Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-475-9550, [email protected]
Trump Administration Declares War On The Delta
To Save GOP House Seats
STOCKTON, CA – Bettina Boxall of the Los Angeles Times reports this afternoon that President Trump has signed off on a plan led by Deputy Secretary of the Interior and former Westlands lobbyist, David Barnhardt, calling for “federal agencies to speed up their environmental review of major water projects in California and to develop plans to suspend or revise regulations that hamper water deliveries.”While the LA Times reports that the directive will have little impact and appears more an effort to support GOP Congressional candidates, Restore the Delta notes that the Valadao and Calvert riders have been placed in the pending Department of Interior Appropriations Bill. The Calvert rider would strip Delta residents of the ability to litigate against the Delta WaterFix tunnels project, while the Valadao rider would eliminate the ability of residents to litigate against injury caused by operation of the Central Valley and State Water projects. In effect, Delta residents would have no say in the management of the watershed they live in, and no way to address harm from degraded water quality. Trump’s memorandum calls for an increased legislative effort to advance California water plans, in addition to a loosening of restrictions to expedite water deliveries.
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director for Restore the Delta stated:
“This isn’t just an anti-Delta fishery effort. It’s an outright attack by the 1% of big California corporate agricultural and special interests to take away any and all water from Delta communities at will. This directive from President Trump, coupled with Federal legislative efforts to strip Delta communities of due process rights, is against everything that we value as Californians and Americans!
“The fact that California GOP Representatives, working on this plan with Deputy Interior Secretary Barnhardt, Secretary of the Interior Zinke, and President Trump, are willing to support an attack on millions of San Francisco Bay-Delta residents, iconic fisheries, drinking water quality protections for Delta cities, due process rights, and the rule of law to make a power move before an election speaks to their belief that the Delta is nothing more than a water switchyard. They are supporting expedited Federal review of water projects, meaning the Delta tunnels, while claiming as in the case of Congressman Jeff Denham (CA-10) to be against the tunnels, while claiming they are stopping the water grab. They are dishonest! They are part of the cabal that is targeting our region for ruin.”