For immediate release
May 16, 2018
Nora Kovaleski, 408-806-6470, [email protected]
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053, [email protected]
Author of Delta Tunnels Litigation Rider Funded by Construction & Engineering Corporations and Bottled Water
STOCKTON – Today, Restore the Delta noted that the author of a rider seeking to ban all litigation against the Delta Tunnels, Congressman Ken Calvert, R-Corona, has received a number of campaign contributions from various construction and engineering corporations, including the Parsons Corporation, the bottled water industry, Southern California developer interests, and general members of the Southern California Water Committee.
Congressman Calvert’s rider was added to the draft Interior Department spending bill for fiscal year 2019, and would exempt CA WaterFix from judicial review, bypassing state and federal laws and allowing project proponents to begin tunnels construction as soon as possible.
The draft bill will be brought before the full Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Committee at a later, unannounced date.
Executive Director of Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said,
“Starting with his history as the lead sponsor of CALFED and ending with his most recent campaign contributions, it’s clear that Congressman Calvert primarily serves the interests of Metropolitan Water District of Sourthern California, and construction companies hoping to win the WaterFix bid.
“If this rider becomes part of the Congressional budget authorization, CA WaterFix would no longer be subject to judicial review under any Federal or State law. Governor Brown, the Department of Water Resources, Metropolitan Water District, and Santa Clara Valley Water District have all told Californians for eight years that the Delta tunnels is an environmental project that will improve Delta fisheries and protect the ecosystem.
“If that’s true, why has the Brown Administration remained silent while Congressman Calvert attempts to gut state and federal environmental regulations? The answer is simple—the tunnels have never been, nor will they ever be a green project, and this most recent effort would enable project participants to break ground on this flawed pet project before the end of Brown’s term.
“Is Governor Brown really going to stake his legacy as an environmental leader on House Republican-led legislation that is anti-environmental protection, and anti-due process? Are our Senators going to support such an effort? This proposed rider from Congressman Calvert is a play right out of Secretary of the Interior Pruitt’s playbook. What we need to see now is if our environmentally-minded Californian political leaders are joining in Pruitt’s dismantling of environmental laws, processes, and standards; or are they going to protect the San Francisco Bay Delta, environmental regulations and laws, and due process rights?”