First of 7 Delta Tunnel Notice of Preparation Scoping Meetings Start Today in Sacramento



By Dan Bacher |

The Gavin Newsom Administration formally began the planning process for a controversial single tunnel under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta when the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) released its Delta Conveyance Notice of Preparation on January 15, 2020.

The first public scoping meeting on this process will take place on Monday, February 3, 2020 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the California Environmental Protection Agency Building, 1001 I Street, Sacramento. Everybody who cares about the future of the Delta farms and fish and West Coast fisheries should attend. If you can’t attend this meeting, the list of public scoping meetings is listed below. 

The Department of Water Resources is holding seven public scoping meetings between February 3 and 20 on the recently released Notice of Preparation (NOP) for its proposal to “modernize water infrastructure in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta” — build the Delta Tunnel.

Salmon advocates, tribal leaders, Delta community leaders and farmers and environmentalists, who oppose the tunnel’s construction, are strongly encouraging people concerned about the future of the estuary to show up at the public scoping meetings listed below.

“The NOP signals the start of the scoping period, providing an opportunity for public and agency comment on the scope and content of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review, including the potential environmental impacts of a proposed single tunnel conveyance project and range of alternatives that will be analyzed in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Informational materials, including a new overview fact sheet, can be found here,” according to the notice from DWR.

“There is still no announcement on whether there will be Northern California public meetings,” said Regina Chichizola, co-director of Save California Salmon. “Call Marcus Yee at (916) 651-6736 to request meetings.”

“DWR has clarified that the meetings will NOT be open house style,” noted Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta. “Yes, your comments will be taken in by a court reporter, but there will be a short presentation and comments can be made to the entire community.  We received incorrect information on open house meetings from a different government source.  It was clarified for us yesterday at the Stakeholders Engagement Meeting with the Design Construction Authority. “

”We also understand that the eastern alignment for the tunnel is the preferred route for the tunnel, so Delta residents need to study the map carefully and think through the impacts associated with this alignment of the project. Nevertheless, getting your questions, comments, objections and concerns into the record is essential. So we are encouraging our members throughout the state to attend,” she concluded. 

The list of public scoping meeting dates, locations and times can be found  below:

In addition to the scoping meetings, comments can be submitted by email 
to: DeltaConveyanceScoping@water.ca.gov or mail to: Delta Conveyance Scoping Comments, Attn: Renee Rodriguez, Department of Water Resources, P.O. Box 942836, Sacramento, CA 94236.
DWR is currently accepting comments on the scope of the EIR through March 20, 2020.
Meeting Details

SACRAMENTO:
Monday, February 3, 2020
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
CA EPA Building
1001 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814


LOS ANGELES:
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Junipero Serra State Building
320 West Fourth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013


WALNUT GROVE:
Monday, February 10, 2020
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Jean Harvie Community Center
14273 River Road
Walnut Grove, CA 95690


SAN JOSE:
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Santa Clara Valley Water District, Board Room
5750 Almaden Expressway
San Jose, CA 95118


STOCKTON:
Thursday, February 13, 2020
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
San Joaquin Council of Governments, Board Room
555 Weber Avenue
Stockton, CA 95202


CLARKSBURG:
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Clarksburg Middle School Auditorium
52870 Netherlands Road
Clarksburg, CA 95612


BRENTWOOD:
Thursday, February 20, 2020
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Brentwood Community Ctr, Conference Room
35 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513


Agenda

*Doors open for check-in 30 minutes prior to the listed meeting start time so presentations can begin promptly.

Welcome/Meeting Format – Janet Barbieri, Facilitator (5 minutes)


DWR is seeking agency and public input on the scope of issues to be addressed in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and input about alternatives that meet the project’s objective

Presentation - Carrie Buckman, Environmental Program Manager, Department of Water Resources (30 minutes)
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Overview
Notice of Preparation (NOP) Details
Scoping Process and Public Involvement
Opportunity to ask clarifying questions related to the scoping process or contents of the NOP

Comment Session (1 hour 25 minutes)
Commenters will have three minutes to provide verbal comment that will be entered into the record


Comments may also be submitted in several ways:


In writing at the meeting
Mail: Department of Water Resources
Attn: Renee Rodriguez
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236

All comments received during the scoping period will be considered in the development of the Draft EIR

The construction of the tunnel would hasten the extinction of Sacramento winter and spring run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, as well as imperil salmon and steelhead fisheries on the Klamath and Trinity rivers, according to fish advocates.

According to the documents, the state will consider a tunnel that would divert 6,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water from the Sacramento River. Tunnels with the capacity to divert 3,000 cfs and 7,500 cfs will also be considered as alternatives. 

Anyone interested in more information concerning the EIR process, or anyone who has information concerning the study or suggestions as to significant issues, should contact Marcus Yee at (916) 651-6736.










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