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California Department of Water Resources to Release Draft Environmental Impact Report For The Delta Conveyance Project This Week

For Release: 7/25/22
Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053, [email protected] 

Stockton, Calif.– Restore the Delta received word over the weekend that the Department of Water Resources will be releasing their Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) early this week for the Delta Conveyance Project. Documents for federal review of the project will be released later this fall.

Comment from Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla:

“We hold little faith that the Draft EIR will address any of the questions and concerns we raised repeatedly during our work with the Stakeholder Engagement Committee for the Design Construction Authority during that two-year tunnel planning process. To address our numerous questions around water quality, salinity intrusion, and pollution mitigation, DWR would not only have to speak about the sacrifices required by the people of the Delta with frankness, but they would also have to display earnest proposals to resolve these significant pollution impacts resulting from construction and operation of the project. Anything less than that will relegate the people of the region to second-class status in terms of air and water pollution impacts.

“What is even sadder: the State continues to make the same mistake that it has for the last sixteen years in regard to order of operations. We first need an emergency, comprehensive statewide plan for dealing with aridification – the long-term change to our climate we are all witnessing. Second, the State must complete and implement both phases of the Bay-Delta Plan.  How can we move forward with a tunnel without updates to flow and water quality standards for the Delta?

“With significant water shortages on the horizon, it is mind boggling that the Delta Conveyance Project is the first priority of the Department of Water Resources and the Newsom Administration. DWR and the State Water Resources Control Board must find some courage to do the hard work of bringing supply and demand into balance first. We must come to terms with how much industrial agriculture the state can truly support, and we must move forward with a myriad of localized water projects to prepare for our drier climate.”