled or developed lands
north and south of State Highway Route 37 as an environmentally sound
and economically feasible method of providing flood protection,
together with a combined improved transportation route and flood
control levees along State Highway Route 37.
66675. The Legislature further finds and declares that use of State
Highway Route 37 now exceeds the highway's capacity, and that
widening of the highway to four lanes with a minimum amount of fill
may only be accomplished in the context of a project to relocate
existing sewerlines, to protect private property, and to enhance the
ecological values of South White Slough. The Legislature further
finds and declares that, because of the unusual circumstances by
which tidal influence was returned to White Slough, a combined
project may be approved only if all adverse impacts to the
environment are mitigated, and the overall effect of the project will
be to improve the ecological value of the area.
66676. The Legislature further finds and declares as follows:
(a) The provisions of this chapter are required because of
extraordinary circumstances which have developed in the area of White
Slough caused by the breaches of the Napa River levee.
(b) Existing public access to the waters of White Slough is
inadequate and may be improved along the periphery of South White
Slough as part of an ecological enhancement project.
(c) It is in the public interest to devise a resolution of these
significant problems that is specific to the area of White Slough.
(d) It is not the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this
chapter, to modify any provision of this title except as otherwise
expressly provided in this chapter.
66677. The Legislature further finds and declares that, in order to
preserve the integrity and to assure the continued wildlife use of
White Slough, to provide adequate flood protection, to reduce air
pollution, and to complete a necessary transportation facility, there
is a need for all of the following:
(a) The establishment and maintenance of adequate waterflow and
water quality and the improvement of present water management
practices, including drainage and upland flood protection.
(b) The permanent protection by local agencies of tidal wetlands
and tidally influenced areas of White Slough, adjacent wetlands, and
upland habitat areas.
(c) Implementation of a plan to enhance the wetland values of
White Slough, permanently protect wetland, tideland, marsh, and
upland habitat areas, provide for an improved transportation link,
provide flood protection for already developed upland areas, assure
compatible upland development, and provide new public access to and
along tidally influenced areas of South White Slough.
(d) Assurance that state interests in the area of White Slough,
including water quality, waterflow, habitat protection and
enhancement, public access, transportation, and flood protection,
will be protected.
66678. As used in this chapter, the following terms have the
(a) "City" means the City of Vallejo.
(b) "Commission" means the San Francisco Bay Conservation and
(c) "County" means the County of Solano.
(d) "Department" means the Department of Transportation.
(e) "Plan" means the White Slough Specific Area Plan adopted
pursuant to this chapter.
(f) "South White Slough" means all tidally influenced areas south
of State Highway Route 37 which would naturally drain northerly to
the Napa River, any areas within the tidally influenced portions of
the slough that have been filled pursuant to a commission permit, and
any areas within the tidally influenced portions of the slough which
have been filled after January 1, 1977, without a permit from the
(g) "White Slough" means, within the county and the city, the
historic, unfilled bed of White Slough, all lands surrounding the
historic bed of White Slough that have been touched by tidal waters
since January 1, 1977, any areas within the tidal and tidally
influenced portions of the slough that have been filled pursuant to a
permit from the commission, and any areas within the tidal and
tidally influenced portions of the slough which have been filled
after January 1, 1977, without a permit from the commission.
(h) "White Slough Project" means, within the county and the city,
the restoration and enhancement of the habitat values of South White
Slough, the widening of State Highway Route 37 between Sacramento
Street and State Highway Route 29 to not more than four traffic lanes
with medians and shoulders of the minimum width possible, the
construction of new tidal channels and control structures underneath
the existing and the widened portions of State Highway Route 37, the
construction of new interchanges between State Highway Route 37 and
State Highway 29 and Sacramento Street, the covering with fill of an
existing sewerline on the south side of the highway widening, and the
relocation of the existing sewerline north of State Highway Route 37
within the area required for the widening of State Highway Route 37.
66679. (a) The city, in consultation with the county, the
commission, the department, and other affected local, state, and
federal agencies, has previously prepared a draft White Slough
Specific Area Plan proposal as a first step toward the orderly,
long-range conservation, use, and management of the natural, scenic,
recreational, and manmade resources of White Slough.
(b) On or before January 1, 1996, the city and the county shall
jointly adopt a final plan which shall include a specific wetlands
enhancement segment for the area of White Slough. Provided that no
other feasible measures are devised during the environmental review
process which have fewer environmental impacts and which accomplish
the goals of this chapter, this plan shall include the permanent
protection and enhancement of at least 336 acres of tidal wetlands
within White Slough and 132 acres of tidally influenced areas in
South White Slough, provide for the minimum amount of fill, not to
exceed 13 acres, necessary to widen State Highway Route 37 to a
four-lane highway and to construct interchanges between State Highway
Route 37 and State Highway Route 29 and Sacramento Street, provide
flood protection for upland areas, provide for suitable water
quality, and provide for wetlands enhancement for all tidally
influenced areas of South White Slough, including a program for the
acquisition, enhancement, and permanent preservation of those areas.
(c) Not later than 30 days after adoption of the final plan by the
city and the county, the city and the county shall submit the plan
to the commission for review. The commission shall approve or
disapprove the plan within 45 days of submittal on the basis of
whether the plan meets the objectives of Sections 66677 and 66680 and
includes changes to the relevant city and relevant county general
and specific plans and includes proposed city ordinances and county
ordinances necessary to implement the plan.
(d) Upon approval of the plan by the commission and the adoption
by the city and the county of necessary changes to the general and
specific plans and implementing ordinances, the plan shall be the
primary basis for reviewing applications for state and local permits
for projects affecting White Slough. A permit shall be issued only
if the permitting entity finds that the proposed project is
consistent with the plan and the requirements of this chapter.
(e) After adoption, no changes shall be made in the plan or the
implementing ordinances without the prior notification and approval
of the commission.
66680. The commission shall review and approve, or disapprove, the
plan on the basis of whether the plan provides all of the following:
(a) Permanent protection and enhancement of marshes, tidelands,
tidally influenced wetlands, and upland habitat sufficient to assure
the long-term usefulness of White Slough as a wildlife habitat, a
flood basin consistent with wetland enhancement goals, and a wetland
resource for the city and the region, including the establishment,
operation, and maintenance of adequate tidal action and water quality
to preclude algal blooms, to provide a fishery, and to provide
waterfowl feeding, resting, and breeding areas.
(b) Location and siting for a project that consists of a State
Highway Route 37 widened to not more than four lanes, with the
minimum medians and shoulders necessary to assure highway safety,
interchanges between State Highway Route 37 and State Highway Route
29 and Sacramento Street, the covering of the flooded sewerline south
of State Highway Route 37 and the relocation of the flooded line
north of State Highway Route 37 within the area required for the
widening of State Highway Route 37, and that provides for all of the
(1) A tidal control structure or structures or open channels,
sufficient to assure adequate waterflow for suitable water quality,
wetland enhancement of South White Slough, and flood protection,
between the wetlands north and south of the State Highway Route 37
(2) Adequate height and design to protect developed areas of the
city from flooding.
(3) No access from the widened State Highway Route 37 to tidal
wetlands north of the highway.
(4) The minimum wetland fill necessary, but in no event more than
(5) Mitigation measures, specifically including the following:
(A) Prior to the placing of fill or commencement of other highway
construction work, acquisition of upland areas in the vicinity of
White Slough which do not presently provide unique or especially
significant wildlife habitat and which are four times the size of the
area to be filled.
(B) The conversion of these lands to wetlands during highway
(C) The hiring of an independent biologist to assess current
conditions on the wetlands to be filled and to monitor the conditions
of the newly created wetlands over time.
(D) The permanent protection of the created wetlands.
(E) Assurances that the created wetlands will be functioning in a
manner which fully replaces the filled wetlands within five years.
If, after three years it does not appear that the created wetlands
will be fully functioning within the five-year period, then the
wetlands shall be further improved in a manner which ensures full
replacement of the filled wetlands or which provides additional new
wetlands. After the five years, the department shall no longer be
required to maintain the created wetlands, but may transfer the
created wetlands either to the Department of Fish and Game or to
another appropriate resource agency for the wetlands' permanent
management for wildlife habitat purposes.
(c) Levees within and adjacent to South White Slough necessary for
flood control, wetland habitat enhancement, and public access
purposes. The department shall not be responsible for the
construction and maintenance of the levees within and adjacent to
South White Slough, except for the White Slough Project. Fill for
flood control and public access purposes shall be the minimum
necessary and shall be mitigated by the acquisition, excavation, and
conversion to wetlands of uplands in the vicinity of the project and
which do not presently provide unique or especially significant
wildlife habitat, to provide an area of wetland habitat at least
twice the area to be filled.
(d) Acquisition of interests in real property sufficient to
preserve and maintain permanently the wetland, tidal, water-covered,
and public access areas of White Slough.
(e) Recognition that the project constructed in accordance with
the plan is required to meet the requirements of the federal Clean
Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act, if applicable.
66681. The plan shall be implemented as follows:
(a) The city and the county shall adopt the relevant provisions of
the plan into their general and specific plans, shall adopt land use
ordinances that implement the policies of the plan, and shall review
and issue or deny any necessary local permits for projects within
White Slough based on the requirements of the plan and implementing
(b) In addition to obtaining any other permit required by law from
the city or county or any state, regional, or local agency, any
person placing fill, extracting materials, or making any substantial
change in use of any area within White Slough shall obtain a permit
from the commission. The commission shall issue a permit for these
activities only if it finds the project consistent with the plan,
this chapter, and, where not inconsistent with the plan and this
chapter, this title, the San Francisco Bay Plan, and other relevant
state and local law.
(c) The Department of Fish and Game, the Wildlife Conservation
Board, the State Lands Commission, the State Coastal Conservancy, and
the Department of Transportaton shall exercise their powers and
allocate available resources to acquire, enhance, or manage wetlands
and public access areas within White Slough in a manner consistent
with the plan, subject to statewide goals and priorities of the
66682. The commission shall issue a permit for all, or any portion,
of the White Slough Project only if the commission finds that the
work is consistent with the plan, subdivision (b) of Section 66681,
and all of the following requirements have been met:
(a) The city and the county have adopted the necessary
implementing ordinances and have amended their general and specific
(b) The department limits the project to a four-lane highway with
the minimum medians and shoulders necessary to assure highway safety,
and the project does not permit access to the wetlands north of
State Highway Route 37.
(c) A minimum fill of tidal areas will result from construction of
the combined flood barrier, new sewerline, and widened State Highway
Route 37 and associated interchanges, which in no event will result
in the loss of more than 13 acres of tidal areas.
(d) Fill of tidal and tidally influenced wetlands will be
mitigated on a four-to-one basis in the vicinity of the project, and
the mitigation will consist of the acquisition of upland areas which
do not presently provide unique or especially significant wildlife
habitat and the creation and permanent protection of new wetlands for
habitat purposes. The acquisition of the upland areas will take
place before construction of the highway project. Creation of new
wetlands will be done concurrently with the construction of the
highway project and will be monitored by an independent biologist.
There shall be assurances that the created wetlands will be fully
functional or additional measures shall be taken as described in
paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 66680.
(e) The project will provide a barrier to protect already
developed areas of the city from flooding.
(f) The project will include the covering of the flooded sewerline
south of State Highway Route 37 and the relocation of the flooded
line north of State Highway Route 37 within the area required for the
widening of State Highway Route 37.
(g) The project will provide improved water circulation and
waterflow throughout South White Slough, so as to minimize algal
growth and air pollution and to improve wetland habitat values.
(h) The White Slough Project is the least environmentally
damaging, feasible alternative identified pursuant to the California
Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section
21000) of the Public Resources Code).