STCDA vs. the DWR

DWR has been cheating the system but justice is on our side

Save the California Delta Alliance has filed our initial petition against the Department of Water Resources (DWR) concerning the California WaterFix (aka Delta Tunnels). The entire lawsuit plus a copy of only the Introduction (for those who find looking at legalese scary) are attached. I hope you will at least read through the Introduction so you can see what we have been doing to fight back against the continued push by DWR for the tunnels.

Regardless of what goes forward, the past-Governor Brown’s two tunnels or Governor Newsom’s one tunnel, the plan as designed will cause unrepairable damage to Delta communities and to the ecosystem.

As the petition states, our members have exhausted all administrative processes to make our valid concerns about this project known.

Our Legal Council, Michael Brodsky, lays it all out clearly and concisely. If you want a review how this project morphed from what the legislature dictated (the Delta Reform Act) to the ambitious Bay and Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) which included environmental improvements and habitat, and then into WaterFix (the Tunnel Plan), read through the Introduction, at least.

I like Brodsky’s overview of what caused the Legislature to write the Delta Reform Act in the first place, in 2009 (emphasis added):

The State Water Project’s dream of making the Central California desert bloom and fueling unlimited population growth in arid Southern California metropolises with exported Delta water, zealously promoted over a half century ago by recently retired Governor Jerry Brown’s father, Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, is an unsustainable artifact of the environmentally ignorant 1950’s. The mega-engineering dream has proven an environmental nightmare. It has been legislatively replaced by the goal of reducing exports, taking pressure off of the Delta, and developing technologically up- to-date regional water supply infrastructure to replace Delta exports.

You may wonder what role Save the California Delta Alliance plays when there are so many environmental groups, big and little, fighting against this project. Why this lawsuit? As you all know, over the past years you, our members, have been going to the meetings in Sacramento, showing up, making comments, sending in complaints. It often seemed futile, yet because all of you have gone on the record telling the DWR over and over what the unmistakable and intolerable impacts this through-Delta tunnel plan would have on your lives, it has allowed us to now make this very compelling case.

In summary, why does STCDA have to take action? We represent you!

Many Petitioners, including national environmental groups, will no doubt call the illegality of proposed project operations.

Delta Alliance will brief these issues as well. However, because of the herculean effort DWR has expended in camouflaging a water grab to make it look like an environmental benefit, it has done less to cover its tracks with regard to the impacts that massive amounts of construction activity will have on Delta communities and Delta Recreation.

DWR has shown disregard toward the small rural communities and family businesses— of modest means — that will be obliterated by eleven years or more of continuous heavy construction. It made no meaningful effort to consider alternative infrastructure locations or employ alternative construction methods with regard to construction impacts on Delta recreation and communities.

Delta Alliance will focus a significant amount of its briefing on DWR’s failure to consider construction impacts in any serious way, and will attempt as best it can within its limited means to give voice to the voiceless before this Court.

Here is the Introduction:
Introduction Section.

Read the entire document:
The Entire Petition.

And if you appreciate STCDA’s efforts to represent you in the ongoing fight against the tunnels, please donate!

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