Design Changes in Delta Tunnels Draft Supplemental EIR Will Not Save the Delta Ecosystem

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From Restore the Delta • June 13, 2018 •

Yesterday, the Delta Tunnels Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) was released online. The document details the environmental impact of proposed design changes that claim to minimize impacts felt by Delta communities and the environment.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will review the draft in the comings months and determine if the document meets the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).

After the EIR/EIS gains approval from both state and federal agencies, a public draft will be available for public comment.

Executive Director of Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said,
“Many of these design changes may appear great on paper, but in reality, they will not save the Delta as long as Metropolitan Water District of Southern California maintains their “right” to increase the magnitude of Delta water they take during dry periods. Decreasing flows through the Delta is the fastest way to kill the ecosystem, native and migratory endangered species, and the local communities who will be left with degraded drinking water when the tunnels are operable. These design modifications do not significantly lessen the impacts to Delta communities, nor do they change the fact that the project is an environmental disaster.”

– Restore the Delta