The California Water Impact Network led a statewide coalition of fishing, wildlife, and farming community groups in filing a lawsuit against the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan. The Plan includes a proposal to construct two 35-mile tunnels to siphon water away from the Sacramento and San Joaquin River Delta. Our suit asserts that the Delta Plan violates the 2009 Delta Reform Act, the California Environmental Quality Act, and the state Administrative Procedure Act, and asks the court to set the Plan aside.
C-WIN and the coalition argue in our complaint that the $54.1 billion Twin Tunnels project would have devastating impacts on California’s farming and fishing industries, and would put several endangered species, including at least two runs of migratory salmon, at increased risk of extinction.
The suit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court on behalf of groups from both northern and southern California.
According to the Delta Reform Act, the Delta Stewardship Council must approve only actions that serve the Act’s “co-equal goals” of environmental protection and water supply reliability. Instead, the Council approved a plan that excludes most water transfer from permitting requirements and lays the groundwork for the Twin Tunnels Project.
Mike Jackson, attorney for the California Water Impact Network, said, “The Delta Plan violates CEQA in ten different ways. It fails to achieve the co-equal goals of Delta ecosystem restoration and water supply reliability established by the Act. The Delta Plan may be the most incomplete environmental document I’ve ever seen. The Council ignored three critical documents they were obligated to use: a State Water Resources Control Board water flow recommendation; a Department of Fish and Wildlife report on biological objectives in the Delta; and the Delta Protection Commission’s economic sustainability report. In all three cases, the documents were inconvenient to the approval of the Twin Tunnels.”