[env-trinity] Daily Democrat Opinion: Melinda Terry- Propaganda takes the cake on Delta water

Tom Stokely tstokely at att.net
Mon Sep 16 10:42:53 PDT 2013


Propaganda takes the cake on Delta water
CREATED:   09/15/2013 12:30:44 AM PDT

Regarding Gerald Meral's guest opinion of last Sunday, Sept. 8: Boy, I've heard some whoppers before, but Deputy Secretary Meral's propaganda about benefits to Northern California region and endangered species takes the cake. He apparently hasn't read all of the 40,000 pages of the BDCP Plan and EIR/EIS, or he is conveniently omitting mention of some very troubling "Inconvenient Truths" including Table 9-7 "Summary of Change in Take Relative to the BDCP Proposed Action," page 9-20, Plan Chapter 9, which shows that take of covered species, both wildlife and fish, increases under the BDP Proposed Action (Alternative 4) as well as all of the BDCP alternatives that include new conveyance tunnels/canal in North Delta.
The tidal habitat restoration projects would also increase take of 26 covered wildlife species. The fact that BDCP's own documents say that new North Delta conveyance facilities would increase take of covered species is primary reason they should be identified in the HCP/NCCP as a Covered Activity not a Conservation Measure and certainly refutes Meral's claim that "BDCP seeks to aid 57 species through conservation measures."
And how can Meral say BDCP supports the "future survival of an endangered species like Chinook Salmon when more than 40 pages of BDCP "Red Flag" concerns written by U.S. Fish and Wildlife and National Marine Fisheries Service which are posted on BDCP's website, include Comment 1.17 by NMFS that the BDCP's own Effects Analysis indicates the cumulative effects of climate change along with the BDCP Proposed Action "may result in the extirpation of mainstream Sacramento River populations of winter-run and spring-run chinook salmon over the term of the permit."
Extinction of two chinook species is hardly supporting their survival and certainly doesn't mean "the salmon thrive to spawn in local waters for decades to come" as Meral claims.
Finally, his claim that the BDCP "will do no harm to Northern California water rights, biological resources, or communities" according to the 48 "Unavoidable Significant Adverse" impacts imposed on the Delta region according to the BDCP EIR/EIS, including reduced water quality and supply availability due to the construction and operation of the new North Delta conveyance facilities.
Domestic water supply in the North Delta is all provided by wells, but they will be depleted by construction dewatering activities for at least six years and salinity levels will increase in portions of South and Western Delta.
And several Delta communities will live with the shock and awe of intense ground shaking and ear-piercing noise of 30,000 steel pile drive strikes for weeks, months, and years on end during the total 10-year conveyance construction period.
In total, there are 750 environmental impacts identified in EIR/EIS which states in three different chapters that some Delta residents will be forced to abandon their homes without any just compensation because of lowered property values, construction noise and vibration, lack of potable water for everyday living, and inability to farm.
If I had to live in war-like conditions with the occupying forces' construction equipment and muck trucks running 24/7 through my community and steel pile driving feeling and sounding like bombs dropping -- I would abandon my home too.
The EIR/EIS Water Supply Chapter 5 states that reservoir storage for Trinity, Shasta, Folsom, and Oroville would decrease at the end of May and September under BDCP Alternative 4, including operating to a dead pool in some years, which most certainly will harm Northern California water rights, biological resources, and communities -- despite Meral's claims to the contrary. Maybe he needs a new set of reading glasses to read the BDCP documents?
Either Deputy Secretary Meral hasn't read the BDCP documents, he needs better reading glasses, or he's so drunk on the BDCP-Propaganda-Kool-Aid that he doesn't think any Californians should be bothered by pesky little "Inconvenient Truths" such as the possible extirpation of two salmon species and the 48 Unavoidable adverse impacts to the Delta that would be caused if BDCP is implemented as currently written.
All I know is these impacts to the Delta and species is not co-equal under anyone's definition and our state and federal officials promoting the BDCP should be ashamed for hiding these Inconvenient Truths from California citizens. I have another inconvenient truth for Dr. Meral and the other BDCP Proponents: Unavoidable is unacceptable and zero benefits for the Delta equals zero chance of success.
-- Melinda Terry is manager North Delta Water Agency, Sacramento.
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