DELTA TUNNELS – Public Demands More Time for Review

For Immediate Release: 7/16/2015

Bob Wright – Senior Counsel, Friends of the River 916-442-3155 x207
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta 209-479-2053
Conner Everts – Environmental Water Caucus 310-804-6615

DELTA TUNNELS – Public Demands More Time for Review
Expedited process makes informed feedback on massive plan “virtually impossible.”

Sacramento, CA – In a letter sent to federal and state agencies today, a broad coalition of nonprofit environmental and community organizations, and California Indian Tribes called for more time for the public to consider “one of the most controversial public works projects in California history.”

Read the letter here:

The letter sent today to the Department of the Interior, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, California Natural Resources Agency, and the California Department of Water Resources decried the accelerated 45-day public comment period and seeks an extension to a standard 120-day comment period that will close on November 14, 2015.

In the letter, the groups say:

“The short public comment period looks like a deliberate effort to make it virtually impossible for members of the public to be able to comprehend and respond with meaningful comments on the new NEPA and CEQP document. The BDCP agencies took almost one year to prepare the new documents and there is no public need for haste in providing too short a comment period.”

The groups note that despite more than 18,000 public comments on the original draft EIR/EIS, and despite repeated requests since December 2013, officials have refused to post any of the detailed comments by organizations or public agencies on the BDCP website.

“This deliberate concealment of independent and contrary views and information from the public also now makes it more difficult for the public to prepare meaningful comments on the new NEPA and CEQA documents…. Moreover, comments such as those from the EPA and Army Corps constitute critical new information that would be the foundation for many informed comments at this time.”

The letter also notes that the Department of Water Resources has declared it will not produce technical documents requested by public interest groups until August 28, 2015, just three days before the 45-day comment period ends.

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