Federal and state agencies developing the controversial Bay-Delta Conservation Plan pledge to speed up access to the plan’s draft technical comments after state and federal elected officials criticized public access to the plan.
“The Bay-Delta Conservation Plan may propose the largest habitat restoration project ever to be undertaken in the United States in the largest and most important estuary on the west coast of the Americas,” Deputy Interior Secretary David J. Hayes said during a telephone conference with the media Tuesday. “This needs to be done right.”
The Natural Resources Secretary added, “Fish, farmers and the 25 million average Californians who rely on the San Francisco-San Joaquin Delta for water deserve nothing less.”
However, Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, who represents the Lodi area, remains skeptical after hearing Tuesday’s announcement.
“I appreciate this development, but it is a very small step forward,” McNerney said in a news release. “Having access to documents does not guarantee that the concerns of the Delta communities will be considered, and I am resolved to fight against any plan that includes a peripheral canal. The entire process has been conducted in secrecy and without the Delta region represented.”
The pledge for greater transparency in developing the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan was made jointly Tuesday by the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, California Natural Resources Agency and California Department of Water Resources.