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McCarthy Letter to Newsom: Back-off and Support the Trump Water Grab

For Immediate Release: 4/8/20Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected], CA – Six Congressional Representatives sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday 4/7/20 to express their “disappointment and serious concerns with the new Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for the Long-Term Operation of the State Water Project that your administration recently issued.”  At issue is how much water the State Water Project will pump to wealthy farm interests in the Southern San Joaquin Valley. The water buffalos of California seem upset that the universally criticized ITP would save ANY flows through the Delta to protect Delta water quality or endangered species of native fish on the brink of extinction.Ag-friendly politicians would prefer the state obey standards created by the Trump administration despite the sham science required to get [...]

ICYMI – George Miller Speaks, COVID19 and the Delta

This weekend, California’s environmental hero Congressman George Miller (ret.) explains what a coherent policy for California Water including dealing with Harmful Algal Blooms in the Delta and a flood plan for Stockton. What Gov. Gavin Newsom needs to do to protect state’s water future – George Miller, SF Chronicle “Today, responding to a global pandemic is every governor’s top priority. When we emerge from this crisis, Gov. Gavin Newsom will face a challenge to ensure California’s future economic and environmental health. In this context, his water policies will represent critical decisions…. “The governor’s suit to block that plan is a good first step. The governor should now direct the state water board to set strong flow standards for the bay-delta ecosystem, [...]

ICYMI: CA Moratorium on Water Shutoffs 4/3/2020

Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order Protecting Homes, Small Businesses from Water Shutoffs – Office of Governor Gavin Newsom 4/2/20SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order that will restrict water shutoffs to homes and small businesses while the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday issued a moratorium on water utility shutoffs due to nonpayment – SacBee April 2, 2020This executive order follows another that Newsom issued on March 16 that, in part, asks the California Public Utilities Commission to monitor measures taken by utility providers “to implement customer service protections for critical utilities,” including water. Coronavirus: Newsom bans water shutoffs for customers with overdue bills – East Bay Times 4/2/20Environmental and civil rights groups have pushed [...]

Press Release: Environmental Coalition Urges California Governor to Maintain Water Quality Regulations During COVID-19 Crisis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Sean Bothwell, California Coastkeeper Alliance 949-291-3401, [email protected] Cristal Gonzalez, Clean Water Action(408) 796-8717, [email protected] Rebecca Bullis, Defenders of Wildlife 202-772-0295, [email protected] Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta 209-479-2053, [email protected] Gwendolyn Tornatore, Save the Bay 415-743-0767, [email protected] April 2, 2020 (Sacramento, CA) – Following last week’s sweeping announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it will suspend enforcement of environmental protection laws due to the current COVID-19 crisis, California environmental groups urge Governor Newsom not to follow the federal government’s lead. The Chair of the California Senate Committee on Transportation has already asked the California Air Resources Board to delay existing regulatory requirements and suspend the development of future regulations related to air quality. Environmental groups are wary that the State Water Resources Control Board [...]

ICYMI: State Water Project Operations Permit Issued 4/1/20

California rules anger water agencies, environmental groups – AP 4/1/20California regulators on Tuesday set new rules about how much water can be taken from the state’s largest rivers, angering water agencies for restricting how much they can take and environmental groups for not making those limits low enough to protect endangered species.CDFW Issues Permit to DWR for Long-Term Operations of the State Water Project – MavensOn March 31, 2020 the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) issued an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) for long-term operations of the State Water Project (SWP). The permit covers four species protected under the California Endangered Species Act: Delta smelt, longfin smelt, winter-run Chinook salmon and spring-run Chinook salmon. [...]

Delta Flows: Transparency Does Not Occur By Declaring Transparency; It Takes Intentional Action

By: Barbara Barrigan-ParrillaThis Delta Flows is brief.  This is what is happening in state and federal water processes during COVID19. We are not pleased with what we are seeing and hearing. But we don’t want to run alerts on our Governor who has more than a full plate, and who is handling the pandemic admirably.  We, however, believe that the California Natural Resources Department and the Department of Water Resources need to hear from all of us, as well as our US Senators and Congressional Representatives.  They need to know what the public expects from them during the pandemic and to understand that transparency is not just a buzzword.  1) DWR will not suspend public processes around tunnel planning as we respectfully demanded.  Please remember [...]

Join us for a webinar on Voluntary Settlement Agreements on Wednesday April 8 at 11:00 AM!

The Voluntary Settlement Agreements are a strategy by local, state, and federal water agencies and water right holders to delay full implementation of flows that mimic natural conditions to and through the Delta. For background, RTD policy analyst Tim Stroshane will cover basic Central Valley hydrology and water quality, an introduction to the structure and history of Delta water quality planning, and a brief history of how protection of Delta water quality has been delayed. Process, organizing, and public responses will be discussed by Barbara Barrigan-ParrillaTo sign up for this webinar, please click here.

In Case You Missed It: Our Letter to DWR and CA Natural Resources – “Cessation of Delta Conveyance Project Actions During Novel Coronavirus Pandemic”

Today, Restore the Delta and Sierra Club California sent a letter to Karla Nemeth, Director of California Department of Water Resources, and Wade Crowfoot, Secretary of California Natural Resources Agency, to demand—respectfully—that the California Natural Resources Agency and DWR suspend and cease all Delta Conveyance Project (DCP) activity that entails actions by state and federal agencies on the DCP during the duration of the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic emergency. There is plenty of other work that may proceed in the absence of such actions from other agencies. But there is no justification for DCP to seek and receive benefit of other agencies’ actions for which public participation is critical, and during the pandemic, scarce and distracted.Read the full letter here.

Action Alert: Ask the Central Valley Flood Protection Board to Delay “Statement of No Objection” Vote for 60 days!

The Central Valley Flood Protection Board’s Mar 27th Meeting, during a pandemic, includes —  Consent item 5D regarding the Delta Tunnel, a “Statement of No Objection”.   Our letter explains that the Central Valley Regional Flood Board should hold off moving forward with a request to the Army Corps of Engineers regarding flood analysis and the Delta tunnel for 60 days to give the public a chance to weigh in during the pandemic. We ask that the Central Valley Flood Protection Board pull this item from the Consent Calendar simply because its approval will send the wrong signal to the California public during the novel coronavirus pandemic that a project like DCP should continue at a time when the public’s attention, including those of environmental justice communities [...]

OPEN LETTER: No Water Shutoffs in California During the COVID-19 Crisis

Dear Public Water Agency Board Members and Management Teams: In light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in California, our request to you today is very simple. We are asking you to do two things as a sign of solidarity, support, and care for your ratepayers.  First, whether you represent a retail water agency, a special interest district that sells water supplies to agencies for municipal and industrial use, or an association of water agencies, we ask you to quickly develop and communicate a water service shutoff moratorium in response to the COVID-19 crisis.   Water for handwashing and general household cleaning is essential to stop the spread of the disease and to save lives. With hundreds of thousands of Californians applying for [...]