Plugging holes in the Delta Plan

While Salazar was speaking in San Francisco to a select group of people who could afford the time to be there, the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) was holding a workshop in Sacramento on the Economic Sustainability Plan & Delta as an Evolving Place. The DSC is holding workshops on different Delta topics, presumably to allow council members to get some wider input.

These workshops are being held in the middle of workdays in the middle of downtown Sacramento, so you can imagine all the input they are NOT getting.

Nevertheless, last week’s workshop on Covered Actions and Governance reportedly got so contentious that the facilitator ended the discussion. At issue was the fact that the Delta Plan doesn’t define “covered action”. The DSC seems prepared to treat a landowner’s plan to build a garage with the same gravity they would assign to a major housing development or urban water diversion facility.

This week the DSC posted a new Covered Actions Web Page with draft Certification of Consistency and Appeals Forms. Still no clear definitions of covered actions. But we’re told that the covered actions matter will be revisited after the EIR is released.

Monday’s workshop on the Delta as an Evolving Place drew council members Fiorini, Johnston, Nottoli, and Gray. (In a perhaps revealing slip of the tongue, Gray referred to the Delta as an “emerging” place.)

Delta Protection Commission Executive Director Mike Machado gave an overview of the Economic Sustainability Plan the Commission released this past summer. DSC Executive Officer Joe Grindstaff then damned the Sustainability Plan with faint praise, calling it a “credible effort.” He said that the economists from the Department of Water Resources think the base information is good, but they disagree with some of the modeling. (Translation: The plan didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear.)

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