March 7 Update

Updates since our last post Feb. 17.

A lot of hubbub is going on, but nothing that has changed in the process since our last update.

Some people were disappointed that the judge turned down a recent lawsuit the City of Sacramento and other cities and counties to stop the The State Water Resource Control Board Part II Hearings due to the ex-parte communications Save the California Delta Alliance (STCDA) had uncovered in early February.

But as our Legal Council, Michael Brodsky, said: “It is very difficult to prevail in a lawsuit against an administrative agency during the middle of the agency’s process. The general rule is that you have to wait until the agency makes its final decision on the whole matter and then go to court with all issues at one time.”

“In administrative law this is known as the ‘finality rule.’ ”

That being said, we would have loved it if they had prevailed and if the judge had stopped the Hearings. It was worth a try!

That ruling does, however, not change our course of action.

The SWRCB Hearings have resumed, albeit a few weeks later than they planned due to our findings of ex-parte communications and due to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) flip-flopping between one or two tunnels and variations thereof. But bottom line, we’re still on-plan. STCDA has submitted testimonies and are prepared to testify at the Part II Hearings to raise our strong objections to them ripping up the Delta during this construction project, ruining legacy communities in the North Delta and boating communities in the South Delta; dumping tunnel muck everywhere as they go. And, as always, STCDA is opposed to the end result of tunnels routing water around the Delta instead of through it, destroying farms, fish, and communities in the Delta.

The good news from finding the DWR/SWRCB colluded during the Part I hearings, is that we will have a much stronger case if the SWRCB actually issues a permit. A judge will not look kindly on their permit approval when they colluded and then continued anyway. So our “Stay” request strengthened our future law suit. It’s too bad they keep marching along, wasting everyone’s time and money, but we are still confident we have the law on our side once we get to the lawsuit period (which needs to wait until they have actually issued a permit.

HOWEVER, we need more donations for this next phase! Your donations are greatly appreciated. Click on the Donate button on the or on our FaceBook page or send a check made out to “STCDA” and mail to STCDA, P.O. Box 1760, Discovery Bay, CA 94505.

Other Hubbub: Metropolitan Water Distict (MWD) is considering funding more of the tunnel project so they can build both tunnels up-front instead of one now and then raise money for another later. They are working on a plan to charge the other farmers that are on the CVP water to help offset their costs. Whether they will/can do that is a question. And even if they can, that doesn’t make the tunnels cost effective for them or anyone.

There is no Financial Analysis for two tunnels or even one tunnel now and one later. Dr. Sunding did his one-tunnel cost/benefit analysis that we posted about here: everyone have shot full of holes. Dr. Sunding, once again, did a very poor financial analysis – really bad. He ignores all the negative economics, overblown the risk to earthquake, etc., and misses the point. He says that they will get cost benefit from more water, but a more recent report agrees – there will be no more water from the tunnels than they are getting now. The reductions in exports that will be coming are going to come regardless of where they take out the water. The smoke and mirrors they are hoping for, hoping to fool environmentalists, scientists, and judges about the negative impact of exporting too much, are just not going to work this time.

Summary: STCDA is on-track and preparing our data to stop them, but need your support. Please donate!

STCDA’s Feb 17 update in case you missed it:

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