BLM Re-examination is Responsive to June 2019 Court Remand & Explains and Affirms Earlier 2017 Conclusion
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Cadiz Inc. (NASDAQ: CDZI) (“Cadiz”, the “Company”) reported that on February 7, 2020 it received from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) reaffirmation that the Cadiz Water Project’s proposed use of the Arizona & California Railroad’s (“ARZC”) right-of-way for its conveyance pipeline and related railroad improvements furthered a railroad purpose and is within the scope of the right-of-way, consistent with its conclusion in October 2017. The BLM confirmation responds to the direction of a June 2019 Los Angeles Central District Federal Court order requiring a supplementary explanation from BLM before the Court would validate BLM’s October 2017 evaluation. The 2020 analysis references the extensive record and sets forth the factual basis for its conclusions in detail while reaffirming the agency’s 2017 finding that the proposed infrastructure will further railroad purposes and therefore can be co-located and operated within the railroad right-of-way without additional BLM permitting.
The BLM California office stated in its evaluation: “The BLM affirms that the proposed Cadiz water conveyance pipeline project furthers a railroad purpose and is within ARZC’s rights to authorize under the 1875 Act. No further approval is required by the BLM for components of the project that are within the railroad right-of-way easement.”
“We are appreciative that BLM undertook the effort to clearly and unequivocally respond to the Court’s direction and present in careful detail the basis for its decision as directed by the Court on the way to reaffirming its 2017 decision,” said Scott Slater, Cadiz Inc. CEO & President.
The Cadiz Water Project was exhaustively evaluated under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) and independently reviewed and approved by the County of San Bernardino under local ordinances in 2012. Both actions were judicially validated in California’s Courts in 2016. Subsequently, an Addendum to the Project’s CEQA Environmental Impact Report was adopted by the Santa Margarita Water District in June of 2019 finding that there was no credible new information that the Project threatened harm to the environment.
For the avoidance of doubt, public agency-sponsored independent scientific investigations of the environmental and cultural resources in the surrounding watershed continue. The Company anticipates these independent evaluations may add to the scientific record and be offered in connection with California State Lands Commission review of potential transfers using the Colorado River Aqueduct, as required by Water Code §1815. There is no application presently on file with the State Lands Commission and the Company does not anticipate filing until later this year.
A copy of the complete BLM 2020 analysis is available on our website: https://www.cadizinc.com/2020/02/10/cadiz-receives-reaffirmation-from-us-blm-that-the-cadiz-water-project-furthers-a-railroad-purpose/
Founded in 1983, Cadiz Inc. (NASDAQ: CDZI) is a natural resources leader that owns 70 square miles of property with significant water resources in Southern California. The Company is the largest agricultural operation in San Bernardino, California, where it has sustainably farmed since the 1980s and is now actively pursuing a joint venture to organically cultivate hemp on up to 9,600 acres. The Company also is partnering with public water agencies to implement the Cadiz Water Project, recently named a Top 10 Infrastructure Project that over two phases will create a new water supply for approximately 400,000 people and make available up to 1 million acre-feet of new groundwater storage capacity for the region. Guided by a holistic land management plan, we are dedicated to pursuing sustainable projects and practicing responsible stewardship of our land, water and agricultural resources. For more information, please visit www.cadizinc.com.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT: This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, including statements related to the future operating and financial performance of the Company and the financing activities of the Company. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those reflected in the Company’s forward-looking statements include the Company’s ability to maximize value for Cadiz land and water resources, the Company’s ability to obtain new financing as needed, the receipt of additional permits for the water project and other factors and considerations detailed in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.