Legislators call for immediate halt to Delta tunnels plan

Friday, April 26, 2013

Top administrator admits tunnels won’t save the Delta

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman joined other Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta legislators calling for a halt to the controversial Bay Delta Conservation Plan, following remarks by Natural Resources Agency Deputy Director Jerry Meral that the plan “has never been about saving the Delta. The Delta cannot be saved.”

Dr. Meral made the remarks while speaking with Tom Stokely of the California Water Impact Network (C-WIN) at a meeting with Northern California's Native American Tribes on Monday, April 15.

In response to his reported remarks, Eggman released the following statement: “Dr. Meral only says what we in San Joaquin County have always known: This plan has nothing to do with saving the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and everything to do with shipping water south. But the Delta can be saved, and there are good faith plans to do so. We must study those plans that do aim to meet the co-equal goals of protecting the Delta ecosystem and securing the water supply. We don’t have to kill the Delta to save the state.”

Eggman also joined with Senators Lois Wolk (D-Davis), Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett (D-East Bay), and Assembly Members Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), Jim Frazier (D-Oakley), Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), and Mariko Yamada (D-Davis), in a joint response:

"Recent comments made by the top administrator of the proposed Delta tunnels plan only serve to confirm what many have known for some time, that the poorly named Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is not really designed to save the Delta, but is primarily focused on exporting more water from the North to the South, in clear defiance of the legally mandated co-equal goals that include water supply reliability and Delta restoration, as well as reduced reliance on the Delta.  Dr. Meral's comments, made in a rare moment of candor in a remote location, reveal why northern California communities have been locked out of the development of this plan, and why more thoughtful and affordable alternatives have been repeatedly brushed aside.  Dr. Meral told the truth, and while his resignation may be appropriate, the far bigger problem is the BDCP itself, and the rush to push it through without full public review, legislative approval, or oversight by anyone other than the water contractors behind it.  Accordingly, we state legislators call for an immediate halt and reassessment of the entire BDCP process. It's time to reassert the proper legislative role in the most significant water project proposal of the 21st century."

CONTACT: Contact: Christian Burkin, (916) 319-2013