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State Water Board Member Shares Pro-Tunnels Bias in Water Deeply Story
Today, Water Deeply published a story titled, “Massive California Water Tunnel Project Forges Ahead on Several Fronts.”
One of those fronts forging ahead is led by a subgroup of the State Water Resources Control Board, responsible for the evidentiary hearing for the permit process for CA WaterFix. While not a member of the hearing team, Steve Moore, a board member for the SWRCB, has made pro-tunnels comments in the story despite the State Board’s ongoing—and more importantly unfinished—change petition hearing for the Delta tunnels project.
In the story, Moore is quoted saying:
“‘Going back to the 1960s, the Department of Fish and Game advised various administrations that the State Water Project had to include a conveyance around the Delta so that the prevailing flow patterns would be more natural,’ says the State Water Resources Control Board’s Steve Moore.
“‘The idea that WaterFix will take more water out of the Delta is a common misconception,’ says the state board’s Steve Moore. ‘I don’t think that there is automatically a conflict between changing the point of diversion and increased Delta outflows.’ Moore notes that the Board has held roughly 100 days of hearings on changes to the points of diversion, as well as nine days of hearings on the proposed San Joaquin Basin flow objectives. ‘All of that robust process and public discussion should give folks some assurance that these two items are closely coordinated,’ he says.”
Executive Director of Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla commented,
“In addition to Mr. Moore’s comments not reflecting the best available science, we find it very problematic and disconcerting that a member of the State Water Board is making pro-tunnels statements when the evidentiary permitting process for CA WaterFix has not been completed. How can a predetermination like that be made?
“State Water Board members are tasked with evaluating all evidence presented to the hearing team, as well as draft rulings developed by SWRCB staff. Therefore, none of the SWRCB should be sharing personal opinions with the press or the public before an official decision regarding California WaterFix is reached. Board member Moore’s comments show prejudice in favor of the project, when quite literally, the case before the Board has not been finished.”