On 10 August 2015, CSPA, the Otter Project, Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Associations, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water and an elderly woman who was deprived of drinking water because of agricultural pollution prevailed in an important lawsuit against the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) over the waiver of rules protecting fisheries, water quality and human health from highly polluted discharges from farms. Discharges from agricultural activities had resulted in endemic aquatic life toxicity in Central Coast streams and routine violations of numerous water quality standards protecting human health and the environment.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley ruled that the “waiver” failed to ensure compliance with water quality standards and failed to comply with the California Water Code, Water Quality Control Plan for the Central Coast Basin, state’s Non-Point Source Control Plan and was not in the public interest. He issued a peremptory writ of mandate compelling the SWRCB to vacate the waiver and go through the process again.
The Stanford Environmental Law Clinic, Golden Gate University Environmental Law and Justice Clinic and California Rural Legal Assistance represented CSPA and the other plaintiffs in this case.