Secretary Zinke issues call to action for Central Valley Project

On Friday, Secretary Zinke issued a memo calling for specific actions to be taken within 15 days to maximize Central Valley Project deliveries, including streamlining ESA and NEPA consultations, reassessing legal interpretations, identifying infrastructure upgrades, and preparing legislative and litigation measures.

Today, the Central Valley Project is in such a desperate state of disrepair that it cannot effectively achieve its design capacity operations without the assistance of California’s own State Water Project to move water,” Secretary Zinke writes.

The State of California is now proposing additional unacceptable restrictions that further reduce the Department’s ability to deliver water to Federal contractors.  Our operational needs and our environmental regulations must innovate, incorporate best science, implement best practices, and produce greater reliability and better stewardship,” he continues.  “The time for action is now.”

Secretary Zinke then directs the Solicitor, the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Services to prepare an initial plan of action within 15 days that contains options for maximizing water supply deliveries, including incorporating best science into decision making, streamlining ESA and NEPA consultations, moving to construction of new storage, identifying infrastructure improvements necessary to independently operate the CVP, reassessing legal interpretations adopted to 2009, and preparing legislative and litigation measures.

After 10 days of receiving the initial plan of action, the Office of the Deputy Secretary is to provide a final recommendation for action.

Read the memo here:  8.17.18 Memo

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