Written by Associated Press
(AP) — The Latest on the first in a series of government rulings on Gov. Jerry Brown’s plans to build $16 billion water tunnels from Northern California (all times local):
Federal agencies say they will release the first in a series of rulings that will determine the fate of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build two giant 35-mile water tunnels in Northern California.
The National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said they will release rulings on the environmental impact of the proposed mega-project on Monday.
Approval from the two agencies is a critical first step for the $16 billion water tunnel project. The tunnels to ship water south would be California’s biggest water project in decades.
Supporters say the Sacramento River tunnels project will ensure a more reliable water supply for central and Southern California.
Opponents say the tunnels could devastate native species already threatened by the state’s reliance on water from Northern California.
Federal officials say they’ll provide an update on California Gov. Jerry Brown’s ambitious plan to build two massive tunnels to ship water from the northern part of the state to the south.
Backers of the $16 billion project have been hoping for approval as soon as this week from the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Those would be part of a series of rulings needed from federal and state officials.
The giant project would install twin 40-foot (12-meter), 35-mile tunnels from the Sacramento River in Northern California.
Backers say it will help struggling native fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta while ensuring a reliable water supply for farms and millions of residents, mostly in central and Southern California.
Opponents say it would further threaten the delta and native fish nearing extinction after decades of increased water withdrawals from the delta.