Staff from the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) sent a letter this week to federal and state agency officials  overseeing the development of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) requesting an extension for the public comment period of the Draft EIS/EIR for the project. The BDCP is the massive Sacramento-San Joaquin Rivers water management project being promoted by California Governor Jerry Brown and US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell that features the giant “Twin Tunnels” water conveyance infrastructure for pumping Northern California water to points south, largely to benefit corporate agriculture and energy interests.
“Even a cursory glance of the oversized BDCP documentation reveals serious omissions,” said Gary Graham Hughes, executive director of EPIC. “The documentation is totally lacking in an adequate analysis on impacts of the BDCP on North Coast threatened species like Trinity Coho Salmon,” continued Hughes, “which demonstrates the geographic nearsightedness that is the unfortunate essence of the project.”
“To be clear, our small public interest organization, alongside many others across the state,” said Hughes, “needs more time to be able to comprehend the voluminous documentation, which adds up to more than 40,000 pages of material.”
The Environmental Protection Information Center late last summer filed comments opposing the Shasta Dam raise on the Sacramento River, and is very active with river and forest conservation advocacy throughout the Trinity and Klamath Basins. It is the position of EPIC that the BDCP has failed since it’s conception to properly account for and analyze the impacts of existing and proposed dam and water conveyance infrastructure on the long-term health and viability of North Coast river systems and human communities.
Currently the public comment period is open until April 15, 2014. Documentation for the BDCP Draft EIS/EIR was published in early December, and on December 13, 2013, a 120-day public comment period was initiated. EPIC, along with partners in the Environmental Water Caucus , has requested that the public comment period for the Draft EIS/EIR be extended until August 15, 2014.