Talking tunnels

Some Delta advocates are ready to at least consider a smaller “peripheral tunnel.”

No way, others say.

In a split vote, the Delta Protection Commission last week agreed to send a letter asking the state to analyze a new plan that includes a 3,000 cfs tunnel — five times smaller than the twin tunnels currently being studied.

Environmental groups and some water districts issued the “portfolio” alternative earlier this month, repackaging a number of ideas that have been looked at separately but not collectively. Not just the tunnel, but also south of Delta storage, stronger Delta levees and habitat restoration.

Some commission members signaled they’d support the state studying that alternative — though they’re not ready to endorse the plan itself.

“We’ve been asking for this for four years — and you’ve repackaged a lot of what we’ve been saying. I believe we need to get this sooner than later,” said San Joaquin County Supervisor Larry Ruhstaller.

“The train is leaving,” said Delta farmer Bob Ferguson, a commission member. “For once, why don’t we get on that train?”

Commissioner Dante Nomellini, however, said any kind of tunnel would be a violation of the law.

“I wouldn’t want to be part of any implication that suggests we might go along with an isolated facility of any kind, regardless of size,” Nomellini said. “… There’s nothing in this proposal that emphasizes the need to take control away from the project operators and put it in the hands of some responsible agency that might operate the facility in accordance with protective requirements.”

The motion to write a letter passed, with 5 in support, 3 in opposition and one abstention.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Blog Author

    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Latest Tweets