San Joaquin County & City of Stockton Oppose Twin Tunnels Negotiations
From San Joaquin County:
[Monday], San Joaquin County and the City of Stockton denounced a desperate attempt by Governor Brown and the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to resuscitate the Twin Tunnels megaproject through a series of last minute back-room maneuvers.
Residents of the Delta, their elected officials, and other local and statewide stakeholders reject these tactics and call on Governor-elect Newsom to announce an immediate reset of all reckless efforts to quickly push through agreements covertly designed to facilitate the deficient twin tunnels.
“The vast majority of Delta stakeholders are vehemently opposed to these insufficiently vetted eleventh hour deals,” said San Joaquin County Supervisor Kathy Miller. “San Joaquin County is just one of hundreds of affected interests that never had any input into these agreements or other proposals that DWR may have hastily cobbled together with the Bureau of Reclamation and numerous tunnel-friendly water agencies to try to save the ill-conceived tunnels project.”
Supervisor Miller noted: “It’s absurd for the State to declare victory here and assert that some sort of grand statewide water compromise has been negotiated. Especially since the Delta Stewardship Council recently indicated that the twin tunnels proposal is inconsistent with the Delta Plan.”
The Delta Stewardship Council’s recent deliberations recognized the devastation that the massive Tunnels project would wreak on Delta communities. The draft findings confirmed that the proposed project failed to meet the Delta Reform Act’s co-equal goals of improving statewide water supply reliability and restoring the Delta ecosystem; failed to use the best available science; failed to reduce reliance on Delta water supplies, failed to meet Delta flow objectives, and failed to respect local land uses.
“Failing to meet any acceptable environmental standards, DWR was compelled to withdraw its approval request to the Stewardship Council,” said San Joaquin County Supervisor Chuck Winn. “The most critical permits needed to build the tunnels have not yet been issued despite intense political pressure and virtually every approval that has been issued is mired in legal proceedings. This project is nowhere near fully baked.”
Looking forward, San Joaquin County and the City of Stockton urge a fresh look at available solutions to better manage Delta water supplies and the ecosystem while supporting communities around the state. Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs explained. “We all recognize the crisis facing this great estuary. Developing real solutions to this crisis and putting California’s water management system on a sustainable path forward for the Delta and all Californians is both necessary and within reach. That would include sufficient local participation in Delta governance and full compliance with the co-equal goals outlined in the Delta Reform Act. We are eager to work on equitable and long-lasting solutions with the incoming administration and anyone willing to engage in a civil and thoughtful conversation based on facts and transparency.”
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