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California Code, Fish and Game Code - FGC § 1603

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(a) After the notification is complete, the department shall determine whether the activity may substantially adversely affect an existing fish and wildlife resource. If the department determines that the activity may have that effect, the department shall provide a draft agreement to the entity within 60 days after the notification is complete. The draft agreement shall describe the fish and wildlife resources that the department has determined the activity may substantially adversely affect and include measures to protect those resources. The department's description of the affected resources shall be specific and detailed, and the department shall make available, upon request, the information upon which its determination of substantial adverse effect is based. Within 30 days of the date of receipt of the draft agreement, the entity shall notify the department whether the measures to protect fish and wildlife resources in that draft agreement are acceptable. If the department's measures are not acceptable, the entity shall so notify the department in writing and specify the measures that are not acceptable. Upon written request, the department shall meet with the entity within 14 days of the date the department receives the request for the purpose of resolving any disagreement regarding those measures. If the entity fails to respond, in writing, within 90 days of receiving the draft agreement, the department may withdraw that agreement, and require the entity to resubmit a notification to the department before commencing the activity.

(b) If mutual agreement is not reached at any meeting held pursuant to subdivision (a), the entity may request, in writing, the appointment of a panel of arbitrators to resolve the disagreement. A panel of arbitrators shall be appointed within 14 days of receipt of the written request. The panel of arbitrators shall be comprised of three persons, as follows: one representative selected by the department; one representative selected by the affected entity; and a third person mutually agreed upon by the department and the entity, who shall serve as the panel chair. If the department and the entity cannot agree on the third person within that 14-day period, the third person shall be appointed in the manner provided by Section 1281.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The third person shall have scientific expertise relevant to the fish and wildlife resources that may be substantially adversely affected by the activity proposed by the entity and to the measures proposed by the department to protect those resources. The authority of the panel of arbitrators is limited to resolving disagreements regarding the measures specified in subdivision (a), and subdivisions (b) and (g) of Section 1605, and, in the case of an extension, whether or not the agreement needs to be modified to protect fish and wildlife resources. Any decision by the panel of arbitrators shall be issued within 14 days from the date the panel was established, shall be binding on the department and the affected entity, shall be based on the best scientific information reasonably available at the time of the arbitration, and, except for a decision to extend an agreement without modification, shall be made in the form of a final agreement. The final agreement issued by the panel shall also include, without modification, all measures that were not subject to arbitration. Each party shall pay the expenses of their selected representative and pay one-half the expenses of the third person.

Cite this article: - California Code, Fish and Game Code - FGC § 1603 - last updated January 01, 2023 |

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