THIS JUST IN … Secretary Laird sends letter opposing riders to exempt Cal Water Fix and other water projects from judicial review

“Any proposal to exempt water projects from judicial review would violate due process and undermine public confidence,” he writes.

Secretary Laird send this letter today to members on the Senate and House committees on appropriations:

“I am writing to express opposition to recent attempts by Congress to circumvent California’s water management framework by adding riders to the Appropriations bill. Particularly concerning are efforts to preclude judicial review for the California WaterFix and other water operations, and to prohibit the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from fulfilling its obligations to comply with the Bay-Delta Plan. The latter measure would upend California water rights and shift the Bureau’s obligations to other water right holders.

California is committed to managing water and advancing water infrastructure projects in an environmentally sustainable, fiscally responsible and transparent way. Any proposal to exempt water projects from judicial review would violate due process and undermine public confidence.

Our ability to effectively and thoughtfully manage water requires balancing the needs of people, ecosystems, and the economy. Upsetting carefully negotiated agreements has the danger of weakening public confidence in projects advanced by the state.

The additional pressures of climate change require that regulatory processes remain intact to secure both a resilient water supply and functioning ecosystems.

For these reasons, I urge you to pursue solutions that work collaboratively with the state’s water management framework and that do not sidestep the rights of due process or existing federal and state regulatory structures. Any congressional attempt to weaken environmental priorities, undermine federal and state laws or circumvent judicial review is not in the best interest of Californians.”

View the full letter here.

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