On 13 June 2014, CSPA and AquAlliance filed a motion in federal District Court for a preliminary injunction to restrain and enjoin the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) from carrying out or approving the transfer of up to 175,226 acre-feet of water from the Sacramento Valley through the Delta to the San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority in the San Joaquin Valley. A hearing in the matter is scheduled for 10 July 2014. The initial lawsuit was filed on 11 June 2014 and the water transfers are scheduled to begin in early July.
The USBR failed to legally comply with the National Environmental Policy Act or the Administrative Procedures Act before deciding to carry out the water transfers. Specifically, the USBR failed to consider new information, including: impacts resulting from the State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) relaxation of Delta water quality and flow standards and the egregiously flawed estimates of Delta outflow by project proponents.
Together, these actions will draw Delta smelt and their critical low salinity zone habitat further into the Delta where the smelt, already poised on the brink of extinction, will be exposed to lethal water temperatures and entrainment in export pumps. A preliminary injunction is necessary to prevent irreparable harm and possible extinction to threatened Delta smelt. The Law Offices of Thomas N. Lippe APC and Lozeau Drury LLP are representing CSPA and AquAlliance in this matter.