ECOS/Habitat 2020 Concerns with Latest Delta Tunnel Plan

On April 17, 2020, the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) and Habitat 2020 submitted our comments, under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), on the latest iteration of the Delta Conveyance Project.

Our concerns include the following:

  • Project needs to be defined clearly
  • Appropriate alternatives must be considered for the project as a whole
  • Appropriate Alternatives must be considered for infrastructure components
  • Impact of mechanically assisted flows in the tunnels need to be analyzed
  • Analysis needs to assume that all Reusable Tunnel Material (RTM) will need to be disposed, rather than repurposed
  • Accurate transportation impacts must be provided
  • Impacts to Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge need to be avoided
  • The full impacts of transmission lines need to be included
  • Transmission line strikes need to be analyzed for foraging Sandhill Cranes

Click here to read our letter in full.

Photo above by Osha Meserve

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Save the Delta, Stop the Tunnel

Take Action!

Deadline: April 17, 2020 (Close of Business)

For those of us at home, the feeling of helplessness can be real. BUT we can still help the earth! Right now, you can take action to Save the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Please share! And take care.

Barring another extension, comments on the Department of Water Resources’ Notice of Preparation for the Delta Conveyance Project Environmental Impact Report are now due on April 17th. Please write a short letter asking for a full review of this massive project’s devastating impacts on the environment. Click here for the Delta Conveyance Notice of Preparation, published January 15, 2020. Click here for some previously submitted comment letters.

We encourage you to:

  • educate yourself on the Delta Conveyance Project,
  • share this message; and
  • send an email with your letter, if you can.

Learn More

Click here to learn all about the Delta Conveyance Project, aka “The Tunnel.”



Photos by Osha Meserve.

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Delta Counties Assert that Single Delta Tunnel Project is No Better than Twin Tunnels Water Grab

January 15, 2020
Delta Counties Coalition

Contact:
Elisia De Bord
deborde [at] saccounty [dot] net
(916) 874-4227 (office)
(916) 533-1872 (cell)

The following is from the press release as sent by the County of Sacramento.

In response to the Notice of Preparation by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) for review of a single tunnel through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Don Nottoli, chair of the Delta Counties Coalition (DCC), made the following statement on behalf of the five jurisdictions that would be most negatively impacted including Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano and Yolo Counties:

“It’s been 11 years since the introduction of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan Twin Tunnels proposal, and nearly a year since Governor Newsom’s withdrawal of California WaterFix Twin Tunnels project. It appears DWR is pursuing another inadequate and scientifically flawed project with one tunnel.

For several years, the Delta Counties have participated in good faith with the Natural Resources Agency and DWR, sharing why they don’t support an economically and environmentally costly Delta tunnel project, and suggesting ways to meet state water supply needs without harming the Delta. Today’s announcement does not reflect an understanding of the Delta’s core values or concerns. Clearly, a few meetings and a constrained stakeholder committee run by the tunnel construction joint powers authority are no substitute for real collaboration.

Unfortunately, in the last year, little has been done to address major problems in the Delta, including worsening water quality, crashing fish populations and inadequate maintenance of existing local, state and federal infrastructure needed for a vibrant economy. Alternatives to protect and enhance water supply reliability and better protect fisheries are available that would avoid the devastating impacts on Delta communities, economy and wildlife that would result from the current tunnel proposal. Yet the state has not meaningfully consulted with the Delta counties to develop these alternatives, instead focusing on only a tunnel to route water around the Delta. The State’s claims regarding the probability of Delta levee breaches resulting from earthquakes fall short because comprehensive Delta-focused, peer-reviewed, scientific studies have not been completed.

The health of the Delta – both its communities and the environment – depends on freshwater flows through the Delta from the Sacramento River. The Tunnel proposal would remove a significant amount of those freshwater flows from their natural course through the Delta. A single tunnel could still divert up to nearly half of the average flow of the Sacramento River and make conditions in the Delta worse, not better. Today’s announcement is a missed opportunity to get past the old conflict-ridden rivalries and pursue different and more fruitful approaches that would actually increase statewide water supplies. Instead, it’s more of the same divisive top-down approach pursued by past administrations.”

–End–

2020-01-15 Tunnel NOP statement.pdf

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