This week the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors formally submitted comments challenging the findings of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) state environmental impact report (EIR) and federal environmental impact statement (EIS). Of significance, the comments expressed the frustrations of many residents with a plan to build twin tunnels and take additional water from the Sacramento Delta.
A recognized expert on water issues and elected representative of Sacramento’s Delta communities, Supervisor Don Nottoli expressed, “The BDCP proposes to irreversibly change, and in many instances, permanently destroy the generations-old socioeconomic fabric and physical landscape of the Delta.”
“Constructing massive twin tunnels won’t produce any more water, but make no mistake, it will leave a legacy of negative impacts on the Delta, its economy and its people. The BDCP doesn’t solve California’s water problems and sacrifices the Delta to benefit others. Simply, this is not acceptable, and never will be.”
Among the many flaws in the environmental reports, the County noted that there are major negative impacts to the lives of county residents, the local economy and natural resources in and around the Sacramento River, the Delta itself and south Sacramento County communities, where twin tunnels are slated for a 10-12 year construction project.
The Supervisors cited the following significant impacts that the planning document either inadequately addresses or ignores altogether:
Direct/indirect impacts to existing legacy communities and agriculture from long-term construction activities and project operations;
Uncertainties surrounding future water project operations and how these operations will impact water supplies;
Impacts to the roadway/transportation network from construction activities;
Impacts from the conversion of agricultural land to habitat;
Economic and social impacts to the local Delta communities from the long term displacement of businesses and residents;
Impacts to Airport operations; and,
Impacts from changes to drainage pattern changes resulting from project construction.
Next, federal and state agencies tasked with reviewing comments will evaluate and consider the comments submitted by stakeholders, including, non-governmental organizations, individuals and governmental entities. It is important to note that given the huge volume of comments submitted, the evaluation process will take several months at best. It is anticipated that a Final Draft document will be prepared following the evaluation process.