Any kind of construction near water, or the diversion of water to allow for construction, is likely to raise concerns among environmental and other special-interest groups. One such instance is taking shape in a California legal battle over Gov. Jerry Brown’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley tunnel project, California WaterFix. Brown has proposed diverting water from the Sacramento River into two, 35-mile southbound tunnels, thereby doing away with the need to use pumping stations, which harm fish.
The governor’s $17 billion plan has been met with as many as 58 lawsuits, according to The Sacramento Bee, on behalf of local agencies, fishers, Native American tribes, and advocates for the environment among others. Each group has based its argument on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a tool that those critical of certain state projects have used to try to stop those projects or, at the very least, try to run out the clock on them.