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Marin County slows process on building emergency water pipeline

richmond-san rafael bridge ted.jpg
Ted Hamiter
/
Flickr / Creative Commons
The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge would carry the proposed water pipeline from the East Bay to Marin County.

Last week, the Marin Municipal Water District announced that it was slowing down its plans to build an emergency water pipeline.

The district was initially moving quickly in its timeline to consider building a pipeline under the bridge that would carry third-party water sources to Marin.

Typically, projects like pipelines or any other construction that has the potential to directly or indirectly physically change the environment must undergo processes in the California Environmental Quality Act.

Marin Water said this pipeline would not use water from the East Bay, but rather "surplus water from willing sellers in the Central Valley," the district wrote on its website.

In facing historically low projected water levels for this year, the water district was approved for a CEQA emergency exemption for environmental review for the $33.2 million project last October.

But with fuller water reservoirs, the district will now transition to a traditional, in-depth environmental review that will take a year or longer to finish. The district said this extended time will allow a more thoughtful review of the project's construction plans and greater engagement with those it affects.