News Worth Noting, BDCP edition: Congressmen Garamendi & Huffman, The Bay Institute, Golden Gate Salmon Assn, and NRDC comment on the close of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan public review period

garamendiCongressman Garamendi Argues BDCP’s Twin Tunnels Project Fails to Include Full Range of Better Alternatives as Required by State & Federal Law in Public Comments for Environmental Report: Yesterday, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a leader on water policy in California, released his public comments to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on the Governor’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan‘s (BDCP) proposed twin tunnels boondoggle.  “The twin tunnels project is being unilaterally implemented under authority claimed through the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), which is ironic given how destructive the tunnels will be to the Delta and how they completely fail to meet the law’s co-equal goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem restoration,” Garamendi said. The comments were submitted for consideration as NMFS constructs a Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement on the BDCP. In his remarks, Congressman Garamendi argues that the BDCP’s public process failed to account for a full range of alternatives to the Governor’s preferred twin tunnels, and that it does not meet the state’s mandate of coequal goals , which puts it in violation of state and federal law. ... ”  Read more from Congressman Garamendi here: Congressman Garamendi Argues BDCP’s Twin Tunnels Project Fails to Include Full Range of Better Alternatives as Required by State & Federal Law in Public Comments for Environmental Report

Jared_Huffman,_Official_portrait,_113th_CongressHuffman leads Northern California Letter Opposing Bay Delta Conservation Plan: Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today led a letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) outlining a strong opposition to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). The letter, cosigned by California Reps. George Miller, Mike Thompson, Doris Matsui, John Garamendi, Barbara Lee, Jackie Speier, and Jerry McNerney, was offered as part of the public review and comment period, which ends today.  The letter states: “Implementing the BDCP as presently described would be far too expensive, it would undermine the health of the Bay-Delta estuary and Northern California fisheries, it would harm tribes as well as communities in the Bay-Delta region, and it would violate numerous state and federal laws – including several laws that the authors of this letter have written and championed.” … ”  Read more from Congressman Jared Huffman’s website here: Huffman leads Northern California Letter Opposing Bay Delta Conservation Plan

bay instituteDraft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) Would Devastate San Francisco Estuary, Central Valley Rivers, and Water Quality: “Today, The Bay Institute released a comprehensive review of the draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and its associated environmental documentation (draft Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Impact Report). BDCP is a proposed Habitat Conservation Plan and Natural Community Conservation Plan that is billed as a means of restoring the Delta ecosystem, including its imperiled salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon populations, while also improving the reliability of water supplies for the water agencies in the San Joaquin Valley and southern California that export water through the giant state and federal water project pumps in the south Delta.  A key feature of the BDCP is a proposal to construct two extremely large tunnels under the Delta that would convey water from the Sacramento River directly to existing export pumping facilities. … ”  Read more from The Bay Institute here:  Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) Would Devastate San Francisco Estuary, Central Valley Rivers, and Water Quality

PrintSalmon Demise Likely Under Proposed Twin Tunnel Plan: “Plans to build a massive new water diversion and conveyance structure in the Delta will spell the end of California’s salmon runs according to comments submitted today by the Golden Gate Salmon Association.  The comments responded to a draft EIR/EIS describing the twin tunnel project. GGSA’s comments echo earlier findings from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service showing the project would greatly damage salmon runs in California’s Central Valley.   “There’s no doubt the current manmade system for diverting Sacramento River delta water south has badly harmed our native fisheries, including our salmon runs.  However, it’s also clear that the state Department of Water Resources and water users south of the Delta have proposed this massive water diversion and twin tunnels that suits their needs and then tried unsuccessfully to manipulate the science to show it won’t wipe out salmon,” said GGSA executive director John McManus. … ”  Read more from the Golden Gate Salmon Association here: Golden Gate Salmon Assn comments on BDCP draft EIR-EIS report today

Click here to visit the NRDC's page on the California drought.The Proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan Is the Wrong Approach for California: As California struggles to respond to one of the worst droughts in generations, we need to do more than shorten our showers and turn off the faucet while brushing our teeth.  California’s water system is broken: The San Francisco Bay- Delta – the largest estuary on the West Coast, which serves as the main switching yard for most of our surface water supply – is suffering an ecological collapse; We’re draining groundwater aquifers around the state at a rate faster than nature can replenish them, causing the land above over-drafted aquifers to collapse and wiping out these natural water storage reservoirs for all time; and more than 80% of our 121 native fish species are on a path to extinction, taking fishing jobs and the livelihoods of fishermen’s families with them, if we don’t do a better job of managing our rivers and streams in the face of myriad threats.  … ”  Continue reading from Kate Poole here:  The Proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan Is the Wrong Approach for California

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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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