[env-trinity] 'Clean' version of the Delta Plan isn't fooling anybody

Dan Bacher danielbacher at fishsniffer.com
Thu Aug 29 09:30:45 PDT 2013


"Relying on these politicians and water contractors to drum up  
support for the Delta Plan is like Richard Nixon’s cabinet members  
advising him to not worry about the Watergate hulabaloo – it will be  
all right," said Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California  
Sportfishing Protection Alliance.

Photo of the Delta Plan documents courtesy of the Delta Stewardship  


'Clean' version of the Delta Plan isn't fooling anybody

by Dan Bacher

The Delta Stewardship Council Wednesday released what it described as  
a "clean" version of the Final Delta Plan, a controversial document  
now being contested in seven lawsuits by diverse parties ranging from  
the Winnemem Wintu Tribe to the Westlands Water District.

"A clean version of the Final Delta Plan, including an Executive  
Summary, easy to read text, informative graphics, and decorative  
photographs, is available for review and downloading by clicking  
http://deltacouncil.ca.gov/delta-plan-0," the Council proclaimed.

So does that mean that the previous version of the plan was "dirty,"  
as in obscene, corrupt, poorly written, ill-conceived and driven by  
dirty corporate money?

Apparently, the "clean" the Council is referring to is the "cleaning  
up" of the documents that previously featured a lot of crossed out  
and added on language.

Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing  
Protection Alliance and a board member of both the California Water  
Impact Network (C-WIN) and Restore the Delta, wasn't impressed by the  
"clean" documents.

"The Council can put all of the lipstick they can on the pig, but it  
is still a pig, a plan that perpetuates the status quo," Jennings  
quipped. "The plan will not reach either of the coequal goals of  
restoring the Delta or providing water supply reliability."

The same Delta Stewardship Council website lists a number of  
“stakeholders” gushing about the “wonderful” Delta Plan.  
However a quick review of the web page proclaiming “What they’re  
saying about the Delta Plan” displays comments only from pro- 
peripheral tunnel politicians, water contractors and NGOs.

Natural Resources Secretary John Laird, Senate President Pro Tem  
Darrell Steinbeg, Ellen Hanak, Sr. Fellow at the Public Policy  
Institute of California, Tim Quinn, the Executive Director of the  
Association of California Water Agency, Dave Zelzulak of the  
California Department of Fish and Wildlife and others opine about  
the “glories” of the terminally flawed Delta Plan. (http:// 

Steinberg, who was responsible for pushing through the Legislature  
the water policy/water bond creating a clear path to the construction  
of the peripheral tunnels, claims, “The Delta Plan moves the state  
into the 21st Century of sustainable water management.”

Actually, the Delta Plan relies on outdated 19th Century  
“solutions” led by the peripheral tunnel plan to export northern  
California water to corporate agribusiness and oil companies looking  
to expand fracking in California.

Jennings added, “Relying on these politicians and water contractors  
to drum up support for the Delta Plan is like Richard Nixon’s  
cabinet members advising him to not worry about the Watergate  
hulabaloo – it will be all right.”

“It is also akin to King George’s advisers telling him not to  
worry about that little revolt in the colonies,” Jennings noted.

The seven separate lawsuits challenging the Delta Plan include one by  
Westlands Water District; another one by the California Water Impact  
Network (C-WIN), California Sportfishing Protection Alliance,  
AquAlliance, Restore the Delta, Friends of the River and Center for  
Biological Diversity; and yet another one by the North Coast Rivers  
Alliance, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, San  
Francisco Crab Boat Owners Associations and Winnemem Wintu (McCloud  
River) Tribe. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/27/1219548/- 

The City of Stockton; Save the Delta Alliance; Central Delta Water  
Agency, South Delta Water Agency, Local Agencies of the North Delta  
and Lafayette Ranch Inc.; and the State Water Contactors are also  
suing the Council over the plan.

“The Delta Plan violates CEQA in ten different ways,” explained  
Mike Jackson, attorney for C-WIN, Restore the Delta, California  
Sportfishing Protection Alliance, and AquAlliance. “It fails to  
achieve the co-equal goals of Delta ecosystem restoration and water  
supply reliability established by the Act.”

Jackson said the plan ignored three critical documents they were  
obligated to use: a State Water Resources Control Board water flow  
recommendation; a Department of Fish and Wildlife report on  
biological objectives for Delta fish and wildlife species; and the  
Delta Protection Commission’s economic sustainability report. “In  
all three cases, the documents were inconvenient to the approval of  
the tunnels,” he noted.

Yet in spite of the seven lawsuits and widespread opposition to the  
poorly conceived and written Delta Plan, Phil Isenberg, Chair of the  
Delta Stewardship Council, and other members of the Council continue  
to forge ahed with the plan’s implementation.

Isenberg is no stranger to overseeing badly flawed “environmental”  
processes that violate numerous state and federal laws.

He chaired Arnold Schwarzenegger’s corrupt Marine Life Protection  
Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force for the Central Coast. This  
privately funded process created so-called "marine protected areas"  
that fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil spills and offshore  
drilling, pollution, wind and wave energy projects, military testing  
and all human impacts other than fishing and gathering.

His colleague on that task force, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, ended up  
chairing the Initiative’s task force for Southern California. Reheis- 
Boyd is a curious type of “marine guardian,” since she serves as  
President of the Western States Petroleum Association and is leading  
the effort to expand fracking in California, build the Keystone XL  
Pipeline and to eviscerate environmental laws.

Isenberg also chaired Schwarzenegger’s equally flawed Delta Vision  
process that recommended the construction of a peripheral canal or  

Nobody sums up the threat that the peripheral canal or tunnels  
present to the state better than Caleen Sisk, Chief of the Winnemem  
Wintu Tribe.

“The common people will pay for the canal, and a few people will  
make millions,” said Sisk. “It will turn a once pristine water way  
into a sewer pipe. It will be all bad for the fish, the ocean and the  
people of California.” (http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/ 

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