PCFFA, Others Challenge Delta Island Purchase

Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties along with a coalition of environmental concerns and IFR’s sister organization, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA), have filed suit against the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District (MWD), seeking to block the District’s acquisition of five islands in California’s Sacramento River Delta. PCFFA’s suit claims that the MWD’s attempted purchase is principally intended to lay the groundwork for the Delta Tunnels, a project now also known as the “California Water Fix,” a proposed project that would shunt a huge volume of water from the Sacramento River system to industrial irrigators far south and inland.

The litigants seek to compel a more comprehensive environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which would open both the immediate land sale and wider proposed development to scrutiny from state regulators and provide a wealth of data in the wake of the environmental assessment.

The MWD, for its part, claims the purchase would be principally aimed at restoring habitat for wildlife, but does admit that the islands, some five miles west of Stockton, could be used for storing construction equipment and excavation materials were the Delta Tunnels project to be approved.

More information on PCFFA’s lawsuit is available in this press release.


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