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CSPA's Jennings irked by State Board's "Secret Decision" and denial of review, sends scathing letter to Board

February 2, 2009 -- In July of 2008, a single State Water Resources Control Board member, Arthur Baggett, granted a petition allowing the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) to use the state pumps and federal pumps at the Joint Point of Diversion to pump Delta water interchangeably to maximize capacity without public comment or review. Shortly after that, before the month of July was over, both CSPA and the South Delta Water Agency filed petitions for review. However, the state dragged its feet and did not issue a denial of those petitions until January 6, 2009.

In response to that delayed denial, CSPA's Executive Director, Bill Jennings, sent of a scathing letter criticizing the Board's actions. In the letter Jennings states, "Frankly, to issue a “secret decision,” without benefit of public review, allowing the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to use the Joint Point of Diversion (JPOD) while Delta water quality standards are violated and then delay consideration of the CSPA and South Delta... (Continued)  Water Agency petitions of reconsideration until the “changes” expired and the issue became moot is simply reprehensible."

Following the original petition, CSPA and the South Delta Water Agency both filed petitions for review. However the State Board did not address these petitions until January 6, 2009 when they issued a denial of review. In the denial, the state board commented that the issue in part was "moot" since the pumping had already taken place.

Jennings ended the most current reply stating, "Should the Bureau and DWR again request the use of JPOD while standards are violated during 2009, CSPA expects the Board to avoid backroom orders and ensure that a timely public process is conducted. Please be advised, “mootness” will not be an issue if this fiasco is repeated."

DWR and USBR Petition July , 2008

South Delta Water Agency's Petition For Review, July 18, 2008

CSPA Petition for Review, July 30, 2008

State Board Denial of Petitions, January 6, 2009

South Delta Water Agency's Comments re Denial, January 29, 2009

CSPA's Comments re Denial, January 29, 2009