Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today issued the following statement on California’s lawsuit to protect more than 1,300 acres of salt ponds along the San Francisco Bay:
“The administration’s failure to protect the San Francisco Bay salt ponds puts the bay’s entire ecosystem at risk. I support the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Becerra and environmental groups in order to ensure the Clean Water Act is enforced and the salt ponds are protected.
“In 2016, EPA’s regional office rightfully determined that ponds at the Redwood City Salt Plant Site are ‘waters of the United States’ and therefore subject to federal permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act. With little explanation, the Trump administration reversed that decision, opening the fragile salt ponds up to development.
“The health of the San Francisco Bay will largely be determined by the future of these surrounding salt ponds. We can’t let the administration shirk its responsibility to safeguard this national treasure.”
- In March 2019, Senator Feinstein and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler asking him to explain how the agency determined that the Redwood City Salt Plant Site was not subject to federal permitting under the Clean Water Act despite an earlier draft that stated otherwise.
- Senator Feinstein helped negotiate the 2003 purchase of 16,500 acres of salt ponds from Cargill along the San Francisco Bay and Napa River – the largest such wetlands restoration project in California history – through a public-private partnership.