Army Corps of Engineers: Save Our Rivers, Do Not Permit the Delta Tunnel

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The  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District has initiated a new public comment period for the permitting process of the Delta Tunnel Conveyance Project. Scoping comments on this federal 404 permit are due by October 20th, 2020. Signing this petition counts as a comment. There will be no public hearings on this permit. 

The Delta Tunnel would divert an additional 6000 cubic feet-per-second (cfs) from the Bay Delta estuary. The water would come from the Trinity, McCloud, Sacramento Rivers and other Bay Delta tributaries, and would be diverted south for the benefit of Southern California Water Brokers and industrial agriculture. This would increase pressure to divert water from Northern California rivers such as the Trinity River. 

If a tunnel is constructed and operated, water quality and quantity in the Bay-Delta will deteriorate and the ecosystem will collapse. The project would divert up to two-thirds of fresh water flowing into the Delta from the Sacramento River. Some of these freshwater flows come from the Trinity River, which would impact the Klamath River temperatures and water quality. Fresh water flows are critical for sustaining the habitat for hundreds of fish and wildlife species, as well as stopping salt water intrusion from the Bay and flushing out the hundreds of thousands of tons of pollutants and salts that accumulate in the Delta annually.

In March 2020, over 200 people, including members from at least 7 Tribes, attended California’s Delta Tunnel hearing in Redding and testified as to why the Delta Tunnel and associated Sites Reservoir would be detrimental to North Coast rivers and Native communities. These efforts were led by water protectors from Hoopa Valley High School.

NOW CALIFORNIA IS WORKING WITH THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO GET A FEDERAL CLEAN WATER ACT PERMIT FOR THIS TERRIBLE PROJECT WHILE TRIBAL COMMUNITIES AND OTHER RURAL PEOPLE CANNOT PARTICIPATE DUE TO COVID-19.  

People from all across California are concerned about what the Delta Tunnel will mean, from increased water bills in L.A, to health impacts from tunnel construction and diminished water quality in Stockton, to fish kills and lack of salmon fisheries in Del Norte. Delta Tribes have expressed opposition due to the desecration of cultural sites from the construction of the tunnels, and at least four fishing organizations and many social justice and environmental groups have also testified against the Delta Tunnel. 

Despite this, the Delta Tunnel currently remains a top priority in Governor Newsom’s Water Portfolio and he is working with the Trump administration to push it forward during COVID-19 while the public can not participate in public processes. 

It’s time to tell the Army Corps and the state of California: Prioritize people, salmon, and healthy rivers over corporate agricultural interests. No Delta Tunnel!  

Comments are due by October 20th, 2020. Signing this petition counts as a comment. 

They are particularly interested in receiving comments related to the proposal's probable impacts on the affected aquatic environment and the secondary and cumulative effects.  If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Corps' project manager Zachary Simmons, by phone at (916) 557-6746, or by email at Zachary.M.Simmons@usace.army.mil.



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