ACTION ALERT UPDATE: Time to Oppose the Delta Tunnels at the Delta Stewardship Council!

First off: Congratulations to attorneys Osha Meserve and Tom Keeling whose filings to the Delta Stewardship Council led to Councilmember Maria Mehranian re-recusing herself from voting on the WaterFix Certification of Consistency “in order to avoid any appearance of bias.”  Councilmember Mehranian is a partner at the Cordoba Corporation which sought and lost a contract to work on WaterFix. She also wrote a blog on WaterFix for publication just 60 days prior to being appointed to the Delta Stewardship Council by Governor Brown.  Ms. Mehranian attempted to reverse her recusal after Cordoba did not win the WaterFix contract.  We still believe that these conflicts should disqualify Ms. Mehranian completely from membership on the Council, but for now thanks to the work of Ms. Meserve and Mr. Keeling, she has once again recused herself from voting on the Consistency Determination.

But we still have work to do:  We keep hearing from members who want to send letters to the Delta Stewardship Council instead of attending the hearing. We empathize and understand why.  Please try to attend on 10/26/18.  The details are repeated below.

If sending via mail, please address your comments to:

Jessica Pearson, Executive Director
Delta Stewardship Council
980 Ninth Street, Suite
Sacramento, CA 95814

If sending via email, please address your comments to:
Subject: Comments concerning WaterFix Consistency C20185

If attending in person, which is still the best option:

What:  Public Hearing Regarding Appeals of the Consistency
Certification for CAWaterFix: public comment period
When: Oct. 26th starting at 9 am
Where: Ramada Inn, West Sacramento, Conference Center

Pack a lunch; pack a book and some knitting; charge up your cell phone.  And be ready to stand up for the Delta!

But first you have to do some prep work!

The California Department of Water Resources has filed with the Delta Stewardship Council a “consistency determination” for California Water Fix.  This filing is how DWR will get approval from the Delta Stewardship Council that the Delta tunnels project is consistent with the Council’s Delta Plan. This process checks off a box to move forward with construction of the tunnels.  It’s time to tell the DSC, the project needs to be stopped once and or all.

Of course we know that the Delta tunnels do not meet the standard of co-equal goals set by the Delta Reform Act of 2009.  This is how the DSC is supposed to evaluate WaterFix. Here’s a reminder what that legislation says:

 “‘Coequal goals’ means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place.” (CA Water Code §85054)

Please note the DSC never posts in their materials the part of the Delta Reform Act that calls for reduced reliance on the Delta — something that cannot be achieved by building two 35-mile-long tunnels to divert 9000 cubic feet per second of the Sacramento River. But we can remind them of that criteria.

This is why your public comment is important!  This may be one of the last events in which you can voice to the government your opposition to the Delta tunnels project.

Nine Appeals, including one on behalf of RTD and other coalition partners, of DWR’s consistency determination were  filed with the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC.)

Public comments on why CA WaterFix, the tunnels, does not fit into the DSC’s Delta plan can be made on the morning of October 26th, starting at 9 am.  Comments are to be no longer than 3 minutes.  That’s about 300 prepared words without elaborate introductions or pleasantries.

News flash: Three DSC members have recused themselves from voting on the consistency determination. Two of the three recused because their spouses work for entities tied to CA WaterFix. The recused third for working on water sustainability projects in another part of the state. This leaves four Council members who can vote: Chair Randy Fiorini, Frank Damrell, Mike Gatto, and Skip Thomson. It is important that this smaller version of the Council hears from you!


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