I think it is important to clarify how important public comment is to the State Water Resources Control Board during this review process for proposed amendments to the 2006 Bay Delta Plan.
Unfortunately, our efforts to conduct an open, transparent workshop and process were mischaracterized in statements made in a recent story published in the Turlock Journal.
Our workshop is scheduled to begin on March 20 and continuing to March 21, and March 22 as needed. It is intended to provide an opportunity for public comment before the board, in person. The deadline for written comments is noon, March 29.
We gave notice of the workshop on Dec. 31, 2012. At that time, a press release was sent to all Central Valley media highlighting the availability of documents for public review and comment.
With one exception, no individual or group has a designated presentation time. The State Water Board posted an order for presentation requests received by March 1. The exception is a joint presentation by the San Joaquin Tributaries Authority, Merced Irrigation District, Turlock Irrigation District and the City and County of San Francisco. These parties requested to be heard the morning of March 21. Again, the workshop will continue into Friday, March 22, if needed.
To facilitate public input, the State Water Board has set a time at the beginning of the workshop (March 20) to receive general public input to ensure that those citizens traveling to Sacramento for the day are assured of being heard on the same day as their travel in order to avoid increased travel costs.
I invite the public to visit our website for more information at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/bay_delta_plan/water_quality_control_planning/2012_sed/
— Thomas Howard, executive director, State Water Resources Control Board