[env-trinity] Delta group reveals Brown water bond is not 'tunnels neutral'/Urgent Action Alert: Not one penny for tunnels mitigation
danielbacher at fishsniffer.com
Sat Jun 28 21:41:47 PDT 2014
Delta group reveals Brown water bond is not 'tunnels neutral'
by Dan Bacher
California Governor Jerry Brown earlier this week discussed with state
legislators his outline for a $6 billion water bond to replace the
$11.1 billion bond currently on the November ballot.
His outline for the "Water Action Plan Financing Act of 2014" included
$2 billion for storage, $1.5 billion for watershed protection,
watershed ecoystem restoration and state settlements, $1.5 billion for
water quality and water supply reliability, $500 million for the Delta
and $500 million for statewide flood management.
Brown's proposed bond would be "BDCP (Bay Delta Conservation Plan)
neutral," according to an outline that was circulated to legislators,
some stakeholders and the media.
Responding to Brown's claim, Restore the Delta (RTD), leading
opponents of Governor Brown’s rush to build massive water export
tunnels that mainly serve corporate agribusiness interests in that
Westlands and Kern Water Districts, today rejected the Governor's
assertion that his proposed state water bond principles are “tunnel
neutral." They released proposed bond language that would have
taxpayers foot the bill for the damage from the tunnels project.
The group said the tunnels cannot be built without hundreds of
millions of dollars to fund “mitigation” of the project’s damage,
damage the water-takers refuse to pay, and are foisting onto taxpayers.
“The governor’s water bond is not ‘tunnels neutral,’ and his declaring
it so does not make it true,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, RTD
executive director. “Much in the same way the proponents of the
tunnels project named it the ‘Bay Delta Conservation Plan,’ (BDCP) and
classified construction of the massive 35-mile long tunnels their
primary ‘conservation measure,’ the governor is perverting the meaning
of the English language. We are not fooled, and neither will the
taxpayers who will pay the bill be fooled. This tunnels-enabling
provision would doom the water bond we all need to address our water
RTD released language from the Governor’s bond proposal exposing that
his bond is not "tunnel neutral."
The governor’s proposed Chapter X. Watershed Protection and Ecosystem
Restoration, Section 79735 B, provides that funds will be made
available for ‘habitat restoration’ that is part of the BDCP plan, and
for moving water from willing sellers to habitat areas, a program that
would have taxpayers pay to replace the required water flows exported
by the BDCP tunnels.
RTD released BDCP records obtained through the Freedom of Information
Act showing that the BDCP plans to use bond funds to help fund
purchases over the next 50 years of up to 1.3 million acre feet of
water annually from upstream areas, such as the Sacramento Valley.
“These purchases are needed to make up for over-pumping by the new
water export Tunnels,” said RTD consultant Steve Hopcraft. “Having
taxpayers fund the replacement of Sacramento River and other water
taken by the tunnels is an underhanded, back-door program required to
mitigate the damage the tunnels would cause."
"They can’t get the needed permits without the mitigation. How is that
'tunnels neutral?' The governor’s own poll shows that the water bond
will lose if it is a referendum on the tunnels project. This provision
would be a poison pill and would undermine an otherwise valuable bond
measure," said Hopcraft.
"We don’t want to campaign against the water bond, because we need to
put in place sustainable water policies. But we won’t sit by and let
the governor mislead taxpayers and pretend this funding is not part of
the tunnels financing plan. Just read the language being proposed in
his bond and put 1 + 1 together. The tunnels are not worth tubing the
entire bond, and we urge the legislature to remove this provision and
leave the fight over the Delta tunnels for another day," he stated.
In bond provisions labelled as BDCP ‘restoration’ and ‘habitat’
funding, the public would pay to purchase so-called ‘enhanced
environmental flow’ water from previously identified districts in the
Upper Sacramento River Basin. This would devastate their groundwater
supplies. That same water would be diverted into the new BDCP Tunnels
before it flows into the heart of the Delta.
RTD also released a document obtained through a Public Information Act
request prepared by the State Water Contractors Authority entitled
“Stradling Yocca Carlson and Rauthm.” The February 2014 document
spells out that at this time, there is no financing plan for the BDCP-
DHCCP peripheral water tunnels project.
According to the BDCP-DHCCP public draft, “[s]eparate financing plans,
funding agreements, legislative authority, and other documents will be
needed to enable the use of certain funding sources.” The success of
the project relies on as yet unfunded $4.1 billion dollars from the
California State General Fund [17%] and $3.6 billion from federal
Hopcraft said, "BDCP proponents need this water bond to begin putting
the pieces in place to secure the financing for the project. The Brown
administration knows this, and is trying to bury this funding in their
proposed bond under watershed protection and is misleading the public
describing a 'tunnel neutral' bond."
“What can be worse for Californians than not being able to trust the
Governor to tell us the truth about what funds will be used for in his
proposed water bond during a period of extreme drought?” asked
I called the Governor's Press Office and am still waiting for a
response to Restore the Delta's contention that the Governor's water
bond is not "tunnels neutral."
The Governor’s Office has to date declined to comment on the specifics
of his proposal.
"The Governor is concerned about ongoing debt service and its impact
on future budgets," Brown spokesman Jim Evans said in a statement
From the governor’s proposed water bond:
Chapter X. Watershed Protection and Ecosystem Restoration
79731. This chapter implements activities in action numbers 4 and 9 of
the California Water Action Plan.
79732. The sum of one billion four hundred fifty million dollars
($1,450,000,000) shall be available for the purposes of this chapter.
79733. Projects eligible for funds provided in Section 79732 shall be
available upon appropriation by the Legislature for projects that
protect and restore rivers, lakes and streams, their watersheds and
associated land, water, and other natural resources.
79734. Of the funds provided in Section 79732, six hundred fifty
million dollars ($650,000,000) shall be available for appropriation to
the Natural Resources Agency.
79735. (a) The secretary may directly grant such funds in 79734 to any
nonprofit organization, conservancy, public agency, or any tribal
government or community for activities and programs that are
consistent with and would further existing obligations in state
settlement agreements or any authorized amendment thereto that achieve
the ecological goals described in the California Water Action Plan.
(b) Funds may be used for projects that help fulfill state obligations
to wildlife refuges and wildlife habitat areas under Section 3406(d)
of Title 34 of Public Law 102-575, including the construction,
retrofitting, and maintenance of water supply infrastructure and the
acquisition and conveyance of water supply from willing sellers for
water transfers of not less than 20 years, purchases of water rights,
or other agreements that result in long-term enhancement of habitat
79736. (a) Of the funds provided in Section 79732, eight hundred
million dollars ($800,000,000) shall be available, upon appropriation
by the Legislature, to the State Board and the Department of Fish and
Wildlife for vital species, habitat, or ecosystem restoration
activities statewide and to achieve the protection of water related
species and water quality. The State Board or the Department of Fish
and Wildlife may directly grant to any nonprofit organization,
conservancy, public agency, or any tribal government or community for
activities under this section.
(1) Of the funds provided for in this section, at least $200 million
shall be made available for the enhancement of water flows in stream
systems statewide. These funds may be used to acquire water if (i) the
acquisition involves a long-term water transfer for a term of not less
than 20 years, a purchase of water for instream use, or other
agreement that results in enhanced stream flow such as reservoir
reoperation or conjunctive use programs, and (ii) the Department of
Fish and Wildlife determines that the acquisition, purchase, or
agreement and the use of funds will provide fisheries or ecosystem
benefits or improvements that are greater than required environmental
mitigation measures or compliance obligations. The department shall
consult with the State Board prior to making such a determination.
(2) Of the funds provided for in this section, at least $200 million
shall be made available for ecosystem restoration for projects
statewide. These funds may be used to fund coastal wetland habitat,
watershed restoration, including activities to improve forest health,
restore mountain meadows, modernize stream crossings, reconnect
historical flood plains, install or improve fish screens, provide fish
passages, restore river channels, restore or enhance riparian habitat,
and remove sediment or trash. In allocating funds for projects
pursuant to this paragraph, the State Board and Department of Fish and
Wildlife shall consider the location of projects such that funded
projects are geographically distributed throughout the state.
(b) Where it will either limit the cost of administering an activity
under this chapter, increase the efficiency and effectiveness of an
activity under this chapter, or will prevent unnecessary delay in its
implementation, the Department of Fish and Wildlife shall use existing
programs or procedures when implementing this section, and shall
contract with the State Board for technical assistance and to aid in
implementation of this chapter.
Urgent Action Alert: Tell Jerry Brown Not One Penny for Tunnels
We need to tell Governor Brown we will not sit by and let him mislead
taxpayers.Tell him that we do not want ONE PENNY of taxpayer money
used for the environmental water account to be funded for billionaire
farmers like Stewart Resnick and Westlands mega-growers.
Tell him that we do NOT ONE PENNY of taxpayer money used for "habitat"
that the BDCP admits is experimental and that independent science
groups agree will not save fish without sufficient fresh water flows.
Tell Governor Brown, no tunnels and NOT ONE PENNY for BDCP mitigation.
PLEASE CALL NOW! 916-445-2841! And keep calling the next seven days if
the phone is busy!
SAVE THE DATE! July 29, 2014 "No Delta Tunnels Rally" on the West
Steps of the Capitol! at 11:30 a.m. Let us know if your group would
like a table. Watch for details! Buses will be available!
For more information, go to: http://restorethedelta.org/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Size: 193734 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://www2.dcn.org/pipermail/env-trinity/attachments/20140628/5f50d51c/jerry_brown-0001.png
More information about the env-trinity