Following today’s (June 28) regular meeting, the Delta Stewardship Council released the following statement from Executive Officer Jessica R. Pearson regarding lawsuits filed in Sacramento Superior Court against its recent amendments to the Delta Plan.
“Following adoption of amendments to the Delta Plan, 17 parties late last month filed four lawsuits against the Delta Stewardship Council challenging the amendments and the associated Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Mostly, these lawsuits serve to illustrate the polarized and uncompromising nature of today’s Delta policy debates.
Adopted by the Council in 2013, the Delta Plan is the State’s comprehensive management plan designed to achieve the coequal goals of improving statewide water supply reliability and protecting and restoring the Delta ecosystem, both done in a way that protects and enhances the unique character of the Delta.
In adopting the Plan, the Council committed to revisiting its recommendations for conveyance should the Bay Delta Conservation Plan fail to proceed by January 2016, updating the priorities for State investments in Delta levees, and refining a set of measures to indicate whether the plan was meeting performance objectives.
The Council kept all three commitments when it adopted the April amendments.
The conveyance, storage, and operations amendment meets a Delta Reform Act requirement to promote options for new and improved infrastructure relating to the water conveyance in the Delta, storage systems, and for the operation of both to achieve the coequal goals.
The Delta Levees Investment Strategy (DLIS) amendment combines risk analysis, economics, engineering, and decision-making techniques to identify funding priorities and a comprehensive investment strategy for the Delta levees.
The third amendment incorporates refined performance measures developed through an extensive public participation process that included implementing agencies, stakeholders and scientists, and will allow the Council to track progress in achieving the coequal goals and to measure effectiveness of the Delta Plan.
The amendments – like the original Delta Plan itself – went through an extensive, transparent, multi-year public process in which many of these parties had participated. In the process, the Council strengthened many protections for the Delta itself, working to reduce the risk of levee failures, reduce the loss of agricultural land to development, and increase mitigation requirements for any projects that are undertaken to meet the State’s coequal goals.
The Council remains committed to defending these amendments and continuing to further the State’s coequal goals through implementation of the Delta Plan.”
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