From the Sacramento Bee: Delta Water Tunnels Environmental Report Released

AM Alert: Delta water tunnels environmental report released

delta_aerial.JPG

Whether the Bay Delta Conservation Plan is the solution to decades of conflict over California’s water supply is heavily debated. But after seven years in the making, the environmental impact report for the project — which proposes construction of two enormous tunnels to divert freshwater from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the south state — is finally ready for scrutiny.

The impact report was filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday and should be made available on the plan’s website some time today. There will be opportunity for the public to comment on the report starting Friday and extending until April 14.

The implications for the project, which is backed by Gov. Jerry Brown but has faced intense political opposition, are considerable: It goes before state and federal wildlife agencies next year, who will consider the effects to the Delta’s fragile ecosystem. If they approve the project, the state has said it will decide by the end of 2014 whether to proceed with building the tunnels and how to pay for them.