This could be bad. Very bad.

In a memo dated March 30, 2018, Scott Pruitt directed EPA regional offices to “cede their Clean Water Act determinations” to him. According to this report, “The move appears to change the approval process to lessen the role of EPA employees and scientists when it comes to evaluating whether a project has a significant negative environmental impact on waterways or wetlands.”

Currently, the State Water Board is holding Hearings on whether to issue a permit for the Delta Tunnels. If that permit is approved, and has seemed more likely since STCDA found out that the Water Board has been colluding with the DWR and altering Delta Flow requirements in favor of the Tunnels, the next and final steps are (1) Army Corps of Engineers Permit and (2) final approval from the EPA.

If you recall, it was the EPA that blasted the 2014 Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), saying it was not a Habitat Conservation Plan and would more likely kill fish than save them. That stopped the project in its tracks . . . for a while. Then Jerry Brown got the bright idea and basically said, “OK, our tunnels won’t save the Delta, let’s just build the tunnels.” and split the BDCP into two projects:

  • California WaterFix (aka the Delta Tunnels)
  • California EcoRestore (the part to save the Delta).

Has anyone heard “boo” about EcoRestore the past 4 years? No? That’s because the only focus has been on WaterFix, the Tunnels . . . on killing the Delta, not saving it.

At least, in the past, we had the EPA on our side. It was the EPA that also shut down the Two-Gates Fish Protection Project in 2010. Remember that? The plan to put dams in Old River and Connection Slough and virtually shut down boating in the South Delta.

So now the concern is, will the EPA once again let the scientists and experts chime in? Or will Pruitt ignore science, facts, and let the Exporters build their destructive tunnels?

Scott Pruitt took over the Clean Water Act

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