A Revolt against the Tunnel Process – The SEC is a sham.



The Delta Conveyance Design & Construction Authority (DCA) has touted that they are running an open and transparent process engaging Delta community input via the “Shareholder Engagement Committee (SEC).” But two of the Committee members have sharp words for the SEC process: Karen Mann, STCDA President representing South Delta local businesses on the SEC, and Angelica Whaley representing North Delta legacy communities. Others who have followed the SEC meetings including Bill Wells, Executive Director of the California Delta Chambers and Visitors Bureau, and the Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC) echoed their complaints.

Karen Mann rightly referred to the methods being used by the DCA to control the SEC as Orwellian, saying: “Franz Kafka and George Orwell would both blush at the masterful barrage of bureaucratic mind control deployed by the DCA, as reflected in the glossy reports and minutes produced by you. Make no mistake, we understand that the purpose of these materials is to mislead Governor Newsom and ultimately the courts into thinking you have meaningfully engaged with Delta stakeholders when you have not.”

It’s worth the read – here is an excerpt:

I recently saw a letter from Angelica Whaley, dated September 23, 2020, taking issue with the failure of the SEC to give any real consideration to the concerns of Delta Stakeholders so far.

I agree that this committee has not meaningfully addressed any of the concerns of Delta Stakeholders. We have been strangled by your rules that do not allow us to talk about the things that are really important to us and then barraged with a mass of hyper-technical deta Is about tunnel construction that we are asked to comment on.

I think it is fair to say that 80% of the materials presented to the Stakeholder Committee by the construction engineers are not well understood by committee members, thus further limiting any comment to minor items such as the location of a particular access shaft or barge landing because this kind of item is really the only thing that is presented in a way that is understandable by a layperson.

Franz Kafka and George Orwell would both blush at the masterful barrage of bureaucratic mind control deployed by the DCA, as reflected in the glossy reports and minutes produced by you. Make no mistake, we understand that the purpose of these materials is to mislead Governor Newsom and ultimately the courts into thinking you have meaningfully engaged with Delta stakeholders when you have not.

Back in 2019, when DWR abandoned California Waterfix, DWR Director Nemeth issued a series of proclamations regarding the single-tunnel project promising that the “Newsom administration wants to engage with Delta communities to hear their ideas and concerns.” This Committee is supposed to carry that out. But you have not allowed us to speak our ideas and concerns at all.

Instead, you tell us that anything we want to discuss is part of the CEQA process and not to be discussed at these meetings. So where is the Newsom Administration’s effort to engage with Delta communities to hear their ideas and concerns? It doesn’t exist.

She ends with these strong closing words:

Read Karen’s entire letter here…

Angelica’s letter raises the ongoing concerns about about where the North intakes would be built. STCDA and North Delta representatives successfully argued that location would destroy legacy communities and have other major impacts. The intake location was one of the main reasons that WaterFix (the Twin Tunnel project) was rejected by the Delta Stewardship Council. Yet as DWR began planning for the Single Tunnel, the Intakes were in the same location! The SEC has not been allowed to offer any alternative locations.

Other letters condemning the DCA’s SEC approach:

2 Responses to “A Revolt against the Tunnel Process – The SEC is a sham.”


  1. 1 martin price December 17, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Thank you so much for all that your doing. Is there an e mail for Gov. Newsom we can send to? The same for any committees ? Seems no matter how much we protest it’s the same ol same ol. I think they no longer remember they and the Governor all work for us. Thus transparency is critical for a project that will impact all Californians. When we moved here over ten years ago this project was just being discussed. Since then change after change has been needed to the plan. Obviously it was not well conceived, nor planned. There have been solid suggestions made like other routes. a great deal of money has already been spent. Is this project really needed ?

  2. 2 Jan December 17, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    I don’t have an email contact for Newsom, but you can go here to his online contact form: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/. You are totally correct … ten years, fail according to the EPA, then in the courts and permitting sessions, each time make a slight change and try again.


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