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California | Central Valley | Environment & Forest Defense | Government & Elections

Bay Delta Conservation Plan Lacks Implementation Agreement
by Dan Bacher
Wednesday May 7th, 2014 8:16 AM
"State and Federal Water Contractors have refused to make binding commitments to ensure species recovery nor have they agreed on how to finance or operate the tunnels project that has only been 10% designed,” said Restore the Delta (RTD) Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla.

Photo by Karen Medders.
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Bay Delta Conservation Plan Lacks Implementation Agreement

by Dan Bacher

There are just 39 days remaining for public examination and comment, but the parties involved in the creation, planning and implementation of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels have failed to reveal a binding Implementation Agreement (IA) showing how the Delta tunnels project will be financed, built or operated, according to Restore the Delta (RTD).

"The continuing failure to file the agreement with specificity and detail highlights the unwillingness of water exporters to document a commitment to funding construction and mitigation costs for the proposed Delta tunnels project," said Restore the Delta (RTD) Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla. "Specific financing information for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan has not been included in the 40,000 page BDPC Plan and corresponding EIR."

“State and Federal Water Contractors have refused to make binding commitments to ensure species recovery nor have they agreed on how to finance or operate the tunnels project that has only been 10% designed,” Barrigan-Parrilla said. “The cost of this project has ballooned so high that many of the water exporters are already backing away from paying their share of costs. We hope that when the governor and water exporters finally see the real BDCP cost numbers, they will join us in advocating for more reasonable alternatives.”

The construction of the twin tunnels would hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations of the Trinity and Klamath rivers. The water diverted from the Sacramento River through the tunnels would go to corporate agribusiness interests farming toxic, drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, oil companies conducting fracking and steam injection operations in Kern County, and Southern California water agencies.

Restore the Delta to Host Anti-Tunnels Comment Party

As the deadline for BDCP public comments looms, Restore the Delta (RTD) will host a "Public Comment Party" on Tuesday, May 13, to "complete more than one hundred citizens' comments against the proposed tunnels," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla.

The event will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Reserve at Spanos Park, Mt. Diablo Room 6301 W. Eight Mile Rd., Stockton.

People have just a few weeks left to respond to the Brown Administration's 40,000 page proposed BDCP Plan. "It's nearly impossible for a concerned citizen to review and digest this avalanche of information, and misinformation, alone," said Barrigan-Parrilla. "We call all concerned citizens to write comment letters, and be counted. RTD will provide examples and instructions on how to identify impacts on your property, business and communities. Walk out with your comment letter!"

RTD will provide a list of areas of concern affecting all area residents, and will have experts in attendance to explain potential negative impacts. Here is a sample BDCP response letter that residents can personalize and submit: http://restorethedelta.org/form-letter-for-bdcp-public-comment-letter-funding/

Refreshments will be provided. RSVP & letter writing information, language translators or childcare can be arranged: stina [at] restorethedelta.org or call (209) 475-9550. (RSVP is encouraged, but not required.) This event is NOT open to state or federal officials and land management organizations, water agency representatives from outside the Delta, or participants in the BDCP.

Press Contacts: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546; steve [at] hopcraft.com; Twitter: @shopcraft; @MrSandHillCrane; Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla 209/479-2053 barbara [at] restorethedelta.org; Twitter: @RestoretheDelta

Restore the Delta is a 15,000-member grassroots organization committed to making the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable to benefit all of California. Restore the Delta works to improve water quality so that fisheries and farming can thrive together again in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.http://www.restorethedelta.org