Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Delta Area Representatives Release Statement on News that Office of Inspector General will Review Funding for California WaterFix

April 14, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – Representatives Mike Thompson (CA-05), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) and John Garamendi (CA-03) released the following statement today in response to the news that the Office of Inspector General (OIG) within the Department of the Interior will conduct a review of the Delta Habitat Conservation and Conveyance Program, also known as California WaterFix. The OIG will investigate claims made by internal whistleblowers that the Bureau of Reclamation executed a Financial Assistance Agreement (FAA) with the California Department of Water Resources without authorization under current law; violated cost sharing requirements set forth under the FAA; and granted funds to support duplicative projects.

“We are encouraged to learn that the Department of Interior’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) will conduct a review of the Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) role in funding the ill-conceived California WaterFix.”

“As we have previously suggested in correspondence with BOR, the agency has acted outside its statutory authority in granting nearly $60 million to support the review of the WaterFix conveyance project. Such gross mismanagement of taxpayer dollars must spell the end of federal involvement in this project, which amounts to nothing more than a thinly-veiled water grab that threatens to decimate water quality and supply for the families, farmers and species that rely on the Delta.”

“We applaud the OIG for taking this important first step toward not only protecting millions in taxpayer dollars, but the future of the Delta. We urge the OIG to investigate the full range of allegations made by our offices in conjunction with other stakeholders.”