By Daniel Nussbaum, Breitbart, 8/18/2015
The State of California is planning to use eminent domain law to acquire hundreds of farms in the Delta for a controversial, multi-billion-dollar underground water tunnel project proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
According to documents obtained by environmental group Restore the Delta, state water exporters and the Delta Design Construction Enterprise (DCE) division of the Department of Water Resources are planning to acquire 300 pieces of land from Delta farms to ensure right of way for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan tunnel project.
The $15 billion project, under development for the last eight years, has long been favored by Brown, who wants to use the twin underground tunnels to move water from the northern part of the state to the south by diverting it around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
But the project has faced stiff opposition from environmental groups like Restore the Delta and others who say the tunnels are not environmentally sustainable.
In a statement, Restore the Delta executive director Barbara Barrigan-Parilla blasted the “arrogance” of state officials for using eminent domain to acquire farmers’ land.
“While Delta and good-government activists are busy mobilizing comments in a democratic process, we discover state agencies view public oversight as simply a distraction,” Barrigan-Parilla said. “These documents arrogantly envision groundbreaking ceremonies as early as July 2016. Bulldozers and cement trucks are ready to roll! Red ribbons are budgeted! All for a $60 billion boondoggle without even one permit. Clearly, water officials under the Brown Administration view the Delta as a colony.”