[env-trinity] Rep. Matsui asks Governor to postpone BDCP document release
danielbacher at fishsniffer.com
Tue Sep 3 18:11:01 PDT 2013
Photo of Rep. Doris Matsui at a press conference on the banks of the
Sacramento River with other northern California Congress Members on
May 31 by Dan Bacher.
original image ( 5184x3456)
Rep. Matsui asks Governor to postpone BDCP document release
by Dan Bacher
Expressing “deep concerns” regarding the assumption that federal
funding will be required to construct the peripheral tunnels,
Congresswoman Doris Matsui Doris Matsui (CA-06) and six other
Representatives sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown asking him to
postpone the release of Bay Delta Conservation Plan documents.
Representatives George Miller (CA-11), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Jerry
McNerney (CA-09), John Garamendi (CA-03), Anna Eshoo (CA-18) and Ami
Bera (CA-07) also signed the letter.
The state of California plans to release its draft BDCP Plan for
public comment on October 1, 2013, just a month from the date of the
legislators' letter, August 30.
The letter was released a time when a revised tunnel plan, supposedly
developed to have less impact upon North Delta communities, faces
increased scrutiny, due to the destructive impacts it would have upon
sandhilll cranes on Staten Island. (http://www.sacbee.com/
“Given the deep cuts to the federal budget over the past few years
and the parameters of sequestration, the letter expresses concern
with the assumption that federal funding for the BDCP will take over
other important national infrastructure and conservation
priorities,” according to a news release from Matsui’s office.
The legislators point to the BDCP's draft of Chapter 8, which assumes
that up to $4 billion in federal funding will be set aside for the
construction of the BDCP project.
“We believe this is an unrealistic assumption given historical
funding levels of established programs, severe budget cuts, other
commitments by federal agencies for this funding, and our overall
concern that the BDCP process is not being governed by sound
science,” the letter stated.
They said Chapter 8 specifically identifies federal funding accounts
that will require appropriations to specifically be designated for
the BDCP, including the following:
CVPIA – Central Valley Project Improvement Act Restoration Fund
CA Bay-Delta Restoration Appropriations (USBOR)
Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (USFWS)
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (USFWS)
National Coastal Wetlands conservation grants (USFWS)
CA Bay-Delta Restoration Appropriations (USFWS)
Regional Ecosystem Conservation (NMFS)
Estuary Restoration Act (NMFS)
National/Regional Partnership Grants (NMFS)
CA Bay-Delta Restoration Appropriations (NMFS)
CA Bay-Delta Restoration Appropriations (USACE)
San Francisco Bay Area Water Quality Improvement Fund (USEPA)
CA Bay-Delta Restoration Fund (USEPA)
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (NRCS)
Wetlands Reserve Program (NRCS)
CA Bay-Delta Restoration Appropriations (NRCS)
CA Bay-Delta Restoration Appropriations (USGS)
“Despite meetings with senior federal and state officials to discuss
our concerns, we continue to believe the current BDCP plan and
process are deeply flawed and do not warrant federal funding at this
time, especially to the levels called out for in the draft plan," the
letter stated. "Additionally, Northern California stakeholders
continue to be left out of the process. The lack of involvement is
particularly troubling given that the State plans to release its
draft BDCP Plan for public comment on October 1, 2013."
“We request that you postpone the release of the BDCP management
plan until all stakeholders are at the table, sound science is
conducted, and a workable financing plan is developed,” they said.
The complete letter is available here: http://matsui.house.gov/press-
Governor Jerry Brown is fast-tracking the Bay Delta Conservation Plan
(BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels under the Sacramento-San
Joaquin River Delta in order to export massive quantities of water to
corporate agribusiness interests and oil companies seeking to expand
fracking operations in Kern County and coastal areas. (http://
The construction of the tunnels will hasten the extinction of Central
Valley salmon and steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon
and other fish species, as well as pose enormous risk to sandhill
The “changed” Delta plan released on August 14 does not change the
fact that 48 significant and unavoidable impacts that are identified
in the BDCP will be inflicted on Delta communities, fisheries, farms,
and boaters, according to tunnel critics.
“This new proposal does not even consider the significant harm that
would come to sandhill cranes that nest on Staten Island,” said
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta.
“These magnificent birds will do even worse than Delta residents
with around the clock construction noise, traffic, and tunnel muck,
disrupting their nursing areas.”
“Jerry Meral refuses to acknowledge these 48 significant and
unavoidable impacts publicly; he directed Dr. David Sunding to ignore
these impacts in the incomplete economic analysis released last week;
and this latest attempt to sell the plan as improved points to new
disasters in the making,” according to Barrigan-Parrilla.
For more information, go to: http://www.restorethedelta.org.
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