CSPA and five other organizations have intervened in two lawsuits against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concerning FERC’s jurisdiction over La Grange Dam on the Tuolumne River. The lawsuits contest FERC’s July 19, 2013 Order on La Grange, and FERC’s earlier Order of December 18, 2012, that require Turlock Irrigation District (TID) to initiate a proceeding to license “the La Grange Project,” including TID’s 4.9 megawatt powerhouse at the base of La Grange Dam. As we noted in our blog post on January 19, 2013, this could lead to a requirement to construct fish passage facilities past both La Grange Dam and Don Pedro Dam and Reservoir, 2.9 miles upstream of La Grange Dam. (See http://calsport.org/news/cspa-and-conservation-allies-fight-for-fish-passage-past-tuolumne-river-dams/).
Both FERC’s December 18, 2012 Order and FERC’s July 19, 2013 Order were partial victories for CSPA and allied groups. On September 13, 2013, TID and its co-licensee of the Don Pedro Project, Modesto Irrigation District (MID), petitioned the Federal Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit for review of both of FERC’s Orders. On September 17, 2013, the Tuolumne River Trust also petitioned the D.C. Circuit for review. The two cases have been consolidated.
None of the parties have yet stated their issues in petitioning for review or in intervening. We expect the Districts to oppose all three of the basic reasons that FERC found that La Grange must be licensed: occupancy of federal lands, navigability, and construction since 1935. We will post major documents from the case as they are filed with the court.