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Related Categories: California | Central Valley | Environment & Forest Defense
Metropolitan Water District will take re-vote on Delta Tunnels funding July 10
by Dan Bacher
Thursday Jun 7th, 2018 8:31 PM
Metropolitan Water District and Santa Clara Valley Water District ratepayers are strongly opposed to their districts funding the Delta Tunnels, considered by opponents to be the most environmentally devastating public works project in California history.
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In a memo to the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and member agency managers, MWD General Counsel Marcia Scully and General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger today said the powerful agency is planning a re-vote on the funding for the Delta Tunnels on July 10.

The tunnels project, also called the California WaterFix, consists of two huge tunnels 35 miles long that would divert water from the Sacramento River in the North Delta to the South Delta to facilitate the export of Northern California water to agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California water agencies.

The memo and announcement of the re-vote is in response to the Notice of Brown Act Violation and Demand, and California Public Records Act Request, from Food and Water Watch and the First Amendment Coalition on May 7, 2018  

“Following the April 10, 2018 Board meeting at which the Board approved additional funding for California WaterFix and related actions, Food and Water Watch and the First Amendment Coalition sent a notice alleging violations of the Brown Act in connection with that meeting, as well as a request under the California Public Records Act (CPRA),”  wrote Scully and Kightlinger. “The organizations assert that the meeting agenda does not comply with the Brown Act and there were communications among directors before the public meeting that constitute a violation of the Brown Act.”

Today the Metropolitan officials said they are responding to the notice and providing documents in response to the CPRA request

“Metropolitan disagrees with the legal conclusion in the notice,” according to Scully and Kightlinger. “The response explains that the meeting agenda complies with the law. The response also states that Metropolitan acknowledges that while some members of the Board engaged in private communications and stated their own perspectives to other members of the Board in advance of the April 10 meeting.”

“In numerous cases, directors and/or the Member Agencies they represent had also publicly stated their perspectives before and/or after these communications in public meetings, resolutions, and publicly posted correspondence before the April 10 meeting. For these reasons, the private comments did not constitute the reaching of a consensus regarding WaterFix outside of the public’s view,” they wrote.

“Nevertheless, to ensure there is no question concerning the validity of the Board’s consideration of, and its vote on, whether to authorize increased funding of WaterFix, this matter will be presented to the Board anew for consideration and a vote at its regular meeting on July 10, 2018,” said Scully and Kightlinger.

“All members of the Board are advised to refrain from private discussion of, or other communications about, this matter, directly or indirectly, with other members of the Board prior to the discussion at the July 10 Board meeting,” the two officials urged Board Members.

Read Metropolitan’s response to Food and Water Watch and the First Amendment Coalition here: 2018-06-06_MWD_Response Letter

Metropolitan Water District and Santa Clara Valley Water District ratepayers are strongly opposed to their districts funding the Delta Tunnels, considered by opponents to be the most environmentally devastating public works project in California history.

The construction of the tunnels would raise water rates without creating one drop of new water, while hastening the extinction of Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, spring-run Chinook salmon, Delta and long fin smelt, Central Valley steelhead, green sturgeon fisheries. It would destroy San Francisco Bay-Delta and West Coast fisheries, as well as imperil salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers. 

A big round of applause must go to Food and Water Watch and the First Amendment Foundation for making this re-vote possible!

To really understand the Delta Tunnels project, you need to understand the deep links between the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative process and the CaliforniaWaterFix. The MLPA Initiative created the template for the Delta Tunnels process. In both the tunnels and "marine protection" scams, California officials colluded with corporate interests, including Big Oil and Big Ag, to ramrod through a corrupt neoliberal process that makes little or no scientific, financial or economic sense. And in both processes, the media has rarely talked about the real issue - deep regulatory capture - that defines both processes.

For more information, go to: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/10/11/1706280/-The-links-between-Delta-Tunnels-and-faux-marine-protected-areas-are-deep-alarming
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