Opponents of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan launched a campaign against the proposed water export tunnels on Monday, the same day the plan’s environmental impact report was released and slightly ahead of the start of a four-month long public comment period on the EIR.
Californians for a Fair Water Policy, a statewide coalition opposing the governor’s plan, said the tunnels have many “fatal flaws,” would be too costly and do nothing to create regional self-reliance.
The public will have 120 days, beginning Dec. 13, to submit input on the 25,000-page EIR.
Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, said the public comment period will be an interesting process. He said he has no doubt some sort of legal action will be filed for violating the Endangered Species Act and California Water Code.
Opponents have said a number of native species in the Delta will be harmed or endangered by the BDCP, including the California red-legged frog, the California clapper rail and the Delta and longfin smelt, among others.
“In the final analysis, BDCP is a blatant water grab and represents an insidious attack by powerful special interests in the south state on the fisheries, farms, communities and future prosperity of California,” Jennings said.
“The release of these documents show that Gov. Brown continues to ignore Delta farmers, families and small business owners,” Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, said of the plan. “Our region has been left out the process, and this current plan, which ignores sound science and will cost billions of dollars, will destroy the Delta. We must work toward a plan that will benefit all of California.”
The BDCP involves building two tunnels to transport water from the Delta to Southern California.
State officials have said the BDCP is estimated to cost about $25 million, but opponents say it could cost as much as $50 million.
Member agencies of Californians for a Fair Water Policy will hold a rally on the steps of the State Capitol at noon Friday. The public is invited to attend.