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Bay Delta Conservation Plan draft documents to be released
by Dan Bacher
Wednesday Mar 13th, 2013 9:12 AM
The preliminary draft documents of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan will be released in three stages starting on March 14.
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restore_the_delta_media_b...

Bay Delta Conservation Plan draft documents to be released

by Dan Bacher

Beginning Thursday, March 14, the California Natural Resources Agency plans to release a preliminary draft of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels.

A public review draft plan and formal comment period will be announced later this year.

"The preliminary draft chapters will be available for viewing on the day of the release on the BDCP website," according to an announcement on the BDCP website. "The release will occur in three stages and each release will be followed by a public meeting."

BDCP proponents claim the project would meet the co-equal goals of "ecosystem restoration" and "water supply reliability." On the other hand, a broad coalition of fishermen, family farmers, Indian Tribes, environmentalists and elected officials opposes the construction of the twin tunnels because of the big threat they pose to Central Valley chinook salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green and white sturgeon and a host of other fish species.

Millions of fish would continue to be killed in the state and federal water export pumps if the peripheral tunnels proposed under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan were built, according to a groundbreaking new white paper released by the California Sportfishing Alliance (CSPA) and Restore the Delta (RTD) on March 7.

The paper also dispelled the notion promulgated by the state and federal governments that the problem of massive fish kills would be solved by installing some some "magic" new fish screens on the proposed North Delta Intakes. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/07/1192455/-Peripheral-tunnels-could-increase-fish-kills-from-water-exports)

“Proponents of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and its peripheral tunnels suggest that only by diverting water from the Sacramento River can the Delta be restored because of immense fishery losses at the South Delta export pumps," said CSPA Executive Director Bill Jennings, who wrote the white paper. "This is simply incorrect! Fish losses could even increase with the addition of a North Delta diversion point.”

To read the full paper, go to: http://www.restorethedelta.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/CSPA-BDCP-Fish-Screens-Revised.pdf

The anticipated schedule is as follows:

STAGE 1
March 14 BDCP release:
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Existing Ecological Conditions
Chapter 3: Conservation Strategy
Chapter 4: Covered Activities and Associated Federal Actions
March 20 Public Meeting on Chapters 1-4
Ramada Inn, West Sacramento, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

STAGE 2
March 27 BDCP release:
Chapter 5: Effects Analysis
Chapter 6: Plan Implementation
Chapter 7: Implementation Structure
April 4 Public Meeting on Chapters 5-7

STAGE 3
Week of April 22 release:
Chapter 8: Implementation Costs and Funding Sources
Chapter 9: Alternatives to Take
Chapter 10: Integration of Independent Science into BDCP
Chapter 11: List of Preparers
Chapter 12: Glossary
Week of April 29 Public Meeting on Chapters 8-12

For more information, go to: http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/BDCPPlanningProcess/KeyAnnouncements.aspx