Yuba Net –
Today, representatives of fishing organizations, tribes, and environmental advocacy groups spoke against the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s proposed issuance of a 25 year permit to continue discharges of selenium and other toxins from commingled agricultural and stormwater runoff into the San Joaquin River and the San Francisco Bay Delta. These contaminants would impair the survival of commercially harvested salmon, degrade the quality of the freshwater environment downstream, and poison the drinking water supply for tens of thousands of Californians.
Over the past 25 years millions of taxpayer dollars have been used to study treatment of the poisoned land discharges. Despite a massive effort, no solutions have been found other than to stop irrigation of poisoned lands. In fact a recent report demonstrates that the Bureau of Reclamation “spent a reported $67.8 million for just a project (demonstration treatment plant) that has not met its legal obligation to provide drainage services and that has not consistently met operational performance goals.
Last month five groups, including PCFFA, filed suit against the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority and the US Bureau of Reclamation for the failure to adequately review the environmental impacts from continued operation of the Grasslands Bypass Project to drain agricultural pollution.