Tens of millions of dollars of your money might have been spent illegally on the twin Delta water tunnels project , which are claims now at the center of a federal investigation.

There are a couple of problems brought by an employee of the federal Bureau of Reclamation to the group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

First, according to Paula Dinerstein, PEER's chief counsel, the money the Bureau granted the State Department of Water Resources for the tunnel project's environmental impact report is supposed to be used to protect fish and other wildlife.

"The Bureau of Reclamation is trying to fund an impact statement, which will facilitate this Delta tunnels project," Dinerstein said. "They're doing it illegally.  They don't have authority to give out this money."

The complaint also claims the state already spent a $50 million grant on the report, and now wants to spend another $36 million, but has not put up a dime of its $18 million share, which is supposed to happen before federal money is spent.

PEER would like to see that money paid back, which means you will have to pay no matter what.

The U.S. Interior Department's Inspector General promises to start its investigation this month.

D.W.R. and the Bureau of Reclamation will only say they will fully cooperate with that probe.