July 9, 2018 – Restore the Delta’s recent PRA request documents from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) reveal that Kern County Water Agency (KCWA) and MWD consulted Ken Calvert’s Legislative Aide, Ian Foley, on the language of the Valadao Rider—a supplemental provision to the House Appropriations spending bill that would exempt the Central Valley Project and State Water Project from judicial review. The Valadao rider was added to the Appropriations bill after the Calvert rider was approved by the Interior subcommittee.
These findings supplement Restore the Delta’s findings from the same PRA request released last week.
On May 21, 2018, Ian Foley, emailed MWD Assistant General Manager Roger Patterson and KCWA Assistant General Manager Brent Walthall to “quietly share” some language from the House Appropriations spending bill and asked both Assistant General Managers for their thoughts. The shared language reads:
“None of the funds made available by this Act or any other Act of Congress shall be used by the Department of the Interior to modify or otherwise adjust the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative described in the Fish and Wildlife Service’s December 15, 2008, biological opinion on the coordinated operations of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project or the Department of Commerce to modify or otherwise adjust the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative described in the National Marine Fisheries Service’s June 4, 2009, Biological Opinion and Conference Opinion on the Long-Term Operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project in any manner that would further contain or limit the ability of the Central Valley Project or California State Water Project to provide, at the earliest possible date, the maximum quantity of water supplies to Central Valley Project agricultural, municipal, and industrial contractors, water service or repayment contractors, water rights settlement contracts, exchange contractors, refuge contractors, and State Water Project Contractors” (MWD-RTD_000171.pdf).
Mr. Waltall (KCWA) responded that he thinks Kern County would support the language but anticipated that the Valadao rider would create more backlash from tunnels opponents (MWDPRA-RTD_000167.pdf).
Executive Director of Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said,
“The collective effort made by Representative Valadao, Congressman Calvert and his staff, Metropolitan, and Kern County Water Agency to strip due process rights from all residents, municipalities, water districts etc. who live in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River watersheds and the Delta is Un-American and Anti-Californian.