October 22, 2020 Meeting Highlights

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The staff reports and comment letters associated with our October public meeting are available here. The Executive Officer’s report, which contains updates and links to supplementary materials for activities and projects involving the Commission is available here. Chief among these updates is information about oil and gas decommissioning projects, offshore wind energy lease applications, and an announcement about the Commission’s new Environmental Justice Liaison. Below are highlights from the October meeting.

Strategic Plan

Staff briefed the Commission about its progress with developing a new five-year strategic plan and on recent regional roundtable sessions with our tribal partners. Several key and intersecting themes emerged from these roundtables for inclusion in the Commission’s next strategic plan. Staff also reported that the Commission’s consultant, Stantec, recently convened an in-depth workshop with the Commission’s senior staff, where thoughtful and comprehensive input was collected. The next strategic plan is intended to be an aspirational, forward-thinking document that reflects ample stakeholder input. During the staff presentation, the Commissioners emphasized the importance of including marginalized and disadvantaged communities’ perspective and working with Native American tribes. Staff plans to continue its outreach and release a draft strategic plan by December 17, when the Commission has its next public meeting. This draft will launch the next phase in the development of a new strategic plan, which is to elicit continued meaningful feedback and fashion a final strategic plan to guide the Commission’s work for the next five years.

Geothermal Leases

The Commission issued two leases for a geothermal project within the Truckhaven area in Imperial County, a known geothermal resource area. The leases, which will help the state transition to a clean energy future, authorize drilling four geothermal wells to test and evaluate the presence and characteristics of geothermal resources. A prospective future commercial-scale geothermal field development project that involves constructing powerplants and transmission lines would require an amendment to these leases and further analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Other Highlights

The Commission approved dozens of leases for recreational use of sovereign land in Lake Tahoe, the Bay/Delta area, and Southern California. It also issued a lease to the East Bay Regional Park District for a public fishing pier in the Carquinez Strait at Eckley Cove, near the town of Crockett. The lease will encourage and promote public access, use, and enjoyment of a recreational amenity. There was also an informational recap on the 2020 legislative session and legislation sponsored by the Commission.

Future Meetings

The Commission’s next public meeting is December 17 at 10:00 a.m. You can sign up here to receive updates about this and future meetings. You can also stay informed by following the State Lands Commission on Twitter.