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Bay Delta Conservation Plan Forces Byron Relocation
Dan Bacher
The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels is bad for Delta residents, farmers and farmworkers, Indian Tribes, fish, fishermen and the majority of Californians. It is only good for corporate agribusiness interests, oil companies, Southern California water privateers and the 1 percent of 1 percent, the corporate/political elite that rules the state. In a media teleconference today, Restore the Delta detailed the tunnels’ "permanent, significant and unavoidable negative impacts, including the forced relocation of hundreds of Contra Costa County residents." The health impacts that the poorly-conceived plan will have on children, elderly and people with asthma and other conditions are particularly alarming. Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, said, "The Brown Administration admits the tunnels would have '52 Significant and Unavoidable Adverse Impacts' on the Delta region, including permanently degraded groundwater quality, long-term reduction of navigation opportunities, and exposure to unhealthy air quality bad enough in Byron to require people to move in order to avoid an increased cancer risk. Hidden deep in the 40,000 page project proposal, and further buried in a footnote (p.31-13, AQ-13 and fn 6), is the news that Byron area children, elderly and people with conditions like asthma will be so threatened by air toxins from the tunnels project that they would have to leave town. What about the thousands of people just up the road in Brentwood and Discovery Bay?” Governor Jerry Brown's twin tunnel plan will hasten the extinction of Sacramento River Chinook salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers. The so-called "habitat restoration" proposed under the widely-opposed plan will take vast tracts of Delta farmland, some of the most fertile soil on the planet, out of agricultural production in order to continue irrigating mega-farms located on toxic, drainage-impaired land on the west side of the Joaquin Valley. The water destined for the proposed tunnels will also be used by the oil industry for steam injection and fracking operations to extract oil from Monterey Shale deposits in Kern County. The audio of the teleconference is available at: http://restorethedelta.org/details-from-the-update-on-peripheral-tunnels-impacts-teleconference-4-7-14/ Photo of Restore the Delta rally during President Obama's meeting with corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley on February 14. Photo by Dan Bacher.

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