[env-trinity] PCL Statement on Supreme Court CALFED Decision

Tom Stokely tstokely at trinityalps.net
Fri Jun 6 11:42:34 PDT 2008


     

           


            NEWS RELEASE

            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                          Contact: Mindy McIntyre, 916 541-8825
            June 5, 2008

            Planning and Conservation League Issues Statement on California Supreme Court Bay Delta Decision

            (SACRAMENTO) - The Planning and Conservation League, a leading statewide conservation advocacy coalition, today issued the following statement from Mindy McIntyre, Water Program Manager regarding the California Supreme Court decision validating the CALFED Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Environmental and farming groups challenged the 2000 CALFED EIR based on the failure of water agencies to examine reduced water exports from the Delta. 

            "Today's decision is a blow to the crumbling Delta ecosystem. The decision is a result of the limited scope of information considered by the Court which excluded recent scientific evidence documenting the dramatic decline in Delta health related to increasing water diversions. As a result, today's decision condones business-as-usual management practices, which have created the Delta crisis in the first place. 

            "Today's unfortunate decision relied on the out-dated information on the health of the Bay Delta and the relationship to water exports that was available in 2000. The Court specifically excluded consideration of scientific findings developed since 2000 that demonstrate the link between increased exports and declining fish populations. The legacy of CALFED clearly demonstrates that increased water exports without regard for the environment produces disaster for both the environment and water supply reliability. We must build on what we have learned from that experience and move forward with new Delta management and water policies that avoid disasters such as the current water crisis." 

            "In the eight years since the CALFED EIR was prepared, we have seen the crash of the Delta smelt and other Delta dependent species, the unprecedented closure of the California salmon fishing season, and a dramatic decline in water supply reliability for those who rely on Delta water. This tragic history clearly dispels the myth that Delta ecosystem restoration can be achieved alongside ever increasing levels of freshwater export. We fully expect that the updated science and lessons learned since 2000 will lead to reduced exports, more sustainable water policies, and better management of the Bay Delta.

            "California must act now to secure a water future that is not as heavily dependent on the fragile Bay Delta Estuary. Water legislation introduced this year, including AB 2153 (Krekorian/Hancock) and AB 2175 (Laird/Feuer), support increased development of water recycling, water efficiency, groundwater protection and restoration, and stormwater capture and provide a path to water security for California. 

            "This Court decision should not be used as an excuse to ignore the impacts of our flawed water policies. We look forward to working with the Governor, legislators, water agencies, businesses, and environmental and environmental justice organizations to implement water policies and actions that are capable of sustaining our people, economy and environment."
            ###

            The Planning and Conservation League, www.pcl.org, partners with hundreds of California environmental organizations to provide a voice in Sacramento for sound planning and responsible environmental policy.  
           
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