Temporary post office coming soon in Cadiz – Martins Ferry Times Leader

Zitko made the announcement during village council’s regular meeting Thursday. The postal service suspended operations at the Cadiz Post Office in early September due to concerns over the building’s front wall separating from the foundation and sinking into the ground over the summer.

A survey showed unstable ground underneath the office, forcing the building’s closure. Since then, the village has been working with the postal service to find a solution.

During Thursday’s meeting, Zitko said postal service representatives from Columbus told him the postal service will set up a trailer as a temporary post office in the village, but there needs to be a physical address associated with the site. Zitko said the trailer will be placed in the old Westgate Elementary School parking lot, which is currently used by the Harrison Hills Board of Education.

“There is progress,” Zitko said, noting the postal service representatives told him the trailer could arrive as early as this week.

In other business, village Administrator Charley Bowman discussed the pending demolition of a vacant house on Deersville Avenue. He said the planned demolition has been postponed due to the discovery of asbestos in various areas of the house.

Bowman said he is waiting for a price to remove and dispose of the asbestos before moving forward with the demolition.

Bowman also brought up an unusual situation regarding a house at 144 Spring St. The owner is selling the house, but the sanitary sewer line must be inspected and any damage repaired before he moves. However, Bowman said two other buildings behind the house also connect to the sewer lateral servicing 144 Spring St.

The owners, after meeting with Bowman, plan to separate the sanitary sewer laterals and connect the other buildings to a parallel lateral. Bowman therefore requested the village waive the $600 re-tap fee for the new connection, which council approved.

Council members also voted to approve the final draft of a solid waste management plan of the Carroll, Columbiana, and Harrison Joint Solid Waste Management District.

Council members also entered a brief executive session to discuss the employment of personnel, emerging with no action taken.

Cadiz Village Council will next meet at 7 p.m. Nov. 2.

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Our Voice: California officials must maintain pressure on Cadiz aquifer project – The Desert Sun

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Cadiz Inc plans to pump the Mojave Desert aquifer and transport that water to southern California communities.
Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun

Like just about everything else that involves water, the Cadiz Inc. Mojave Desert aquifer project saga has been one of many ebbs and flows.

There were two new developments in this situation recently.

The federal government reversed itself this month and gave its blessing to the massive project to transfer as much as 16.3 billion gallons of groundwater per year from beneath the desert floor near ecologically sensitive public lands to thirsty urban communities via a long pipeline. Meanwhile, a state agency recently reasserted its claim that part of that pipeline would traverse a stretch of state-owned land and therefore would be subject to a lease and permit process.

Flow, meet ebb.

We’re not surprised by these types of twists and turns when it comes to such projects that many fear could harm the environment. That government at all levels would pursue any avenue to thoroughly vet such projects is something we should demand.

MORE: Feds give their OK to pipeline plan

The Cadiz project in particular has raised eyebrows and suspicions since its inception many years ago. Cadiz seeks to draw water from beneath its 34,000 acres of land near the Mojave Trails National Monument and ship it to cities via a 43-mile-long pipeline along the Arizona and California Railroad that would connect to the Metropolitan Water District’s aqueduct.

Environmentalists claim Cadiz has drastically overestimated the natural recharge rate of the aquifer and the proposed draws would severely compromise the area’s ecosystem. Metropolitan, meanwhile, has said it needs to see a formal proposal from Cadiz before determining whether to allow introduction into the aqueduct of water that might contain above-standard levels of contaminants such as arsenic and chromium.

The Bureau of Land Management, under the Obama administration in 2015, ruled that the Cadiz project was not a legitimate use of a railroad right of way as it did not “further a railroad purpose.”

Last month, however, the Trump administration’s Interior Department issued a new opinion saying the 1875 railroad law governing such rights of way does not preclude the project, as it does not “interfere” with the railroad. This followed lobbying by 18 members of Congress.

Cadiz has said that is a green light for moving forward, but the State Lands Commission has said Cadiz must negotiate for the use of a relatively short stretch of state land the pipeline’s path would cover, and that might include another state review. Cadiz says a comprehensive project review, which was completed in 2012 and has survived numerous court challenges, addressed environmental concerns so this State Lands Commission move should amount to a real estate negotiation at most.

We expect it might not be as simple as that, however.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom chairs the lands commission. That candidate for governor in 2018 has been an outspoken opponent of the Cadiz project. He counts Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who recently announced she is running for another term in Congress and has led the fight against the Cadiz project on Capitol Hill, as a key ally in this particular fight. Both argued publicly, and unsuccessfully, for the Legislature this past session to approve a bill that would have required further review of the Cadiz project.

This entire project has been colored with politics from the beginning. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have spoken in favor of the Cadiz vision and many have received political contributions from the company. Still, the idea that leaders in the region would chase water — and a pot of new jobs — is anything but surprising. 

Water is always political in the Golden State.

Water in the desert must be seen as precious, however. We still believe that this project must be subject to extreme scrutiny.

At the very least, the State Lands Commission should use any leverage it has to bring about new, independent studies of the aquifer’s natural recharge rate and the potential effects of the Cadiz project. This would go far in easing concerns many have about the future for the nearby, recently created, national monument.

In addition, we reiterate our call to the State Water Resources Control Board that it use all of the power it has under the landmark 2014 groundwater regulatory law to govern this process and ensure that the project, if it proceeds, has strict oversight throughout its lifetime.

 

Trump’s BLM clears a hurdle for controversial Cadiz project – High Country News

The Mojave Desert project moves forward without typical environmental review.

 

The Trump administration on Friday removed a major obstacle that had long stalled a project designed to pump groundwater from the Mojave Desert to communities in Southern California. The planned 43-mile pipeline would follow an already existing railroad through public land; the Bureau of Land Management sent a letter last week to Cadiz Inc., the company behind the pipeline, stating that the company did not need federal permission to begin construction.

The announcement reflects the Trump administration’s determination to prioritize large infrastructure projects over environmental protections. The Cadiz project has drawn a lot of attention in Washington, D.C., both because of what’s at stake for the desert ecosystem and because it reflects a major shift in priorities from the Obama administration.

The issue was prominent in the confirmation hearings for Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former industry lawyer whose clients’ businesses relied on decisions made by Interior. Bernhardt did legal work for Cadiz Inc., and a former law partner of Bernhardt’s is the president and CEO of the company. Bernhardt’s former law firm was told senators in his confirmation hearing that he would avoid conflicts of interest. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Jeff Krauss wrote in an email: “Deputy Secretary Bernhardt has played absolutely no role in anything related to the Cadiz project.”

The water would be pumped from wells on Cadiz’s private land, which is near the Mojave National Preserve and surrounded by the Mojave Trails National Monument. But many scientists and environmental groups oppose the project because of concerns that pumping enormous amounts of water out of the aquifer could deplete natural springs. The springs sustain habitat for rare wildlife in the desert such as tortoises and bighorn sheep.

By constructing its project in the right of way of the California & Arizona Railroad, Cadiz avoids federal environmental reviews. The National Environmental Policy Act usually requires agencies to study major projects on federal land to determine potential impacts to endangered species, waterways and other important ecological features. “Knowing a federal environmental review would expose the dangers of its project, Cadiz has waited years for an administration willing to greenlight its plans without any real oversight. That gamble has clearly paid off,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in a statement Monday. “Cadiz is now set to drain more than three times the aquifer’s natural recharge rate, putting life in the Mojave desert at risk.”

According to the Obama administration, the Cadiz pipeline was not essential to the operations of the railroad and hence was not exempted from federal environmental reviews. As a result, the BLM in 2015 advised Cadiz the project would require federal permitting. After a bipartisan request from 18 members of Congress, the Trump administration started rescinding the Obama administration policies that had snarled the project. On Sept. 1, the Interior Department’s acting solicitor issued a legal opinion that sets a much lower bar for exempting projects from federal environmental reviews. The opinion allows railroads covered under the 1875 General Rights of Way Act to lease their easements for projects as long as they do not interfere with the railroads.

Opponents of the pipeline stress that the project still faces significant hurdles and vowed to continue to fight against it. For instance, the California State Lands Commission said in a letter from the Metropolitan Water District to Feinstein last month also reports that the groundwater contains arsenic, hexavalent chromium and other harmful chemicals in concentrations unacceptable in drinking water. The company likely would have to treat the water piped out of the Mojave, adding considerable expense to the project.

“We’ve been working on this for decades and the resolution of this may take another decade or more,” said David Lamfrom, director of the California Desert programs for the National Parks Conservation Association.

Still, Cadiz was thrilled by the BLM’s decision. Scott Slater, Cadiz’s president and CEO and Bernhardt’s former law partner, said in a statement released Monday that his company is “tremendously satisfied to finally have this matter resolved.”

 

Correspondent Elizabeth Shogren writes HCN’s DC Dispatches from Washington. Follow @shogrene

  • Water
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • DC Dispatch
  • California
  • Desert
  • Department of Interior
  • Donald Trump
  • Politics

Trump’s BLM clears a hurdle for controversial Cadiz project – High Country News

The Mojave Desert project moves forward without typical environmental review.

 

The Trump administration on Friday removed a major obstacle that had long stalled a project designed to pump groundwater from the Mojave Desert to communities in Southern California. The planned 43-mile pipeline would follow an already existing railroad through public land; the Bureau of Land Management sent a letter last week to Cadiz Inc., the company behind the pipeline, stating that the company did not need federal permission to begin construction.

The announcement reflects the Trump administration’s determination to prioritize large infrastructure projects over environmental protections. The Cadiz project has drawn a lot of attention in Washington, D.C., both because of what’s at stake for the desert ecosystem and because it reflects a major shift in priorities from the Obama administration.

The issue was prominent in the confirmation hearings for Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former industry lawyer whose clients’ businesses relied on decisions made by Interior. Bernhardt did legal work for Cadiz Inc., and a former law partner of Bernhardt’s is the president and CEO of the company. Bernhardt’s former law firm was told senators in his confirmation hearing that he would avoid conflicts of interest. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Jeff Krauss wrote in an email: “Deputy Secretary Bernhardt has played absolutely no role in anything related to the Cadiz project.”

The water would be pumped from wells on Cadiz’s private land, which is near the Mojave National Preserve and surrounded by the Mojave Trails National Monument. But many scientists and environmental groups oppose the project because of concerns that pumping enormous amounts of water out of the aquifer could deplete natural springs. The springs sustain habitat for rare wildlife in the desert such as tortoises and bighorn sheep.

By constructing its project in the right of way of the California & Arizona Railroad, Cadiz avoids federal environmental reviews. The National Environmental Policy Act usually requires agencies to study major projects on federal land to determine potential impacts to endangered species, waterways and other important ecological features. “Knowing a federal environmental review would expose the dangers of its project, Cadiz has waited years for an administration willing to greenlight its plans without any real oversight. That gamble has clearly paid off,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in a statement Monday. “Cadiz is now set to drain more than three times the aquifer’s natural recharge rate, putting life in the Mojave desert at risk.”

According to the Obama administration, the Cadiz pipeline was not essential to the operations of the railroad and hence was not exempted from federal environmental reviews. As a result, the BLM in 2015 advised Cadiz the project would require federal permitting. After a bipartisan request from 18 members of Congress, the Trump administration started rescinding the Obama administration policies that had snarled the project. On Sept. 1, the Interior Department’s acting solicitor issued a legal opinion that sets a much lower bar for exempting projects from federal environmental reviews. The opinion allows railroads covered under the 1875 General Rights of Way Act to lease their easements for projects as long as they do not interfere with the railroads.

Opponents of the pipeline stress that the project still faces significant hurdles and vowed to continue to fight against it. For instance, the California State Lands Commission said in a letter from the Metropolitan Water District to Feinstein last month also reports that the groundwater contains arsenic, hexavalent chromium and other harmful chemicals in concentrations unacceptable in drinking water. The company likely would have to treat the water piped out of the Mojave, adding considerable expense to the project.

“We’ve been working on this for decades and the resolution of this may take another decade or more,” said David Lamfrom, director of the California Desert programs for the National Parks Conservation Association.

Still, Cadiz was thrilled by the BLM’s decision. Scott Slater, Cadiz’s president and CEO and Bernhardt’s former law partner, said in a statement released Monday that his company is “tremendously satisfied to finally have this matter resolved.”

 

Correspondent Elizabeth Shogren writes HCN’s DC Dispatches from Washington. Follow @shogrene

  • Water
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • DC Dispatch
  • California
  • Desert
  • Department of Interior
  • Donald Trump
  • Politics

Trump’s BLM clears a hurdle for controversial Cadiz project — High … – High Country News

The Mojave Desert project moves forward without typical environmental review.

 

The Trump administration on Friday removed a major obstacle that had long stalled a project designed to pump groundwater from the Mojave Desert to communities in Southern California. The planned 43-mile pipeline would follow an already existing railroad through public land; the Bureau of Land Management sent a letter last week to Cadiz Inc., the company behind the pipeline, stating that the company did not need federal permission to begin construction.

The announcement reflects the Trump administration’s determination to prioritize large infrastructure projects over environmental protections. The Cadiz project has drawn a lot of attention in Washington, D.C., both because of what’s at stake for the desert ecosystem and because it reflects a major shift in priorities from the Obama administration.

The issue was prominent in the confirmation hearings for Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former industry lawyer whose clients’ businesses relied on decisions made by Interior. Bernhardt did legal work for Cadiz Inc., and a former law partner of Bernhardt’s is the president and CEO of the company. Bernhardt’s former law firm was told senators in his confirmation hearing that he would avoid conflicts of interest. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Jeff Krauss wrote in an email: “Deputy Secretary Bernhardt has played absolutely no role in anything related to the Cadiz project.”

The water would be pumped from wells on Cadiz’s private land, which is near the Mojave National Preserve and surrounded by the Mojave Trails National Monument. But many scientists and environmental groups oppose the project because of concerns that pumping enormous amounts of water out of the aquifer could deplete natural springs. The springs sustain habitat for rare wildlife in the desert such as tortoises and bighorn sheep.

By constructing its project in the right of way of the California & Arizona Railroad, Cadiz avoids federal environmental reviews. The National Environmental Policy Act usually requires agencies to study major projects on federal land to determine potential impacts to endangered species, waterways and other important ecological features. “Knowing a federal environmental review would expose the dangers of its project, Cadiz has waited years for an administration willing to greenlight its plans without any real oversight. That gamble has clearly paid off,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in a statement Monday. “Cadiz is now set to drain more than three times the aquifer’s natural recharge rate, putting life in the Mojave desert at risk.”

According to the Obama administration, the Cadiz pipeline was not essential to the operations of the railroad and hence was not exempted from federal environmental reviews. As a result, the BLM in 2015 advised Cadiz the project would require federal permitting. After a bipartisan request from 18 members of Congress, the Trump administration started rescinding the Obama administration policies that had snarled the project. On Sept. 1, the Interior Department’s acting solicitor issued a legal opinion that sets a much lower bar for exempting projects from federal environmental reviews. The opinion allows railroads covered under the 1875 General Rights of Way Act to lease their easements for projects as long as they do not interfere with the railroads.

Opponents of the pipeline stress that the project still faces significant hurdles and vowed to continue to fight against it. For instance, the California State Lands Commission said in a letter from the Metropolitan Water District to Feinstein last month also reports that the groundwater contains arsenic, hexavalent chromium and other harmful chemicals in concentrations unacceptable in drinking water. The company likely would have to treat the water piped out of the Mojave, adding considerable expense to the project.

“We’ve been working on this for decades and the resolution of this may take another decade or more,” said David Lamfrom, director of the California Desert programs for the National Parks Conservation Association.

Still, Cadiz was thrilled by the BLM’s decision. Scott Slater, Cadiz’s president and CEO and Bernhardt’s former law partner, said in a statement released Monday that his company is “tremendously satisfied to finally have this matter resolved.”

 

Correspondent Elizabeth Shogren writes HCN’s DC Dispatches from Washington. Follow @shogrene

  • Water
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • DC Dispatch
  • California
  • Desert
  • Department of Interior
  • Donald Trump
  • Politics

Trump’s BLM clears a hurdle for controversial Cadiz project — High … – High Country News

The Mojave Desert project moves forward without typical environmental review.

 

The Trump administration on Friday removed a major obstacle that had long stalled a project designed to pump groundwater from the Mojave Desert to communities in Southern California. The planned 43-mile pipeline would follow an already existing railroad through public land; the Bureau of Land Management sent a letter last week to Cadiz Inc., the company behind the pipeline, stating that the company did not need federal permission to begin construction.

The announcement reflects the Trump administration’s determination to prioritize large infrastructure projects over environmental protections. The Cadiz project has drawn a lot of attention in Washington, D.C., both because of what’s at stake for the desert ecosystem and because it reflects a major shift in priorities from the Obama administration.

The issue was prominent in the confirmation hearings for Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former industry lawyer whose clients’ businesses relied on decisions made by Interior. Bernhardt did legal work for Cadiz Inc., and a former law partner of Bernhardt’s is the president and CEO of the company. Bernhardt’s former law firm was told senators in his confirmation hearing that he would avoid conflicts of interest. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Jeff Krauss wrote in an email: “Deputy Secretary Bernhardt has played absolutely no role in anything related to the Cadiz project.”

The water would be pumped from wells on Cadiz’s private land, which is near the Mojave National Preserve and surrounded by the Mojave Trails National Monument. But many scientists and environmental groups oppose the project because of concerns that pumping enormous amounts of water out of the aquifer could deplete natural springs. The springs sustain habitat for rare wildlife in the desert such as tortoises and bighorn sheep.

By constructing its project in the right of way of the California & Arizona Railroad, Cadiz avoids federal environmental reviews. The National Environmental Policy Act usually requires agencies to study major projects on federal land to determine potential impacts to endangered species, waterways and other important ecological features. “Knowing a federal environmental review would expose the dangers of its project, Cadiz has waited years for an administration willing to greenlight its plans without any real oversight. That gamble has clearly paid off,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in a statement Monday. “Cadiz is now set to drain more than three times the aquifer’s natural recharge rate, putting life in the Mojave desert at risk.”

According to the Obama administration, the Cadiz pipeline was not essential to the operations of the railroad and hence was not exempted from federal environmental reviews. As a result, the BLM in 2015 advised Cadiz the project would require federal permitting. After a bipartisan request from 18 members of Congress, the Trump administration started rescinding the Obama administration policies that had snarled the project. On Sept. 1, the Interior Department’s acting solicitor issued a legal opinion that sets a much lower bar for exempting projects from federal environmental reviews. The opinion allows railroads covered under the 1875 General Rights of Way Act to lease their easements for projects as long as they do not interfere with the railroads.

Opponents of the pipeline stress that the project still faces significant hurdles and vowed to continue to fight against it. For instance, the California State Lands Commission said in a letter from the Metropolitan Water District to Feinstein last month also reports that the groundwater contains arsenic, hexavalent chromium and other harmful chemicals in concentrations unacceptable in drinking water. The company likely would have to treat the water piped out of the Mojave, adding considerable expense to the project.

“We’ve been working on this for decades and the resolution of this may take another decade or more,” said David Lamfrom, director of the California Desert programs for the National Parks Conservation Association.

Still, Cadiz was thrilled by the BLM’s decision. Scott Slater, Cadiz’s president and CEO and Bernhardt’s former law partner, said in a statement released Monday that his company is “tremendously satisfied to finally have this matter resolved.”

 

Correspondent Elizabeth Shogren writes HCN’s DC Dispatches from Washington. Follow @shogrene

  • Water
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • DC Dispatch
  • California
  • Desert
  • Department of Interior
  • Donald Trump
  • Politics

16 migrants rescued in Cadiz after 10 days in container on board a Liberian mercantile ship – Global News Network

MADRID – Sixteen sub-Saharan migrants were rescued at the Port of Cadiz after they were found in a shipping container aboard a Liberian mercantile ship that left Ghana 10 days ago and had stopped at the Port of Algeciras.

The migrants, all of whom were adult males, were found crowded in the container in extreme conditions aboard the container ship “Panther”, which docked on Sunday at the APM Terminal in Algeciras, said police sources cited by Spanish daily Europa Sur.

Shouts coming from a caisson stowed between the warehouse and the cargo ship’s cover caught the attention of a team of unloaders at the port, which led to the discovery of the men.

Despite the hard conditions during the long crossing, the migrants were treated at the port without needing to be transferred to hospital. They were subsequently taken to a temporary holding centre to await repatriation.

(ANSAmed).


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Controversial Cadiz water pipeline gets OK from federal government … – Los Angeles Times

In an about-face, the federal government has given Cadiz Inc. the go-ahead to lay a pipeline for its proposed desert water project in an existing railroad right-of-way.

The decision by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management follows other President Obama was in office.

In 2015, the BLM said Cadiz couldn’t use the right-of-way and would have to obtain federal permission to run the 43-mile pipeline across surrounding federal land. That would have triggered a lengthy environmental review that could have imposed new restrictions on Cadiz’s plans to pump groundwater from its desert holdings 200 miles east of Los Angeles and sell it to Southland communities.

The project has been approved under state environmental law, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and public lands advocates long have fought Cadiz, arguing that the groundwater pumping would deplete the local aquifer and harm the fragile desert ecosystem in nearby wilderness areas.

Controversial Cadiz water pipeline gets OK from federal government – Los Angeles Times

In an about-face, the federal government has given Cadiz Inc. the go-ahead to lay a pipeline for its proposed desert water project in an existing railroad right-of-way.

The decision by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management follows other President Obama was in office.

In 2015, the BLM said Cadiz couldn’t use the right-of-way and would have to obtain federal permission to run the 43-mile pipeline across surrounding federal land. That would have triggered a lengthy environmental review that could have imposed new restrictions on Cadiz’s plans to pump groundwater from its desert holdings 200 miles east of Los Angeles and sell it to Southland communities.

The project has been approved under state environmental law, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and public lands advocates long have fought Cadiz, arguing that the groundwater pumping would deplete the local aquifer and harm the fragile desert ecosystem in nearby wilderness areas.

Feds Remove Hurdle for Cadiz Desert Water Project – Los Angeles Business Journal

On the Road: Cadiz CEO Scott Slater in a 2013 photo.

On the Road: Cadiz CEO Scott Slater in a 2013 photo.

Photo by Ringo Chiu.

Downtown water developer Cadiz Inc. moved a step closer to building its Mojave Desert water project as a federal agency removed a hurdle for its water pipeline, the company announced Monday.

The Bureau of Land Management reversed a decision that it made two years ago that would have required a planned 43-mile water pipeline from Cadiz’ desert aquifer to the Colorado River Aqueduct to undergo a full environmental review. The reversal means the pipeline now has the necessary federal approvals.

Cadiz still may have to get state approval for the pipeline.

Cadiz has signed agreements with six California water agencies to pump up to 50,000 acre-feet of water a year out of its aquifer and send it via pipeline to the Colorado River Aqueduct and then onto 400,000 customers of those water agencies. The pumping plan received environmental approvals four years ago and survived numerous legal challenges from environmental groups that said pumping out groundwater would impact the desert ecosystem.

On the pipeline, Cadiz sought to avoid the time, expense and potential litigation exposure of a full federal environmental review by claiming the pipeline was within the right-of-way of an active railroad and invoking an obscure 1875 law that allowed ministerial approval for improvements that furthered the use of the railroad.

In October 2015, the bureau’s top California official under the Obama administration rejected this argument, saying the pipeline should not be exempt from environmental review. But after intense lobbying by Cadiz, new Trump administration officials indicated early on they would review that decision; they also placed the project on the infrastructure project priority list.

Related: Federal Attention Buoys Cadiz Stock

Related: Cadiz Announces $255M Construction Financing

The results of that review were contained in an Oct. 13 letter from the bureau to Cadiz Chief Executive Scott Slater.

But Cadiz’ pipeline faces a new hurdle: the state Lands Commission last month said in a letter to Cadiz that it must approve a 200-foot section of the pipeline that crosses state property. Opponents of the water pumping project latched onto this with calls for the state to require a full environmental review.

Cadiz responded that the statute of limitations to challenge the project’s environmental approvals has passed.

The company’s stock was virtually unchanged at the close of markets Monday at $12.80 a share.

Economy, education, energy and transportation reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.