Northern California Congressional Delegation Blasts WaterFix Biological Opinions
Washington – Reps. Mike Thompson (CA-05), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), and Anna Eshoo (CA-18) released the following statement in response to findings that California WaterFix “will not jeopardize or threaten endangered species, or adversely modify their critical habitat” in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta:
“This announcement could cripple the long-term stability of Delta fish and wildlife and the thousands of jobs they support. It is a bleak example of prioritizing South-of-the-Delta water users over the health of the Delta. The Administration’s determination that the proposed California WaterFix project is compliant with the federal Endangered Species Act, despite various findings of adverse effects to endangered salmon and steelhead during construction of the tunnels, undermines the critical importance of the environmental review process established under the Act.
“Simply put, the mitigation proposed under WaterFix isn’t sufficient to address these impacts. Even under adaptive management – upon which the findings of no adverse impacts rely heavily – we are not confident that the needs of species and habitat will be met.
“The WaterFix project still fails to satisfy the co-equal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. We continue to oppose the project as proposed, and will fight for better federal recognition of the devastating effect these tunnels will have on the Delta, and the communities who rely on it for their livelihood. It’s long past time to abandon this effort to extract even more water from this fragile, over-tapped estuary, and channel our energy towards working together on projects that enhance the long-term reliability of our water system without destroying the Delta.”