Letter: SoCal legislators write Governor & Secretary Jewell, expressing support for BDCP and urging to ‘stay the course’

open_letter_with_arrow_around_it_9212Southern California state legislators have sent a letter to Governor Brown and Secretary Jewell, expressing their support for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and urging them to stay the course with the upcoming release of the documents and subsequent 120-day public comment period.

The letter, signed by Senator Bill Emmerson and 17 other state legislators, notes the dry conditions and says that the Bay Delta Conservation Plan presents California with an opportunity to do a better job of capturing water in the wet years and stabilizing the Delta's ecosystem.

“Failing to enact a plan that achieves California's coequal goals of water supply reliability and Delta restoration will have dramatic, negative economic impacts throughout the state, costing an estimated 1 million jobs and cutting off water supplies for two-thirds of the state's population for potentially up to three years if the Delta region is struck by a natural disaster.

The BDCP is a work in progress, but it shows the most promis of any plan previously proposed for the Delta.

By federal and state law, BDCP must meet the most stringent environmental protections and respect California's water rights system.  The plan is evolving through the most transparent process ever taken, as demonstrated by the release of all administrative draft documents through each step of the BDCP process.  The emerging proposal is designed to safeguard existing water deliveries – not additional supplies – for communities from the Bay Area to Southern California through a conveyance system under the Delta that simultaneously protects drinking water quality and shield supplies from catastrophic events.  It also proposes the most ambitious wide-scale habitat restoration on the western seaboard for the Delta estuary to improve Delta ecosystems that comply with the federal and state Endangered Species Acts. … “

The legislators say although there are a few more details to be worked out, the status quo is no longer an acceptable option.  They urge the Governor and Secretary Jewell to stick to the schedule with the release of the public draft documents and the 120-day comment period, saying it is imperative to move towards finalizing the plan.

Read the full letter here:  SoCal_StateLeg_Letter_11 20 13

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