In breaking news, the California Department of Water Resources today claimed
that the Court of Appeal ruling yesterday in favor of Delta farmers regarding eminent domain shouldn't have "any material impact" of Governor Jerry Brown's rush to build the peripheral tunnels under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.
"The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) does not expect yesterday’s (March 13, 2014) California Court of Appeal decision to have any material impact on the schedule of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP)," according to a statement from DWR.
"Based on the lower court’s decision, DWR has been proceeding pursuant to the eminent domain process to conduct geotechnical drilling and will continue to do so. Thus, the BDCP schedule takes into account the time needed for this process," the agency claimed. (http://www.water.ca.gov/...)
In a big victory for Delta landowners, the Court of Appeals ruled the state may not access private property in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to conduct studies used to plan the construction of the twin tunnels. The court said these studies would first have to be authorized in formal eminent domain proceedings.
The ruling prohibits DWR from conducting the ground surveys and site assessments needed for BDCP's engineering, biological, geotechnical, archaeological, floral and faunal studies.
Resistance to the peripheral tunnels is building throughout the state. A broad coalition of Delta farmers, fishermen, Indian Tribes, grassroots environmentalists, elected officials and Delta residents oppose the tunnels because their construction would hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon and Delta fish populations, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.
The alleged "habitat restoration" proposed under the plan would take vast tracts of Delta farmland, among the most fertile on the planet, out of agricultural production to continue irrigating toxic, drainage-impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.