Business, Labor Groups Urge Decisions on BDCP

Calling the status quo a grave threat to the Delta, business and labor groups are urging state and federal agencies to move ahead with decisions on the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan as soon as possible in the coming year.

In a June 15 letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird, the groups called on the agency leaders to adhere to their anticipated timeline and make the key decisions necessary to advance a plan to improve both water supply reliability and ecosystem health in the Delta. The state cannot afford further delays, the letter said.

“We fully realize both the complexity of the Delta challenge and the difficulty of shifting from the planning phase to the deciding phase,” the groups wrote. “Yet the BDCP is clearly at a crossroads. Thousands of pages of scientific and technical information released over the past months have provided the necessary building blocks for decisions.”

Noting that public water agencies are poised to spend nearly $250 million on planning, they urged Salazar and Laird to “seize this rare moment in California water history” to move toward an area of action and positive change.

“There will always be a degree of scientific uncertainty in the Delta. There will always be differing views. There will always be stakeholders with a passion for one of the coequal goals more than the other,” the letter said. “We recognize that the BDCP, with hundreds of public meetings, has received considerable input. What we need now is a robust proposal that advances both water supply reliability and Delta restoration in a workable fashion.”

Groups signing the letter include Western Growers, California Business Properties Association, California Alliance for Jobs, California State Council of Laborers, California Building Industry Association, California Conference of Carpenters, California Chamber of Commerce and the International Union of Operating Engineers.

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