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Calif. Supreme Court Ruling Eases Path For Delta Tunnel Plan

  
The California Supreme Court has overturned a lower court ruling that could have added time and cost to the Brown administration’s plan to build two giant tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The court ruled that state officials can conduct environmental and geological tests on private land without having to go through a lengthy eminent domain process or negotiating paid agreements with landowners.

The state is looking to conduct those tests on about 150 properties around the Delta. It’s a key step in the state’s plan to build two 30 mile-long tunnels under the Delta to make it easier to transport its water to Southern California.

Property owners who oppose the plan sued, arguing if the state wants to conduct tests on private land, it has to seize it and pay for it. The justices ruled court orders and deposits to cover any damage will suffice.

Ben Bradford

State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covers California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio