THIS JUST IN … Trump signs biological opinions; Governor Newsom promises to sue

Photo Credit: DOI Photographer Tami Heilemann

From the Department of the Interior:

Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt joined President Donald Trump and other federal officials in Bakersfield, California for the signing of a Presidential Memorandum supporting more water development and delivery in California.

“President Trump gave the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce clear direction to move forward and provide water to California’s communities and farms,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “Today’s action furthers President Trump’s commitment to America’s hardworking farmers who need water to feed our nation.”

“President Trump told us to make water in the west more reliable, and the Bureau of Reclamation is doing just that,” said Brenda Burman, Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. “Working with partners in California, and using the best available science, we will implement new biological opinions to modernize Central Valley Project operations. We’ve worked hard with our partners to get here, but President Trump has called on us today to do more, so we’ll be out there every day with our partners working to make sure farms, families, communities and fish and wildlife have the water they need to thrive.”

“Thanks to President Trump’s commitment to delivering a more certain and reliable water supply to the west, the farmers, families and communities of the Central Valley will have a greater opportunity to thrive,” said Aurelia Skipwith, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working collaboratively with our partners, has helped move us into the 21st century by using new and real-time science that creates greater efficiency in our water delivery, while addressing the specific needs of protected species and habitats.”

The Presidential Memorandum on Developing and Delivering More Water Supplies in California directs the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality to help deliver and develop more water supplies in California’s Central Valley. Through coordinated efforts, the federal agencies are directed to capture and store more water and provide greater regulatory certainty to agricultural and municipal water users, while improving programs to protect endangered species.

BACKGROUND

The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation issued a new operations plan, which will maximize water deliveries and optimize power generation for communities and farms in California and implement improved measures to protect endangered species and their habitats in the Central Valley.

Issued in 2018, the President’s previous Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West directed the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce to complete a new operations plan to address the fragmented regulation of water infrastructure in California and address inefficiencies, burdens and conflicts in water delivery. The new operations plan brings greater efficiency to water delivery by modifying the coordinated long-term operations of the federally-owned and operated Central Valley Project and the California-owned and operated State Water Project.

Trump OKs more California water for Valley farmers. Gavin Newsom promises to sue

From the Sacramento Bee:

Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a pre-emptive strike against President Donald Trump, said Wednesday he plans to sue Trump’s administration to block a controversial plan to increase water deliveries to the San Joaquin Valley.

Newsom’s office said he “will file legal action in the coming days … to protect highly imperiled fish species close to extinction.”

The announcement came just minutes before Trump appeared in Bakersfield to announce he’s finalized an order removing regulatory roadblocks and enabling the giant Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta pumps to deliver additional water to the southern half of the state.

Click here to continue reading at the Sacramento Bee.

 

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