Help stop the Tunnels permits: We need people to write to the Water Board & we need people to read their statements at the hearing on 7/27.
Please note: the recent ruling invalidating the Delta Plan does NOT affect the Water Board hearings. The hearings for diversion permits will go on as scheduled. The Tunnels are NOT DEAD. They are very much alive and moving forward.
Starting July 26, 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board will hold hearings on the Tunnels. The issue is whether to grant permits to divert the Sacramento River in the North Delta. Without these permits, the Tunnels cannot be built. That’s why we need EVERYONE to write “Policy Statements” to send to the Water Board! The Board needs to hear how the Tunnels will negatively affect your life, your community, your livelihood, the Delta and Northern California. Our goal is to block these permits by showing the Board that the Tunnels would be a disaster for the Delta. Read below to learn more about writing your statement.
Mark your calendar for Wednesday, July 27. This is the date when North Delta CARES will deliver your written Policy Statement to the Water Board. CORRECTION TO EARLIER POST: The Board has informed us that we cannot read your statements for you. Each writer must present his or her own statement at the hearing. This is contrary to the information we received earlier. If you can attend, please let us know. If you cannot attend, we will give your statement to the Board.
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What are the Water Board hearings about?
To build the Tunnels, the proponents must get permits adding new “points of diversion” on the Sacramento River. Many environmental groups, cities and Northern California water agencies are filing formal protests, which are legal cases argued before the Board. Individuals can participate by writing Policy Statements – comments describing the negative impacts the tunnels will have on citizens, communities, water quality, wildlife, etc. More at the SWRCB website.
What are Policy Statements?
Policy Statements are comments from the public. Don’t be put off by the bureaucratic language – Policy Statements are simply comments similar to those many people submitted during the BDCP process. Think of it as a letter telling the Board how the Tunnels will negatively impact you and the Delta.
Where can I find background information to help me write my statement?
Our friends at Restore the Delta have posted an excellent collection of comments on the 2015 Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report. North Delta CARES has also posted extensive comments. Here you’ll find ideas for your statements, supporting documentation and more. Feel free to quote from these documents, and please note the source. If you want to reference the 2015 Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report itself, you’ll find it here. You can also see a Summary of Significant and Unavoidable Adverse Impacts. The 2013 DEIR/EIS can be found here.
What impacts should I talk about in my statement?
Any impact that interests you, and/or any that will affect you, your family, your livelihood, your community, your school, your church, etc. Feel free to attach images to your statement – photos, maps, artwork, cartoons – that illustrate your points. Here are a few ideas for topics:
Water quality impacts:
- Dewatering impacts to local wells
- Saltwater intrusion – impacts to irrigation and drinking water
- Toxic algae blooms
- Concentrated contaminants
- Increase in water transfers from the Sacamento Valley
- Increase in reverse flows in the North Delta
Levees & roads:
- Truck traffic impacts
- Interruption of farming activities, tourism, schools, communities
- Road and levee damage from heavy trucks
- Levee damage from scouring below coffer dams
- Permanent loss of farmland east of the river. Farmland may also be lost on the west side of the river if setback levees are built across from the intakes. Coffer dams needed to build the intakes will restrict the flow of the river, so “setback levees or other measures” will be needed to maintain flow capacity. See Chapter 6, page 59, lines 3-13 of the 2013 DEIR/DEIS.
- Impairment to agricultural water supply and drainage
- Inability to move farm equipment on local roads
- Loss of farm income; impacts to the local economy
- Loss of homes on Sacramento County side of the river. Possible loss of homes on the Yolo side as well. Chapter 6, page 59, lines 3-13 of the 2013 DEIR/DEIS describes how coffer dams needed to build the intakes will restrict the river’s flow, and that “setback levees or other measures” will be needed to maintain flow capacity. If setback levees are installed across from the intakes, homes on the Yolo side will likely be lost.
Impacts to fish and wildlife
Environmental Justice: impacts to low income and minority populations
Impacts to community activities; for example, Pear Fair access
Visual blight: transformation of scenic rural landscape to industrial landscape.
Also see video.
- Severe impacts to Delta communities
- Air pollution from diesel use during construction
- Road surface damage from heavy trucks
- Traffic congestion on local roads; doubling of emergency response times
- Impediments to boating and recreation
- Noise from construction and pile driving
- Vibration damage to levees and buildings from pile driving
And too many more to list! Read the comments from tunnels opponents and North Delta CARES for more ideas and facts and figures. Feel free to quote from these comments – just be sure to note the source. Also, if you quote from someone else’s comments, and copy-and-paste from a PDF, sometimes you will have inappropriate line breaks in the text. You can fix many (but not all) of these bad breaks with an online tool called Textfixer.
How long should my statement be?
If you are coming to the hearing to read your statement aloud, each statement has a 3-minute time limit, so we recommend that your statement be one typed page or shorter (single-spaced). If you do not plan to read your statement, it can be of any length.
How should my statement be formatted?
You can write it in a Word document, an email, or by hand. Be sure to include your name and mailing address. Again, you can attach images to your statement if you wish.
Can I see examples of statements?
How will Policy Statements be presented to the Water Board?
North Delta CARES will present statements to the Board in written form. Statements will also be read aloud to the Board at the hearing on July 27, 2016. You are welcome to read your statement personally, but if you cannot attend, we will have someone read your statement for you.
When is my statement due?
Please send your statement no later than July 22, 2016. This will give us time to compile the statements for presentation.
Where should I send my statement?
Please send your statement to North Delta CARES. You can email your statement to email@example.com. Please include “Policy Statement” in your subject line. You can also mail it to Anna Swenson at P.O. Box 223 Clarksburg, CA 95612.
If I want to attend the hearings, when and where will they be held?
Our day at the Water Board is July 27, 2016 starting at 9:00 a.m. The SWRCB is located at 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. That is the corner of 10th & I in the Cal EPA Building. Parking is available across the street in the City Hall Garage on I Street between 10th and 11th. Plan to arrive early so you can check in with security and get your visitors pass.
If I have questions, whom should I contact?
Contact Anna Swenson at 530-570-9641 or firstname.lastname@example.org.