The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), North Coast River Alliance, Friends of the River and the Winneman Wintu Tribe have sued the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), in Federal Court, over interim Central Valley Project water delivery contracts. Specifically, the lawsuit challenges the Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for eleven interim renewal contracts for water deliveries to the San Luis Unit, which includes Westlands Water District.
The Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) was passed in 1992 to address the adverse environmental impacts that result for Central Valley Project operations. It requires full environmental review, including an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), before any long-term water service contracts can be renewed by USBR. However, since passage of the CVPIA, USBR has been sequentially issuing two-year interim renewal contracts to avoid having to conduct a full environmental review of project operations.
The action requests the Court to 1) find that USBR has acted contrary to law by issuing a FONSI for interim contract renewals; 2) issue and order requiring USBR to withdraw their FONSI until they have complied with the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedures Act and 3) and issue an injunction against further water deliveries until USBR has complied with the law.
The Law Offices of Stephan C. Volker is representing CSPA, North Coast River Alliance, Friends of the River and the Winneman Wintu Tribe in this matter.