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The Tunnel NOP Comment Period Ends Tomorrow! Submit Comments by 5 PM on 4/17.

Friends, The extended Delta Conveyance Project Scoping Period ends tomorrow April 17, 2020. People have until 5 PM to submit their comments regarding the tunnel project. How to Comment: All comments received during the scoping period will be considered in the development of the Draft EIR. DWR is seeking public input on the scope of issues to be addressed in the EIR and input about alternatives that meet the project’s objectives. Comments may be submitted in several ways: Email: [email protected] Mail: Department of Water Resources, Attn: Renee Rodriguez, P.O. Box 942836, Sacramento, CA 94236 Fillable online form: View form The NOP and related availability and informational materials can be viewed online or at one of these locations. Comments must be received electronically or postmarked on or before April 17, 2020. Join us [...]

RTD Letter: Pump Operation Plans Must Address Harmful Algal Blooms and Delta Salinity 4/15/20

Yesterday, Restore the Delta sent a comment letter to the State Water Resources Control Board criticizing the Comprehensive Operations Plan (COP) and Monitoring Special Study (MSS) submitted to the SWRCB by the California Department of Water Resources and the United States Bureau of Reclamation The COP and MSS are planning and regulatory documents that are to meet the requirement set forth in the 2018 amendments to the Bay-Delta Plan. However, the submittal to the SWRCB failed to develop modeling studies and flow responses that mitigate harmful algal blooms and the impacts in the South Delta in regard to salinity from operation of the state and federal pumping systems. Restore the Delta asserts that the COP/MSS submittal reads like an afterthought by the Department of [...]

TAKE ACTION: Delta Tunnel NOP Comments Due Friday

Well, we tried.Last week Restore the Delta sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom requesting all “public processes” for the Delta (Tunnel) Conveyance project planning be put on hold during the COVID19 pandemic.The letter outlined the hardships being faced by the Delta community during the pandemic who, “…frankly cannot focus on how one of California’s largest infrastructure projects will impact their community, water supply, and environment.” We asked for a stay of all Delta Conveyance Project public processes until 45 days after the COVID19 pandemic subsides to safe levels.Despite our best efforts to get more time for the COVID-impacted Delta community to learn more about this proposal, the state agencies planning Delta Conveyance Project continue unabated.DEADLINE FOR COMMENTSThis Friday, April 17th at 5 [...]

DELTA TO GOV. NEWSOM: Please Stay Tunnel Planning During Pandemic

For Immediate Release: 4/13/20Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected] Stockton – Restore the Delta has sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom requesting all “public processes” for the Delta (Tunnel) Conveyance planning be put on hold during the COVID19 pandemic. The letter outlines the hardships being faced by the Delta community during the pandemic who, “…frankly cannot focus on how one of California’s largest infrastructure projects will impact their community, water supply, and environment.”Farmers, “…are simply exhausted, and when community organizers attempt to reach them, we are finding that they do not have the intellectual, physical, or emotional bandwidth to think through and comment on the proposed Delta Conveyance Project.”Meanwhile, “…social justice and environmental justice groups have been working to deliver food to [...]

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 [...]