The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) has filed a formal complaint against the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) for violations of the Water Quality Control Plan for the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River Basins (Basin Plan), violations of WR Order 90-05 and Sacramento River temperature requirements and for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Public Trust Doctrine and the California Constitution.
Specifically, CSPA alleges that the SWRCB has failed to implement crucial Basin Plan water temperature criteria and CWA requirements protecting water quality and fish and wildlife beneficial uses with respect to USBR’s water rights permits and licenses and has failed to take enforcement actions against USBR’s habitual violations of the Basin Plan, CWA and WR Order 90-05 temperature criteria and requirements against USBR. CSPA alleges that USBR has failed to comply with explicit temperature criteria protecting fish and wildlife beneficial uses contained in the Basin Plan, CWA and WR Order 90-05. CSPA additionally alleges that the SWRCB and USBR have failed to comply with their respective responsibilities and obligations under the ESA, Public Trust Doctrine and Article X of the California Constitution.
Should winter-run Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and potentially several other species that have evolved and thrived over millennia go extinct, it will not be because of drought. It will be because the SWRCB and USBR have refused to comply with the law.