Environmental groups say governor’s Delta tunnels would violate the law

October 7, 2015 9:02 pm

The twin water tunnels touted by Gov. Edmund Brown Jr. are a violation of federal law, says a coalition of environmental groups.

The tunnels would suck fresh water out of the Sacramento River before it could flow naturally into the California Delta. The comparatively clean water would be piped 35 miles to the State Water Project and federal Central Valley Project to be sold to buyers in the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California and Silicon Valley.

“As a result of this massive new diversion, enormous quantities of freshwater which now flow through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta before being diverted would never even reach the Delta,” the groups say in a 15-page letter to state and federal authorities.

“The BDCP Delta Water Tunnels project is not a permissible project under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) because it would degrade water quality in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. This in turn will adversely impact numerous recognized beneficial uses and public health,” they write.

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