Restore the Delta

Update on CEQA and Budget Trailers

Restore the Delta has been tracking what is happening in Sacramento with the aid of several partner organizations. Language and bills have evolved. Here is what we have learned. Thanks to leadership in both the State Assembly and Senate, they have curtailed the Newsom Administration’s efforts to loosen up CEQA requirements for Delta tunnel construction. We are grateful to the California Legislature for putting up these guard rails. The CEQA provision in the trailer bill could apply to the adoption of regulations by state agencies to large-scale habitat restoration projects. The new adopted language makes clear that the CEQA exemption “does not apply to a project that includes construction activities, except for construction activities solely related to habitat restoration.”  In addition, the trailer [...]

ACTION ALERT UPDATE: No Delta Tunnel in the CEQA Exemption Bill!

As we stated in our Sunday newsletter, the Newsom Administration is trying to move forward with disingenuous Delta watershed restoration bills that replace water with habitat (instead of doing both).  This is part of their full court press to create “voluntary agreements” to fill the Delta tunnel.  We need you to call your legislator and Governor Newsom’s office to express opposition to the following two bills: In Section 23 of SB 155 published Sunday is current wording re  CEQA exemption for habitat projects: section 10 of SB 170 published today is funding for habitat projects: What they are proposing completely disregards the needs of Delta communities for healthy water quality and quantity. Furthermore, as explained Sunday, it will allow a political appointee of any and [...]

ACTION ALERT: No Delta Tunnel in the CEQA Exemption Trailer!

Govenor Newsom is trying to slip in pro-tunnel language into the CEQA exemption trailer. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) generally requires state and local government agencies to inform decision makers and the public about the potential environmental impacts of proposed projects, and to reduce those environmental impacts to the extent feasible. Call your legislator and Governor Newsom and tell them #NoDeltaTunnel in the CEQA reform bill. 1. Contact your legislator here. Enter your address and it will show you who your State Senator and State Assemblymember are, with links to each of their websites and contact information.2. Contact Governor Newsom’s office:  Via Email: Through his website, scroll down to the email submission form. Via Phone: (916) 445-2841Via Twitter: @CAGovernor  Yours in action,Restore the Delta

DELTA FLOWS: About a Cosmonaut and the Delta Conveyance Project

by Tim Stroshane, Policy Analyst, Restore the DeltaAfter the Wednesday evening “climate change” edition webinar for the Delta Conveyance Project presented by the California Department of Water Resources, I found myself remembering the Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. In the spring of 1967, Komarov gave his life for the Soviet space “team.” When I was nine and a half, the Soviet Union sent Komarov into space in Soyuz 1, even though the Soviet leadership of their space agency and the political class knew that its rocket and space capsule had numerous design flaws that were not resolved before launch. Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet Premier at the time, wanted the mission to happen before May 1, 1967, the 50th anniversary of the Russian Revolution [...]

Environmental, Tribal, and Fishing groups oppose so-called “Voluntary Agreements” for the Bay-Delta

For Immediate Release: 8/5/21 Contact: Tim Stroshane, Restore the Delta, 510-847-7556, [email protected] SACRAMENTO – On August 3rd, Restore the Delta signed on to an environmental water coalition letter to all 120 state legislators—40 in the state senate, and 80 in the assembly—opposing Governor Gavin Newsom’s requests for nearly half a billion dollars in funding to the state budget for “voluntary agreements” (or VAs) concerning Sacramento River flows and water quality objectives.  A total of 21 environmental, tribal, and fishing groups joined in signing the letter. The letter informs legislators that the voluntary agreements process is “woefully inadequate.”Read a Defenders of Wildlife brackgrounder on the VAs here. Voluntary Agreements or Regulatory Delay Tactic? Begun in December 2018 as a delaying tactic by senior water right holders, and supported [...]

Water Diversions in Bay-Delta Watershed Curtailed

SACRAMENTO (August 3, 2021) – Tonight the State Water Resources Control Board adopted emergency regulations that will authorize water diversion curtailment orders for the Bay-Delta watershed—reaching from near to the Oregon border to Mendota and Fresno area along the San Joaquin River.

Local, State, and Federal Governments Failing to Protect Delta Residents from HABs

For Immediate Release: July 28, 2021Contact: Mariah Looney, (209) 851-0270, [email protected] STOCKTON, CA – As reported by California State Water Resources Control Board staff, as of 7/27/21, there are more than two dozen outbreaks of harmful algal blooms (HABs) presently in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.   Most of these reported levels of cyanobacteria range between “cautionary” to “dangerous.” The majority of the outbreaks are occurring in San Joaquin and Contra Costa Counties, with two outbreaks identified in the Sacramento County portion of the Delta. (To track HABs in California use the bookmark here.) Restore the Delta’s Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said: “We commend State Water Resources Control Board staff for their extensive work and assistance in tracking the multiple HABs outbreaks in the Delta. Our disappointment lies with the Newsom Administration’s [...]

ACTION ALERT: Federal Water Infrastructure Bill

Please contact Senator Padilla’s Office today regarding Senator Manchin’s draft water section in the infrastructure bill. While there are necessary items in the infrastructure bill, Senator Dianne Feinstein (who does not serve on the Energy and Water Committee) drafted this water section for Senator Manchin and loaded it up with big dam projects that will not help solve our drought challenges in California.Please let Senator Padilla know that infrastructure that promotes water reuse, recycling, clean up, conservation, floodplain capture and flood control, groundwater banking, and technology are cost-effective ways to put more water in the system with California’s extended droughts — not empty dams that release methane into the air — and that will be dry most of the time. Attached is [...]

Governor asks Californians to voluntarily cut water use, Restore the Delta reax

For Immediate Release: 7/8/21Contact:Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected], CA – Today, Governor Newsom asked Californians to voluntarily cut how much water they use by 15%.Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta response:“Governor Newsom’s response to the drought is too little too late. Restore the Delta and our coalition partners began warning state agencies and the Newsom Administration at the end of 2020 to plan for these drought conditions.  “Senior management at DWR and the California Natural Resources Agency have given the Governor bad advice. They let too much of the water out of the system for industrial agriculture users — who only contribute 2 to 3% of the state’s GDP. Our water resources and public trust resources like salmon fisheries have been squandered for almonds and other [...]

DROUGHT: Coalition Opposes Temporary Urgency Changes for CVP and SWP

For Immediate Release: 6/29/21Contact:Tim Stroshane, Restore the Delta 510-847-7556, [email protected] STOCKTON, CA – A coalition of Delta-based groups has sent a formal Petition for Reconsideration to the State Water Board opposing the Board’s June 1 order to relax water quality standards for Delta operations of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project. The Temporary Urgency Change Order (TUCO) was issued by the Water Board on June 1, 2021. “The State Water Board issued its order before receiving all public input, including from our coalition,” said  Tim Stroshane, policy analyst with Restore the Delta. (RTD was joined in the reconsideration request by Little Manila Rising and Save California Salmon. “We insist they reconsider their order to take account of deliveries they made to northern California [...]