It’s one thing to streamline environmental reviews for a major project, which happened for the Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento. It’s entirely another to dismiss any environmental lawsuits and prevent others from being filed. That’s what a Southern California congressman is trying to do, to clear the path for the highly contentious $17 billion Delta tunnels project.
A congressman set off a legislative bomb in California’s water wars last week. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) inserted a rider into an Interior Department appropriations bill that would exempt from all judicial review the intensely contested Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta twin tunnels project.
If you care about the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta or protecting California water rights, you should be very alarmed by something that just happened 3,000 miles away in the halls of Congress. Backed by southern California interests, the House Appropriations Committee just unveiled the fiscal year 2019 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill.
Today [May 17] the Department of Water Resources (DWR) entered into a Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement with the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA), forming a partnership for the design and construction of California WaterFix. “This agreement signals a key step toward implementation of WaterFix, and this partnership represents a true collaboration in the best interests of California,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth.
Get outta here. A Southern California congressman has slipped a rider into a federal spending bill that would exempt the Delta tunnels from lawsuits — pause to hear water attorneys howling like coyotes — including suits already brought by the city of Stockton and county of San Joaquin.
The House Interior Appropriations Committee, led by Rep. Calvert, have included a rider in the Fiscal year 2019 Interior Appropriations bill (Section 437) that would exempt the California WaterFix project from judicial review under state or federal law. This legislative rider would preempt state law as well as precluding judicial review under federal law (so much for State’s rights, eh?).
On Tuesday, veteran Rep. Ken Calvert of Riverside County released a 142-page draft spending bill for fiscal year 2019 for the Interior Department and related agencies. Tucked into the bill, on page 141, is a brief provision that would prohibit state or federal lawsuits against “the Final Environmental Impact Report/Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan/California Water Fix … and any resulting agency decision, record of decision, or similar determination.”
California WaterFix marked several key milestones last year and in recent months, including the completion of the State’s environmental review process, productive collaboration on cost allocation among the State Water Contractors, and the advancement of promising implementation and financing options. Final permitting for WaterFix is on the horizon and implementation is imminent.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and two other water districts that agreed to fund the California Waterfix tunnel project announced today [May 14] the formation of a public agency that will be charged with its design and construction. … The California Department of Water Resources also announced that it has created the Delta Conveyance Office …
Before the midday heat had set in, Jeff Cann and Tim Kroeker were out of their Dodge pickup, trudging through waist-deep water in waders and rubber boots. The two wildlife biologists had come to this vast expanse of sun-soaked Central Valley wetlands on a recent morning to check in on the first traps that California has authorized in its nascent effort to hunt — and exterminate — the nutria.
If Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers want voters to weigh in this year on a multibillion-dollar water bond – a big if – they will need to compromise on what may seem like an arcane point: Who controls the money earmarked for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta?
San Joaquin County supervisors agreed Tuesday to oppose Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin tunnels project – for the second time – and to send nearly 100 pages of highly critical comments to state and federal officials.
Agencies from San Joaquin and Contra Costa counties to NASA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture formed an invasive-weed task force seeking holistic, more comprehensive solutions to free the Delta from its oppressors.
Seventy-plus years later, [Whitey] Rasmussen is still tying his own feathered flies and crafting his own lures, still using them to catch his own trophy fish, and still telling some great stories in a way that only an ex-Navy man can. But Rasmussen is more than a storyteller.