Dear Restore the Delta friends,
We need your attendance and public comment at a public workshop held by the State Water Resources Control Board on Wednesday. The Board wants to use the workshop to receive public input regarding its drought related activities in the Bay Delta watershed.
To date, the Board has been letting its executive director, Tom Howard, issue “temporary urgency change petition” (“TUCP”) decisions allowing state and federal water projects to get out from under established water quality protections for the Delta in order to smooth over the projects’ mismanagement of their water supplies.
While some of the TUCP order’s provisions are intended to protect endangered runs of Chinook salmon upstream, they have reduced and will reduce further flow and water quality in the Delta this summer. Delta smelt may not survive in the wild from this summer’s warm temperatures and its shrunken open water habitat.
Board members have gone along with Mr. Howard’s decisions so far this year and last. It appears this workshop is to provide Board members and staff (including Mr. Howard) with an opportunity to learn more about the effects of the Board’s TUCP orders.
Right now our Delta is already in an unhealthy state due to the drought and the continual relaxation of Delta flow and water quality standards. The Board’s TUCP orders have allowed water exports to continue going to growers in the south and west Central Valley, while very little water has gone to protect our public trust resource, the Delta. Exports for health and safety needs of cities and counties served by the state and federal projects have also been allowed, but have not been tracked to ensure the water gets where it is needed.
What is galling about the TUCP orders is that they weaken existing flow and water quality standards that were already known to fail at protecting endangered fish and wildlife in the Delta. Their further weakening contributes to the continuing collapse of the Delta and our regional fisheries and economy, as well as encourage invasive species to thrive in bad Delta water conditions (like the water hyacinth and later in the summer, toxic blue-green algae blooms).
Extinction is forever.
Last year Board staff recognized that because they allowed a similar petition to change flow standards to go through, 95% of winter run salmon were killed – but growers in the west and south San Joaquin valley are pushing and attacking Board staff to allow more water to be pumped, not taking into account the hugely adverse impact on Delta communities.
So far the voices of San Joaquin Valley growers have dominated past Board workshops. We have not had enough people to represent the Delta’s story to the Board.
Can you commit to joining us on May 20, Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in Sacramento? Joe Serna, Jr. – Cal/EPA Headquarters Building Coastal Hearing Room 1001 I Street, Second Floor Sacramento, CA
We need you to sign up (using a blue card, which the Board makes available at the back of the meeting hall) and to make a 2 minute public comment introducing yourself, explaining how the TUCP or drought will/has negatively impact you and explaining how increased pumping (that this petition will enable) will threaten our Delta communities, economies, and ecosystem.
The building is fully disabled accessible, with elevators and accessible seating in the hearing room.
We will be there with snacks and any help you may need to make this process as easy and accessible as possible for you. If you like, we can be available to read through your prepared public comment (feel free to e-mail or call us at 209-475-9550 for any guidance), thank you.
To see our suggested talking points on the “TUCP,” click here.
If you absolutely cannot attend the meeting, you could submit a public comment via post or e-mail to the board.
You should address correspondence to:
Jeanine Townsend, Clerk of the Board
State Water Resources Control Board
P.O. Box 2000
Sacramento, CA 95812-2000
Email can be sent to Jeanine Townsend at: