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Major Setback for Gov. Brown’s Delta Tunnels

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SACRAMENTO – As reported this afternoon by Maven’s Notebook

The Department of Water Resources has sent a letter to the Delta Stewardship Council, formally withdrawing the Department’s certification of consistency for the California Water Fix (Delta Tunnels.)

DWR is hereby withdrawing the Certification of Consistency for California Water Fix that was filed on July 27, 2018.”

DWR to DSC Water Fix Consistency Certification 12.7.18

Statement by Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director, Restore the Delta:

“This is a great day for the Delta Protection Act. We are thrilled about DWR’s withdrawal from the consistency determination process. But the Delta is still in danger. There is this WIIN Act deal between Governor Brown, Senator Feinstein, the GOP Congress, and the Trump Administration. While Feinstein’s staff continues to say the tunnels are not on the table, we know they are. Otherwise she would not be working with lame duck leadership, and instead would be getting ready to create a sustainable water plan for California with new her Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives in January.

“Today is a good day for the San Francisco Bay-Delta and California. But it’s not over yet.”

Background:  DWR claimed that the Delta Tunnels would be “consistent” with the Delta Plan’s co-equal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The DWR determination was challenged by nine appellant groups.

The Delta Stewardship Council staff issued a draft determination that not enough evidence existed in the record to support that the California Water Fix was consistent with the Delta Plan, and staff recommended the Council remand the matter back to the Department of Water Resources.

On Thursday, November 15, 2018 the Delta Stewardship Council heard testimony from agencies and the public regarding the Consistency Determination produced by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) in July, 2018. The Delta Stewardship Council was created by the California Legislature to oversee implementation of the Delta Plan.

At the end of the meeting, DSC Board Chair, Randy Fiorina said:
“Fundamentally, my takeaways so far after reviewing the record, listening to the testimony at the October hearings, and after today, I think the Department has filed its certification of consistency before it was ready to demonstrate consistency with the Delta Plan…..  I would strongly encourage the Department to consider withdrawing the certification of consistency. ”

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