Update 1.9.17: Make an extra impact. Join us in sending a petition the State Water Board on the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, click here to sign.
In 2016, thousands of Restore the Delta supporters signed a petition urging the State Water Resources Control Board to update outdated water quality standards for the Bay-Delta region. Hundreds also showed up to speak up at recent hearings in Sacramento and Stockton in December of 2016, watch them here or check out our previous live tweets.
The outdated 20-year-old Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan allows more than half the water needed for the delta’s ecological health to be diverted away for unsustainable Big Agriculture on the west and south San Joaquin Valley.
The State Water Resources Control Board is currently in Phase I of updating the plan. We need to make sure that the State Water Board gets it right and is not influenced by special interests. New water quality standards that truly protect communities and species is a proactive step that helps ensure reliable water supplies for all water users of the Bay-Delta. Learn more about water quality here.
Submit your comments via e-mail or postal mail! Deadline: March 17, 2017 at 12:00 P.M. The State Water Board announced during the public hearing in Modesto that they anticipate releasing a final SED (Substitute Environmental Document) and plan in May 2017 and considering it for adoption in July 2017.
Here are some important points to make:
1) A permanent reduction of exports must happen to protect the Delta. What is the true efficacy of this update to SJ flow standards if water exports from the Delta are not going to be dealt with? The San Joaquin River must reach Chipps Island in order to restore, protect, and preserve the entire estuary. If unsustainable water exports are not dealt with, we worry that water quality and quantity objectives for the Delta will never be met.
2) We do not want to see a weakening of salinity standards in the South Delta. Water quality standards must be protected for agriculture, drinking water, municipal discharge, fisheries, recreation, and ground water recharge, and to reduce the future risk of increased harmful algal blooms that are toxic to humans, dogs, fish, and wildlife in south Delta channels.
3) The State Water Board must consider environmental justice communities in terms of drinking water and domestic use. Phase 1 Recirculated Draft SED fails to consider environmental justice communities in chapters 5 and 9 (hydrology/water quality and groundwater).
4) We believe that water flows on the San Joaquin River must be adequate to restore and protect fisheries—and to protect the public trust value of the Bay-Delta estuary. A 40% restoration of flows will not accomplish this end. Science tells us that we need 60% of flows restored on the San Joaquin River for the health of the Bay-Delta.
SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN COMMENTS
The State Water Board will accept both written and oral comments on the proposed Plan Amendment and the SED. Written comments must be received no later than 12:00 noon on March 17, 2017, and addressed and submitted to:
Jeanine Townsend, Clerk to the Board
State Water Resources Control Board
1001 I Street, 24th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814-0100
Comment letters may be submitted electronically, in pdf text format (if less than 15 megabytes in total size) to the Clerk to the Board via e-mail at email@example.com. Please indicate in the subject line: “Comment Letter – 2016 Bay-Delta Plan Amendment & SED.” You may also submit your comments by fax at (916) 341-5620. Electronic submission is preferred, but not required.
Couriers delivering comment letters must check in with lobby security personnel, who can contact Jeanine Townsend at (916) 341-5600.