Archive for the 'STCDA News' Category

Calling All Hands

Please try to attend the Army Corps of Engineers in-person public hearing in Stockton on March 1, from 6 to 7:30 pm at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel, 110 W. Fremont Street, Stockton. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.

The Army Corps of Engineers is preparing an EIS on the Delta Conveyance Project separate from DWR’s EIR. After some prodding, the CORPS agreed to hold an in-person public hearing (which DWR steadfastly refused to do).


The CORPS EIS is very narrow. It is only studing the construction activity around the intakes and other areas where fill is involved. It is not studying anything to do with the operations of the tunnel. In our Legal Council, Michael Brodsky’s opinion, the law requires the CORPS to study operations too, including all the impacts on wildlife, fish, and people. He plans to ask them why they believe they are not required to study operations. 

The CORPS could include a study of alternate intake locations away from Hood in their own EIS. They could also require DWR to recirculate the EIR to study alternate intake locations away from Hood. Brodsky plans to ask why they have so far done neither, with some elaboration on the impacts on Hood and history of the intake locations.

If anyone can make and add to the chorus it would be good.

Happy Holidays from STCDA

STCDA EIR Comments

Attached are the official comments on the Delta Conveyance Project (Single Tunnel) Draft EIR by our legal council, Michael Brodsky.

This is very good. DWR really hasn’t passed their EIR requirements and the project needs to be scrapped!

Tunnel Comments Due December 16

If you haven’t already sent in your comments on the Delta Conveyance Project Draft EIR (the Single Tunnel), you’ve got three weeks left.

Most of the problems we commented on last time remain – especially the main issues:

Location of the Intakes on top of Hood, California.

The “alternative” intakes analyzed are all destructive to Hood and all in the area we’d strongly objected to before. Evaluating which way destroys the legacy community of Hood worse when they are all bad and destroy wetlands are not true alternatives.

No Alternatives to a Tunnel

Just like the prior EIR, there are various “alternatives” – two primary routes and minor alternatives whether to end up at a new Forebay near Clifton Court Forebay or go all the way to the Bethany Reservoir. The two primary routes, Central and East, both go through prime Delta wetlands and farms and include ground water impacts and leave tunnel muck everywhere. Both routes go through soft Delta alluvial soil. The worst, the Central, riskily drills under the railroad trestle. The East is not far enough East by I-5, out of the Delta wetlands and farmlands. Construction should not go through the Delta!

The other “Alternative” is “No Action.” That’s just silly. Why aren’t they evaluating real alternatives, like Congressman Garamendi and Governor Newsom proposed including a portfolio: Desalination, conservation, levee repair, infrastructure repair (i.e., leaking pipes throughout L.A.), covering the aqueduct to prevent evaporation, … Many improvements have been recommended. The best make new water for L.A. and long-term could reduce the huge electrical costs of pumping over the Tehachapis while saving more water for farmers.

Long-Term Issues

In general, taking the fresh water out of the Delta before it can flow through the estuary is a bad, bad idea – impacting the environment, Delta communities, Delta farms. More salt water and farm runoff in the Delta. More blue-green toxic algae and weeds.

Send in Comments

  • Email:
  • Mail:
    • Department of Water Resources
    • Attention: Delta Conveyance Office
    • P.O. Box 942836
    • Sacramento, CA 94236-0001

DWR Won’t Meet with the Public

Since the DWR refuses to host real in-person meetings about the Single Tunnel (aka the Delta Conveyance Project) Draft EIR, the Delta County Coalition is taking it on and holding a meeting at ground zero, Hood, CA, the historical legacy community that will be destroyed by the Single Tunnel project. You are invited. Comments made will be recorded and entered into the public record. Having trouble knowing what to submit as comments? They will help write your comments at the meeting. The reporters and press are encouraged to attend.
December 6, 4-5:30 p.m. Willow Ballroom, Hood, CA.

One of the main objections to the EIR is the location of the intakes on top of the town of Hood. Every intake “alternative” destroys the town. Those aren’t real alternatives!

Go show them our support!

The Comment Period has Started!

It’s been years but “Mamma Mia – Here we Go Again!” The Delta Tunnel Draft EIR (aka Delta Conveyance Project) was released July 27 (when most people were on vacation, of course). Comments for over 10,000 page EIR are due October 27. The first comment everyone should send in is that the comment period needs to be extended 90 days. Normal people cannot absorb and thoroughly review that many pages in 90 days. (A year would be even more appropriate).

EMAIL comments to:

YOU can help stop this ridiculous project to take the freshest water north on the Sacramento River and let the Delta and its ecosystem fail. As we review it, we’ll send more information for comments about this out-dated, ill-thought-out project.

New Delta Tunnel Plan Fails to Follow the Science

Opinion piece in the Mercury News about the new tunnel draft EIR and Newsom’s support for it. It says, “If Newsom wants to keep pressing his tunnel proposal, it’s imperative that he, water districts and environmentalists agree on a set of rules for water diversions from the Sacramento River. Otherwise, there’s no way to determine the environmental impact of the plan.”
Mercury News Editorial: “New Delta Tunnel Plan Fails to Follow the Science.”

But hey, that’s been the problem since 2009, hasn’t it? The legislator in issuing the Delta Reform Act specified step one would be for the newly formed Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) to determine the Delta Flow Requirements, the amount of water that had to be allowed to continue to flow through the Delta to keep the estuary clean. That report was written by the Bay Institute and adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) in August 2010. The state acknowledged the fact that the Delta needed more water than it was currently receiving.

OOPS – Wrong Answer. The report was prepended with a DSC paragraph saying it had not been approved. Not true, I guess. The SWRCB tries periodically to increase the flows but it’s a logo. And everyone admits a tunnel will reduce flows further, or if even kept equal at times, the water coming in would be the polluted San Joaquin River after the Central Valley farms south of the Delta add their farm runoff with fertilizer and selenium from the tainted soils there, not as much of the clean Sacramento River water from the Sierra snow pack runoff. (Plus, this year, once again, what snow pack?)

Round and round we go.

I agree with the article’s conclusion: “State officials must provide more details and analysis of the Delta tunnel proposal — and alternatives to it — so Californians can determine whether it is the best approach for meeting long-term water needs.” Alas, the current draft EIR only includes alternative routes for a single tunnel or “No Project.” Where are is the study and investment into projects, like desalination, increased conversion efforts, that we need?

Delta Conveyance Project Draft EIR Available for Public Review and Comment Through October 27

Here we go. Single Tunnel Draft EIR released. Comment period through October 27. More to follow.


Jan McCleery, Past President
Save the California Delta Alliance (STCDA)

Together we can make a difference !

Begin forwarded message:

From: Department of Water Resources <deltaconveyance>

Subject: Delta Conveyance Project Draft EIR Available for Public Review and Comment Through October 27

Date: July 27, 2022 at 9:25:12 AM PDT

To: <janmccleery>

Reply-To: Department of Water Resources <deltaconveyance>

July 27, 2022
Delta Conveyance Project Draft EIR Available for Public Review and Comment Through October 27, 2022

Will the Tunnel Draft EIR be out soon?

The Delta Single Tunnel EIR was supposed to be released last year, then in June. Rumor on the street is it’s coming out this month. 15,000 pages. Yikes. We’ll see.

What is the DSC Really?

Newly Appointed Chief Counsel and Legislative and Policy Advisor

 On  July 1, 2022, Governor Newsom appointed Jorge Aguilar II as chief counsel and Brandon Chapin as legislative and policy advisor to the Delta Stewardship Council.

Seeing the notice made me think back to my long-standing question, “What is the DSC Really?”

Years ago, I was telling an acquaintance of mine about the wonderful place we lived, the California Delta. How it was a boater’s paradise. 1,000 miles of meandering waterways, pristine anchorages, perfect sloughs for waterskiers and wakeboarders. He was surprised he hadn’t heard about it, as he was a photographer for National Geographic’s Travel Blog. He said he wanted to find out more about it. They’d like to do a piece on it.

He came back to me later perplexed. “There doesn’t seem to be any tourist information about it,” he said.

“True,” I agreed. The State hasn’t made an effort to promote tourism in the Delta. Sad, actually.”

“And,” he continued. “I found a group called the ‘Delta Stewardship Council.’ In my experience, groups named ‘Stewardship Councils’ normally have the charter to protect and promote the area they support. But California’s DSC seems only interested in taking water out of the Delta. What’s going on?”

“Good question,” I agreed. “Supposedly their charter is to enforce the ‘co-equal goals’: exporting water for use outside the Delta and protecting the Delta environment. Sounds good, except the chair of the DSC has stated publicly in meetings that in cases where there is a conflict between the exporters and the fish, the exporters will always win. So much for ‘Stewardship.'”

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