ICYMI 3/21/23 EPA on Delta Tunnel, KQED, Boswell v. Allensworth, Bay-Delta Plan/VAs 

Region 9 of US EPA comments on the Delta Tunnel (DEIS) – 3/16/23
From the comments:
“… the Delta is already experiencing degraded conditions due to insufficient inflow, increased surface water temperatures, invasive animal and plant species, harmful algal blooms, and sea level rise. As described in the Draft EIS and Draft EIR, the proposed project will not ameliorate any of these stressors and is likely to exacerbate many of them.” 
“The operation of the Proposed Project has potential to increase the extent of ecological impacts already impacting the Delta and Sacramento River, including salinity, temperature, nutrients, and chemical contaminants.”
“Given that the status of many Delta fish species is threatened, endangered, or other description of imperilment, further diversion of Sacramento River water under the Project could very well lead to greater impairment or extinction.”
Lessons from Pajaro: How to Better Support Vulnerable Communities as Climate Change Intensifies – KQED Forum 3/20/23
During last week’s atmospheric river storm, a levee broke on the Pajaro River, turning the town of Pajaro – inhabited mostly by Latino farmworkers – into a lake. As the LA Times reported, officials knew for decades that the levee was unstable, but delayed fixing it because of “benefit-cost ratios.” We’ll talk with community representatives and water management experts about what Pajaro residents are facing now, and how decisions are made that determine which communities are protected. As climate change brings more extreme weather events and flooding, we discuss what changes need to be made to protect vulnerable communities through the coming decades.
Guests: Luis Alejo, Monterey County Supervisor, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director, Restore the Delta, Mark Strudley, executive director, Pajaro Regional Flood Management Agency

Restore the Delta is paying it forward with a donation to the flooded residents of Allensworth. They need our help now, our region may need help from flooding soon. Please join us and donate here.

‘We need to stop the water’: A California town’s frantic fight to save itself – LA Times 3/18/23
Mitchell said he believes the levee breach was caused by someone intentionally cutting through the earthen barrier with machinery.
“They did it with a backhoe with a big skip-loader. We tracked it down,” Mitchell said. “We know who’s done it.”
Mitchell said he hopes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or other authorities will come in to “take charge” and help the area “start getting rid of this floodwater.”
“We need some help from higher up because out of another creek, the water is just getting there, and it’s going to hit us hard,” he said.
Some landowners have been trying to keep floodwaters off their acreage, Mitchell said, including one that used a large piece of equipment to block a channel.
“They just don’t want to give up any ground, but they’d rather flood everywhere except where it’s supposed to go,” Mitchell said.
Threats of arrest force hard decisions on Poso Creek, which could swamp two towns– SJV Water 3/20/23
But the caller early Monday wasn’t asking for a dozer. Instead, the person issued a warning: “We have papers drawn up and if you move the land plane or cut into the Homeland, you’ll immediately be arrested and thrown in jail,” Mitchell recalled.
The “land plane” is a piece of heavy equipment that was dragged onto the banks of the Homeland Canal, owned by the J.G. Boswell company, at the southern edge of Tulare Lake to prevent a cut into the canal to drain flood water from Poso Creek.
State Water Board Listening Session on Bay-Delta planning and VAs
Monday, March 27, 2023, from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
The State Water Resources Control Board staff will hold a public listening session intended to receive input from environmental interests, representatives of economically disadvantaged communities, and black, indigenous, and people of color organizations on the Board’s current efforts to update and implement the Bay-Delta Plan, including consideration of possible Voluntary Agreements to those update and implementation efforts. 
The listening session will open with remarks from Chair Esquivel and a presentation by staff from the State Water Board on its Bay-Delta planning and implementation, with additional information on proposed Voluntary Agreements from staff with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and California Department of Water Resources. Participants will then have the opportunity to provide input and ask questions. 
 If you wish to speak during the listening session, please register for and join the listening session via the Zoom online platform. You may register for the Zoom meeting here
 If you wish to view the listening session only, a webcast will be available at here
The listening session will be recorded and posted to the Bay-Delta Program webpage.
Questions regarding the listening session please email to State Water Board staff.

Related Posts