Ag Today May 16, 2018

A ban on Delta tunnels lawsuits slips into federal spending plan

BY EMILY CADEI AND RYAN SABALOW, The Sacramento Bee
May 15, 2018 11:53 AM

Updated May 15, 2018 01:10 PM

Washington-

With the California Delta tunnels proposal facing an uncertain future, one of the state’s Republican congressmen has come up with a way to help the multibillion water project, known formally as California WaterFix, reach completion: ban environmental lawsuits.

On Tuesday, veteran Rep. Ken Calvert of Riverside County released a 142-page draft spending bill for fiscal year 2019 for the Interior Department and related agencies.

Tucked into the bill, on page 141, is a brief provision that would prohibit state or federal lawsuits against “the Final Environmental Impact Report/Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan/California Water Fix … and any resulting agency decision, record of decision, or similar determination.” Calvert is the chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies.

“After more than a decade of studies and more than 50,000 pages of environmental documents, all of the project’s stakeholders have had a plethora of opportunities to express their thoughts and concerns,” Calvert said in a statement. “The tough decisions about the California Water Fix have been made by Gov. Brown, Democrat and Republican legislators, and a host of water officials, and now we must move forward with the project. It’s long past time to give Californians the reliable water system they deserve.”

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