RTD Action Alert: Federal Rider Would Eliminate Litigation Against Delta Tunnels

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A rider included in the draft House FY 19 Interior Appropriations bill would exempt CA WaterFix from judicial review, including preempting state law to preclude litigation under state laws. This dangerous precedent would prevent anyone with standing from suing the Delta Tunnels project. To read the draft bill, click here.


The rider states: “SEC. 437. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Final Environmental Impact Report/Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan/California Water Fix (81 Fed. Reg. 96485 (Dec. 30, 2016)) and any resulting agency decision, record of decision, or similar determination shall hereafter not be subject to judicial review under any Federal or State law.”

This would affect numerous cases already filed in state and federal courts including state law claims under the California Environmental Quality Act (20 cases filed) or the California Endangered Species Act (3 cases filed), as well as litigation under the federal Endangered Species Act (2 cases filed) or NEPA (no cases yet filed because the Bureau has not yet issued a Record of Decision).

If this rider survives in committee and then passes Congress, it would eliminate legal hurdles for the Delta Tunnels. As a result, California WaterFix proponents could begin building the project sooner with fewer legal repercussions. This bill is a constitutional nightmare that violates state rights and proper due process, which is why we must call on our representatives to stop the rider in its tracks.

Please contact your representatives to express your vehement disapproval of the California WaterFix project, and demand that rider SEC. 437 be removed from the bill before it leaves committee.

“Hello , my name is ____, and I live in ______, CA. I am calling to express my disapproval of The House Appropriations Committee’s 2019 Spending Bill’s rider Sec. 437 which poses a direct threat to our Constitution by suggesting that the CA WaterFix project would no longer be subject to judicial review under any Federal or State Law. This is a complete violation of due process and state rights and I demand that this rider be removed from the bill. Thank you.”

Senator Feinstein’s D.C. Office:
Phone: (202) 224-3841
Senator Feinstein can also be reached via email

Senator Harris’s D.C. Office:
Phone (202) 224 – 3553
Senator Harris can also be reached via email

Congressman Ken Calvert, the suspected author of this proposed bill, should also be contacted.   

Congressman Calvert’s DC Office:
Phone: (202) 225-1986
Congressman Calvert can also be reached via email

We appreciate your continued activism and efforts to protect the Bay-Delta!

Yours in Service,

Restore the Delta