Seeking records

Attempting to shine some light on the governor’s twin tunnels plan, South Delta Water Agency attorney John Herrick sent this public records request to the California Resources Agency last week.

Herrick wrote that because the public is not privy to all conversations and negotiations, he wanted to raise a few issues to be addressed publicly before any draft plan is released.

He cites three areas:

• The earthquake. While an earthquake is often cited as a justification for the tunnels, Herrick questions whether enough water will be available from the Sacramento River during dry years to offset the feared disruption in supply. “… Is this justification of the project no longer valid?” Herrick writes.

• Habitat. Herrick asks the state for its assumptions behind models showing new habitat will help fish. Almost all of the former habitat in the Delta had been eradicated by the 1930s, he wrote; but the decline of fish populations really started in the 1960s. “It does not appear logical or scientifically sound to conclude that more habitat will equal more fish.”

• Mitigation. Herrick warns that the public should not have to pay to offset the harmful effects of water diversions on fish and wildlife. He asked for five years of documents related to mitigation.

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    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
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