California's tunnels spending prompts federal review

SAN FRANCISCO -- Federal authorities say they will investigate whether California improperly used federal funds for Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed water tunnels.

The Interior Department's inspector general said in a letter made public Monday that it will look into the funding allegations. A group called Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility asked for the review, on behalf of an unidentified federal whistleblower.

Brown's administration wants to build two 40-foot-high, 30-mile-long tunnels to carry water from Northern California's Sacramento River to water districts further south. Supporters and opponents disagree over whether the project would further damage dozens of native species there.

The allegation charges the state improperly used $60 million meant to restore fish habitat on preliminary studies for the tunnels.

State and federal officials said Monday their agencies would cooperate with the review.
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