Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition Issue 3719 Aug 31- Sept 14 - Page 30

30 Aug 31 - Sept 7, 2018 VOL.37 • ISS. 19 Legislative Budget Committee Postpones Hearing on Extending SWP Contracts to Fund Delta Tunnels C alifornia’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee announced Thursday, August 9, that they have postponed indef- initely a hearing on extending State Water Project contracts to fund Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels, despite pressure from Brown and the Department of Water Resources. That hearing would have cleared the path for the DWR to force ratepayers to assume the $17-$25 billion cost for the project without legislative oversight over future contract amendments, according Brenna Norton, senior organizer of Food & Water Watch, in a statement. “We are thankful to Senator Mitchell and California’s legislative leaders for post- poning a hearing that could have resulted in Californians shelling out billions for the wasteful Delta tunnels,” said Norton. “This project won’t provide any additional water, but would force higher taxes and water bills on millions of Californians. The state already has costly water infrastructure priorities such as fixing the crumbling and leaking pipes under our cities. California families should not be burdened by a tunnels project that does not benefit them.” Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Dis- covery Bay) also thanked the Joint Legis- lative Budget Committee for postponing the hearing on State Water Project contract extensions and amendments that has impli- cations for the proposed Delta Tunnels project. “As I said in my letter last week to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, and the co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, it is far too early to hold hearings on State Water Project contract extensions and amendments,” said Frazier in a statement. ‘This was another attempt to ram the proposed tunnels disaster through the process by the Depart- ment of Water Resources and the governor. Getting the hearing postponed indefinitely is a victory for the Delta.” “We have a win to celebrate today,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, after hearing the news of the postponement. “Your calls, tweets, and emails have success- fully POSTPONED the Joint Legislative Budget Committee hearing indefinitely! This small victory is a testament of what we can achieve when we work together for a common goal (and the power of an impending deadline).” “Our coalition of NGO’s, activists, and supporters demanded that key legislators involved in this hearing do not proceed until AFTER the tunnels financial plan is available to the public. You can count on us to hold them accountable. Though we may have won this battle, it’s on to the next,” she noted. While Brown portrays himself as a “green governor,” he has in fact pushed the federal government to collaborate with him in granting the necessary permits for construction of the Delta Tunnels, consid- ered by opponents to be the most environ- mentally destructive public works project in California history. The 35 mile long tunnels would devastate West Coast salmon and other fish popula- tions by diverting Sacramento River water before it reaches the estuary, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead on the Trinity River, the major tributary of the Klamath River, that is diverted via a tunnel through the Trinity Mountains into the Sacramento River watershed at Whiskey- town Reservoir. GGSA Responds to Secretary’s Directive on California Wildfires On August 8, Secretary of Commerce Commerce Wilbur Ross issued a directive stating that the protection of life and property takes precedence over agreements regarding water use in regions impacted by California wildfires. “The California wildfires are a direct threat to life and property and all measures available must be taken to protect both,” said Ross. “Today, I direct NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service to make clear to all its Federal agency partners that the protection of life and property takes precedence over any current agreements regarding the use of water in the areas of California affected by wildfires. Public safety is the first priority.” “Consistent with the emergency consul- tation provisions under the ESA, Federal agencies may use any water as necessary to protect life and property in the affected areas. Based on this directive, NOAA will facilitate the use of water for this emergency. Going forward, the Depart- The KFBK OUTDOOR SHOW 3507 1 Rated with your Outdoor Radio Show host for 26 years! # Bob Simms Fishing • Hunting • Destinations Conservation • History Dedicated to the Northern California Outdoorsman Listen Every Saturday Morning from 5 am to 8am on By Dan Bacher ment and NOAA are committed to finding new solutions to address threatened and endangered species in the context of the challenging water management situation in California,” said Ross. John McManus, President of the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA), responded to Ross’s statement, noting that he was puzzled by “what additional actions he was asking federal employees to take.” He also said he disagreed with Ross that the “federal government should hijack Califor- nia’s wildfires to impose weaker protec- tion