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Feds critical of California twin tunnel project

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Federal officials say a pair of giant water diversion tunnels proposed for Northern California could violate the federal Clean Water Act and harm endangered fish.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week released its formal comment on the state's Bay Delta Conservation Plan, a $25 billion project aimed at stabilizing water supplies in the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta. The project has drawn criticism from Delta-area farmers and environmental groups.

The EPA's Jared Blumenfeld says the project could degrade the ecosystem that's home to the Delta smelt and supplies water to local farmers and communities.

Richard Stapler, of the state's Natural Resources Agency, says the agency is considering the EPA's concerns and others that have come up and has delayed a final decision on the project until next year because of them.

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