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Environmental Water Caucus slams suspension of CEQA in drought declaration
Dan Bacher
The California Environmental Water Caucus on January 19 issued a press release commending the "emphasis on conservation" in Governor Brown's 20 point drought declaration, but criticizing five of the points as "wolves in sheep's clothing," particularly Directive 4 that directs state agencies to expedite the processing of water transfers and Directive 9 that effectively suspends the California Environmental Water Quality Act. “This overreaching and throwing out the baby with the bath water in Directives 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10 is unnecessary when the real emphasis should be on permanent conservation at all levels – households, industry and agriculture” said Nick Di Croce, Facilitator of the Environmental Water Caucus. “The need for more conservation and greater efficiencies in water management should not result in abrogation of equally needed environmental safeguards benefitting both humans and other species, including fish." Environmental groups, fishing organizations and consumer groups have also blasted the Governor for fast tracking his Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels and promoting the expansion of water-polluting fracking when we are in an unprecedented drought. “Governor Brown can’t make it rain, but he can put a moratorium on fracking and he can stop his tunnels project,” summed up Adam Scow, California Campaign Director of Food and Water Watch. “The Governor’s current water and energy policies will only worsen our current climate and water crisis.” NOAA satellite photo of the snowpack in California and Nevada on January 13, 2013 compared to January 13, 2014.

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