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Nevada 2015 Special Session passes bills (3) concerning Faraday incentives and Apex industrial site improvements

The 2015 Special Session of the Nevada Legislature concluded its business a little after 4pm today. The focus of the 29th Special Session was on the following: 1) providing incentives for electric car maker Faraday Future to locate at the Apex industrial site; 2) providing the State Engineer the ability to expedite a water right application in five basins where the water associated with the application would be needed to develop the Apex industrial site, and at the same time eliminating the opportunity of non-water right holders in the five basins from protesting a water right application in any of the five basins that involved the provision of water to the Apex industrial site; and 3) providing the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority the sole authority, for a period of time, to be the Apex industrial site water utility.

Three Senate bills accomplished the aforementioned objectives of the Special Session, and they are SB 1, SB 2 and SB 3. SB 1 pertains to the Faraday project incentives. SB 2 pertains to the water rights issue, and SB 3 pertains to the Apex industrial site water utility provider. Attached are the three bills.

Regarding SB 2, Senator Goicoechea and other legislators did a good job in changing the original troubling water rights language in SB 1 (Section 64) to language that ended up in SB 2 that is in reality specific to the five so-called hydrologically connected basins near, and including, the Apex industrial site. Also, the expedited State Engineer hearing process in SB 2 is not mandatory; that is, the State Engineer can determine if he or she wants to expedite the hearing process for a water rights application involving any of the five water basins and the Apex industrial site. The down side is the fact that interested parties (e.g., local government, sportsmen, environmentalist, tribes, federal agencies, etc.) are precluded from protesting a water right application that pertains to any of the five valleys if the application involves providing water to the Apex industrial site - - - and those parties do not have a water right in the basin that is the place of origin for the application (one of the five basins).

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