State Red Tape Threatens South Bay Flood Control Project

MILPITAS (KCBS Radio) — The Santa Clara Valley Water District has filed a lawsuit against state officials, claiming too much bureaucracy is threatening the completion of a flood control project and citing lessons learned from the Coyote Creek flood that caused $100 million damage in San Jose four months ago.

The $35 million project is designed to provide 100-year flood protection to 2.2 miles of Upper Berryessa Creek between North San Jose and Milpitas, reducing flood risk to 624 properties and Santa Clara County’s first BART station, which is scheduled to open in December.

The Mercury News reports that, in October, contractors working for the Army Corps of Engineers began construction on a project approved in 2014 by Congress to widen the creek channel and install other flood protections.

In April, state water regulators rescinded an earlier approval they gave in March 2016.

The SCVWD lawsuit claims that the regional water board violated the California Environmental Quality Act. Since the regional water board already had signed off on the water district’s environmental impact report, it can’t come back later and make changes and new demands.

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