San Joaquin County Takes Stand Against Brown’s Tunnel Plan

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San Joaquin County Supervisors voted Tuesday morning on their final comments, opposing the controversial twin tunnels project, also known as the Bay Delta Conservation Program.

Supervisors analyzed a 40,000 page state environmental impact report and responded to the state in a 100-page staff report. That report says the twin tunnels project will destroy the Delta, negatively impacting agriculture in San Joaquin County forever, and that the project is misrepresented as a conservation plan.

“We need to protect our Delta and protect water here,” Stockton area farmer Lynn Miller said.

Miller spoke to FOX40 on behalf of many local farmers who oppose the twin tunnels. Miller says the plan to divert water to Southern California at a rate of 9,000 cubic-feet-per-second will make her water so slatey, she may not be able to grow any crops on her farm land.

“Farmers decide where they do business. They made the decision to live there, farm there, grow the crops they’re growing there. Farmers decide where they do business. They don’t have the right to say, oh wait, it’s not working out how we’d like it to. You have to come bail us out now,” said Miller.

San Joaquin County Supervisors also say the twin tunnels plan would freeze the Delta counties out of the development, decision-making and implementation process, even though the plan will have a significant agricultural and financial impact on those counties. They also question why taxpayers and ratepayers have been denied a public vote on what they call one of the largest public works projects in U.S. history.

In May, Governor Jerry Brown gave his support to the twin tunnels project.

“If someone can come up with a better way to do it, hallelujah. But this is what all of these smart people tell me and I think the odds are they are more right than not,” Governor Brown said.

Governor Brown also in May explained why he thinks the twin tunnels are necessary.

“There was an idea of a periphery cancel, now there’s the idea of tunnels. One way or another, we have to deal with handling what could be a catastrophic destruction in the Delta, which will happen through rising sea water,” Brown said.

San Joaquin County’s staff report says “much of the political pressure to implement the BDCP is driven by the theory that an earthquake could cause massive levee collapse in the Delta. It is theorized that such an event could allow large amounts of seawater to enter the Delta…rendering the water supply unusable.”

The report continues to say the BDCP documents do not show any compelling evidence that earthquakes are a significant threat to water supply reliability.

“There are all sorts of things that aren’t defined. They’re calling it science, but I don’t think it’s proven science of how it’s actually going to work once construction starts,” Miller said.

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