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Although BDCP will be up for public review and comment in October, many think the permitting process will drag on for years before any ground is broken, and that the cost of the project will balloon. "It will be very good for the legal profession," said Loben-Sels. "There will be legal battles about the flow levels, about how to keep the salt out, about the fish populations. ... Those of us who live [in the Delta] are not willing to concede until we see something reasonable coming from the other side. ... And BDCP is still stuck on these monster tunnels."
Correction: The original version of this story misstated the length of the proposed water tunnels. They are currently proposed to be 35 miles long -- not 39 miles. The length we reported came from an earlier proposal of the water tunnels that has since been changed by the Brown administration.