At 40,000 pages, the draft of the environmental impact report for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan would match about 28 copies of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” and is potentially as convoluted. But it does not provide enough details for communities to plan for potential impacts, according to the comments filed by Yolo County on July 29.
“Beyond the problems presented by its sheer volume and complexity, the draft EIR/EIS is also incomplete and does not properly inform decision-makers and the public about the potentially significant environmental effects of the BDCP,” state the supervisors in the comments’ introduction.
The board lists three general concerns:
One, the report avoids adequately reviewing environmental and agricultural impacts by determining them to be outside the scope of the review.
Two, the county disagrees with the use of 2009 environmental conditions as a baseline for impact reviews, given the long-term nature of the project.
Last, the board asserts the draft EIS/EIR proves the plan fails to comply with the Delta Reform Act because it offers no details on how the project “protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreation, natural resource, and agricultural values of the delta as an evolving place”, as stated in the law.
“The BDCP is based on incomplete and inaccurate scientific assertions and arbitrarily expands the plan area with potential for great harm to our wildlife,” said Don Saylor, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, in an email. “We cannot allow our agriculture and wildlife to suffer the dramatic negative consequences foreseen based on this plan.”
In addition, the supervisors note a variety of community impacts, especially in the Clarksburg and West Sacramento areas, potential agricultural effects and ecological concerns about endangered species.
“There is no question that, by comparison to the status quo, many terrestrial species will be worse off as a consequence of CM1,” reads the report, where CM1 details the new conveyance facilities that would bring water from the Sacramento River to the south delta.
Thousands of comments were received by BDCP staff, and a final impact report will be released once those concerns have been addressed.
— Reach Elizabeth Case at email@example.com or 530-747-8052. Follow her on Twitter at @elizabeth_case