We applaud Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA-3) for his attempt to amend HR 6147, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2019. Unfortunately, this bill doesn’t just fund various federal agencies, it also contains sections that prohibit lawsuits that seek to stop the Delta Tunnels and could also prohibit groups from bringing suit to stop other damaging water infrastructure projects.
Rep. Garamendi’s bid to amend was ruled out of order, or, as he wrote in an email to constituents, “political speak for ‘we don’t like your idea, so we’re not going to give it a vote.'”
As he writes, “If H.R. 6147 were to become law, it would prohibit lawsuits against nearly all major California water projects, including the twin tunnels.” The bill would empower the California Department of Water Resources to do what they like to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, and denying a day in court to more than 90 parties with lawsuits challenging various aspects of the tunnels, including local governments, water districts, and conservation groups. Other attempts to protect water, such as fighting the raising of the Shasta Dam, would also be imperiled.
You can read Rep Garamendi’s press release here.