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California Representatives Speak Out in Opposition to the Released Portion of the Governor's Flawed Plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta


Location: Washington, DC

Today, several U.S. Representatives from northern California spoke out in opposition to the release of the first four chapters of the Governor's proposal for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The Governor's flawed plan would devastate the region and has met strong opposition from the area's Congressional delegation.

"Once again, the Governor is attempting to rush forward with his deeply flawed plan to build tunnels that will send our water south and devastate the families, farmers and small business owners who rely on a healthy Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for their livelihoods. I have heard time and again from real people in our region who stand to have their farmland flooded or see their small business fail if the Governor's plan is put in place. These people deserve to have their interests represented in any plan related to the Delta, and I will continue to call on the Governor and the Obama Administration to give them -- and all of the people in our region -- a voice in the process. To move forward with today's release of a portion of the draft plan without examining all possible options and listening to all affected parties is foolhardy, and will cost California taxpayers billions of dollars and cost countless jobs." - Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA-9)

"A BDCP plan is moving forward before all the work has been done. Moving this project forward before the science is examined puts the interests of south-of-Delta water contractors before our farmers, fishers and small business owners who depend on the Delta for their livelihoods. Before we move forward with any one BDCP plan, we need to make sure that the process to create it is transparent, all necessary stakeholders are at the table, and is based on sound science. The current plan is none of these." - Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5)

"The Governor's plan must adhere to the established co-equal goals of protecting the health of the Bay-Delta and improving water reliability. If his current proposal remains unchanged it may expose the Bay-Delta to a real risk of environmental and economic degradation. Draining more water from the region is not a sustainable policy and will jeopardize local fisheries, endangered species, and the livelihoods of thousands of farmers, fishermen, and business owners who all depend on a healthy ecosystem. It would be a mistake to embark on a large and expensive infrastructure project of far-reaching consequence without first giving serious consideration to a broader, portfolio-based alternative that would responsibly expand water reliability while protecting the environment and providing local agencies the financial flexibility to implement the water projects they need." - Rep. George Miller (CA-11)

"This draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) continues to ignore the very real concerns expressed by northern California stakeholders. To solve California's water issues, northern California must be part of the decision making process. Unfortunately, despite our requests to be part of the planning process we have continued to be shut out. Clearly, there are still many unaddressed issues, and they must be addressed before any BDCP moves forward. In addition to the massive infrastructure that will be housed in Sacramento County and the threat to northern California water rights, I remain seriously concerned about the governance plan proposed in the BDCP. This draft BDCP once again includes no benefits to Sacramento, only negative impacts." - Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-6)

"Today, the state releases the first few chapters of the peripheral tunnel plan. Unfortunately, state and federal officials have already written a conclusion to this story, and it's an end to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta as we know it," said Congressman John Garamendi (CA-3). "However, this is not inevitable and I completely committed to changing the present plan. Instead of a plumbing system that costs at least $14 billion, we need a comprehensive water plan for all of California that is driven by the best science and incorporates conservation, recycling, the creation of new storage systems, levee improvements, habitat restoration, and honors existing water rights. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan should and can be a story of California communities pulling together to meet our common needs. As currently planned, it is not a solution for California's water future, it is a problem." - Rep. John Garamendi (CA-3)

"The giant peripheral tunnels or any alternative plan cannot come at the cost of devastating communities that depend on salmon. We saw from 2008-2010 that when salmon seasons were closed or minimal, small family businesses up and down the coast had to close their doors. We need a science-based plan for water distribution in the Central Valley that protects salmon runs." - Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14)

"Today, the state of California released the first four chapters of a draft of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) without fully researching the plan's effects, without getting input from all stakeholders, without considering other options, and without knowing how they'll fund the project. That's a disservice to Sacramento County families. Water is a vital resource to our state, and it is critical for our health and well-being, for our environment, and for our wallets that we have a comprehensive, long-term plan, based on sound science." - Rep. Ami Bera (CA-7)

"I will be reviewing this week's Bay Delta Conservation Plan documents carefully since this plan has significant implications for my North Coast district. The proposal must clear a very high bar: the comprehensive 2009 water reform laws that we enacted in California require the state to use less water from the overtaxed Delta, and to place the restoration of that ecosystem at equal footing with a reliable water supply. This is California's opportunity to move away from unsustainable water uses and towards a healthy watershed and restored fisheries. Unfortunately, previous drafts of these documents did not meet these tests, and I hope that this Bay Delta Conservation Plan draft represents an improvement over previous efforts. We cannot provide decades-long regulatory permits for unsustainable water plans." - Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-2)

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