This morning, the Willits News staff at Ukiah Daily Journal reported that Rep. Jared Huffman sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Friday, requesting that he recover the misspent $84.4 million in taxpayer funds used to cover planning costs of the Delta Tunnels—formally known as CA WaterFix, previously called the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.
“The funds were to benefit a select few California water districts participating in the ‘WaterFix’ planning process, according to a report titled ‘The Bureau of Reclamation Was Not Transparent in Its Participation in the [San Francisco] Bay Delta Conservation Plan.’
“According to the letter, the Interior Department had approved these payments for the planning costs associated with the project, previously known as the Bay-Delta Conservation plan, and as the Delta Habitat Conservation and Conveyance Program, but failed to disclose them to Congress, as required by law, nor to other Central Valley Project water users, stakeholders and the public.
“The letter, co-signed by Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton), Anna G. Eshoo (D-Atherton), Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) and Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), asks that Zinke recover the missing funds and for the department to shed more light on the matter, including whether similar undisclosed subsidies were provided to any other parties, or if the water districts that benefited from this arrangement might still be reimbursed by taxpayers.
“Specifically, the inspector general identified $84.8 million in funds as of June 30, 2016, that were spent on this project without authorization or rationale, all to benefit a few California water districts participating in the WaterFix planning process.
“The inspector general’s report describes an unusual funding arrangement that the Bureau of Reclamation created and used to subsidize nearly two-thirds of these water districts’ share of the project cost.”
To read the entire article, click here.
In case you missed it: December 18, 2017
Nora Kovaleski, 408-806-6470, [email protected]
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053, [email protected]