FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2023
Contact: Michael Blenner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Water Resources Refuses to Allow Public Comment Period on Delta Tunnel Final Environmental Impact Report
Sacramento, CA - Sierra Club California, environmental justice, and conservation groups submitted a letter to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) requesting 60 days for the public to review the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Delta Conveyance Project (Delta Tunnel) before DWR takes action to certify the EIR or approve the Project.
The Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Delta Tunnel was released on December 8, 2023, nearly a year after the comment period closed on the Draft EIR. DWR announced that there would not be a public comment period for the FEIR. The FEIR was released months before DWR is expected to produce a full cost-benefit analysis for the Tunnel that would allow project investors and ratepayers to make an informed decision about whether to move forward with the project.
DWR must provide 10 days notice to responsible agencies before certifying a FEIR, however this time frame is inadequate to allow for meaningful public review of the roughly 27,000 page document for this highly controversial and destructive infrastructure proposal.
Statement from Erin Woolley, Senior Policy Strategist, Sierra Club California:
“Jamming the Delta Tunnel FEIR through the final stages of CEQA without any public comment is just another example of the Newsom Administration’s lack of transparency. Newsom and DWR are prioritizing harmful water policies that will sacrifice the Bay Delta to maintain the deeply inequitable status quo of water in California.”
Statement from Conner Everts, Facilitator, Environmental Water Caucus:
“In all of my years of working on the many iterations of the zombie boondoggle project, I have never seen such an absurdly short time to review such a huge amount of information, especially before the holidays.”
Statement from Carolee Krieger, Executive Director, California Water Impact Network:
“To rush review of this massively expensive and environmentally destructive project is irresponsible of DWR. This proposed tunnel is just as bad as the failed Twin Tunnels and Peripheral Canal. No amount of concrete and steel will produce any “new” water. It’s a pipe dream.”
Statement from John Buse, Senior Counsel, Center for Biological Diversity:
“The final plans for a project as massive as the Delta tunnel deserve more than a cursory glance. The public deserves more time because it’s impossible to read thousands of pages of this environmental report in 10 days.”
Sierra Club California is the legislative and regulatory arm of Sierra Club’s 13 local chapters in California, representing half a million members and supporters.