On October 6, 2015 the Environmental Water Caucus, a coalition of groups including CSPA, submitted comments on the BDCP Delta Water Tunnels project Recirculated Draft EIR/Supplemental Draft EIS (RDEIR/SDEIS). The letter draws from previously submitted comments, including a July 2014 CSPA letter, to explain how the proposed project violates the Clean Water Act.
Key points from the RDEIR/SDEIS Comment Letter:
- The Delta Water Tunnels project will violate water quality standards for flow and other parameters, preventing necessary Clean Water Act Section 401 certification.
- The project reduces Delta freshwater flow conditions in violation of CWA requirements to fully protect the most sensitive beneficial uses.
- The project increases Delta contamination, resulting in violations of pollutant criteria.
- Because the project cannot meet water quality standards, the Water Tunnels Project cannot obtain the required Clean Water Act 401 Certification it needs for a 404 permit to build the project.
- There is no defensible anti-degradation analysis.
- Modeling criteria used to simulate operation of the Tunnels prejudice potential new water quality objectives for the Bay-Delta Estuary now being developed by the State Water Resources Control Board.
- The Proposed Project is not the Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable Alternative.
The Environmental Water Caucus asks that state and federal agencies comply with the Clean Water Act and work to implement increased flows through the Delta.