SACRAMENTO, CA – The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors took action yesterday to support AB 1713 by Assembly Member Susan Eggman, a bill that would require a public vote of any proposed Delta tunnels project.
For years, Sacramento County expressed concerns and opposition to the Brown Administration’s plan to build two 40-foot diameter tunnels through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. For this reason, the Board of Supervisors appreciates Assemblymember Eggman’s leadership on this incredibly vital issue.
“Assemblymember Eggman’s legislation to require voter approval of the Governor’s intrusive twin tunnels proposal is an example of good and transparent public policy,” said Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan, Chair of the Board.
“The new proposal is the same package wrapped differently,” said Supervisor Susan Peters. “It is disruptive to the environment and culture of the Delta and does not meet the water needs of the state. It does more harm than good.”
“The public deserves the opportunity to cast a vote on such an enormous and expensive project,” commented Supervisor Patrick Kennedy. “Assemblymember Eggman’s bill rightfully gives the people a voice.”
“Sacramento County continues to welcome ideas about how best to protect the Delta and responsibly convey water in our state, but what we cannot and will not do is agree to compromise our constituents’ way of life in the process,” added Supervisor Phil Serna.
“The Sacramento San-Joaquin Delta is a source of pride for our region.” said Supervisor Don Nottoli. “The Tunnels will forever change its majestic landscape and the natural environment while altering a generations’ old way of life for those who live and work in the Delta.”
Over the past year, the tunnels plan was rebranded and divided into two parts. Previously named the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), the plan is now referred to as the “CA WaterFix” and “EcoRestore.” While rebranded, the plan to build the massive tunnels under the Delta remains largely unchanged, which is arguably one of the most egregious parts of the plan. Also of concern is that the bifurcation of the tunnels plan may simplify the state and federal permitting processes, allowing the Governor to move forward more quickly and with less administrative oversight on the project. A project of this magnitude, scope, and impact should have public input by way of a vote.
Sacramento County remains concerned about the negative impacts that the tunnels will have on the Delta’s thriving agriculture industry, infrastructure (road and utilities), water supply, flood protection and socioeconomics as the approval of the project could result in the destruction of the Delta as we know it today. Sacramento County’s chief concerns are as follows:
• It proposes to irreversibly change, and in many instances permanently destroy, the generations-old socioeconomic fabric and physical landscape of the Delta.
• It will not produce a single drop of new water, but will leave a legacy of negative impacts on the Delta, its economy, and its people.
• The tunnels have a 10-12 year construction period and will result in major negative impacts to the lives of Delta residents, the local and regional economy, and its irreplaceable natural resources.
• It neither solves California’s water management problems nor helps to address the Delta’s degrading ecosystem.
• Water modeling continues to show the Folsom Reservoir likely going to “dead pool” approximately once every 10 years, severely impacting access to surface water (the primary source of water) for significant urban populations in Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado counties. This would severely impact the region’s larger economy, property values, and livability.