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Our Response to “Tunnels Only” Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, April 13, 2015
Contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546; [email protected]; Twitter: @shopcraft; Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla 209/479-2053 [email protected]; Twitter: @RestoretheDelta


RTD Responds to “Tunnels Only” Project

Stockton, CA – Restore the Delta (RTD), a coalition of anti-tunnels organizations and individuals, today responded to the governor’s abandonment of conservation and restoration, and move to permit a “tunnels only” BDCP. RTD responded to reports in the Contra Costa Times and other media.
“For eight years, Californians had been told that the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) was going to serve what became law in 2009 — the co-equal goals of restoring the Delta and providing water supply reliability.  Our position has been that these co-equal goals are irreconcilable because the Delta watershed has been over subscribed five times,” said RTD Exec. Dir. Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla.

“The BDCP planning process culminated in a 40,000-page plan and corresponding EIR/EIS, which cannot be permitted by Federal fish agencies because it failed to meet science-based standards for recovery of fisheries.”
“Proponents of the BDCP are lamenting that, after 8 years and $240,000,000, they do not have a viable project. Even proponents now admit the BDCP was supposed to do something better, but it does not meet the ‘better’ standard,” said Barrigan-Parrilla.

“Governor Brown seems to believe he can push forward a project that will not meet the standards set into law in 2009.  Moving to circumvent Federal and State water quality laws, water rights laws, Delta water planning laws, and Endangered Species Act protections to push forward with the Delta tunnels will raise the ire of millions of Californians, and would be a waste of public resources during this time of drought. We call on Governor Brown to begin leading a marshall plan to promote regional water sustainability planning and to deal with the five-fold oversubscription of the Delta watershed.  Anything less is nothing more than kicking the can down the road,” Barrigan-Parrilla added.
In case you missed it…
Delta tunnels: Major changes to environmental restoration could endanger Brown's water plan
By Paul Rogers [email protected] © Copyright 2015, Bay Area News
 “…little more than a water grab by Southern California,…

“…50-year "habitat conservation plan" was supposed to guarantee them reliability from endangered species lawsuits and decisions by the federal government that have limited Delta pumping in recent years to protect endangered fish….
“…"I think it's kind of a technical point," Brown told reporters at a Colusa County cook-off. "Somehow it satisfies the federal fish and other authorities, so that's good with me."…
“…promises that the Delta will be restored after the tunnels are built mean little….
“…"Why are they wasting more of the public's money pursuing the worst half of a failed project?" Minton asked….
“…"I think that it would be a concern for the public if the twin tunnels project would move ahead without the long-term environmental protections in place," said Barbara Keegan,…
“…it will now be harder to fund,…
“…water agencies could be essentially back to a year-to-year situation in which the pumps can be turned down any time by federal agencies and courts if endangered fish are harmed….
“…"The goal was to do something better than what we are doing today,"…
“…"This would not meet that goal….
“…does it really make sense to reinvest this kind of money in a system and not really know what you are getting?"…
“…"The simple fact is that we don't have a viable project. We have never seen the state develop a plan that's affordable and improves water reliability and supply."”
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