BREAKING: Newsom Guts CEQA for Delta Tunnel

For Immediate Release: 5/19/23

Contact: Tim Stroshane, 510-847-7556,

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, 

Stockton, CA – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced a legislative package and signing an executive order that would “make it easier” for various infrastructure projects including building transportation, clean energy, water, and other infrastructure across the state of California. The proposal aims to shorten the contracting process for bridge and water projects, limit timelines for environmental litigation and simplify permitting for complicated developments in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and elsewhere 

Newsom unveils plan to speed up infrastructure in California – LA Times 5/19/23

Restore the Delta’s Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla released the following statement in response to Governor Newsom’s infrastructure plan.

“Governor Newsom does not respect the people in communities that need environmental protection. During the drought he used emergency rules to destroy Delta water quality and fisheries for tribes and fishing communities. He has now proposed in the May revised budget to subvert rules during flood further weakening water quality protections.

“He raided funding from the San Joaquin Valley drinking water program budget to pay for needed flood protections, pitting region against region, disadvantaged community against disadvantaged community, as he did during the drought, pitting drinking water solutions against tribal and Delta environmental justice community needs for freshwater flows. He has pitted powerful special interest senior water rights holders against the needs of millions of Californians with the voluntary agreement process.

“Now he wants to do away with standard environmental protections to build the Delta tunnel.

“We have never been more disappointed in a California Governor than we are with Governor Newsom. We have repeatedly given him the benefit of the doubt. But sadly, he has no real water management plan to deal with extended drought and flood extremes to meet our climate reality, but instead is choosing to continue with failed ideas from the past to appease his big dollar agriculture donors, like Stewart Resnick.

“How is perpetuating environmental injustice, which harms public and environmental health, really any different than red state governors perpetuating social injustice in their states, which Governor Newsom likes to criticize vigorously. It is time for him to walk the talk in California. Environmental justice is social justice. It is not flowery photo-ops with cool language, while doing the opposite by destroying protective standards by executive order and legislative fiat, while leaving everyday Californians to live with the destructive and polluting impacts.”

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