CSPA and eight allied conservation groups have opposed a requested delay in the licensing of the unlicensed La Grange Powerhouse and Dam on the Tuolumne River. On December 20, owners of the dam, Modesto Irrigation District and Turlock Irrigation District, applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a second six-month delay in the licensing process that was ordered by the Commission in July, 2013. Conservation Groups, having only five days to respond with an extra day for the Christmas holiday, filed an Answer to the Districts’ request on December 26. In opposing the Districts’ latest request, Conservation Groups point to the accumulated benefits of decades without licensing and the public interest in moving the proceeding forward.
Previously, the Districts had filed a request that licensing be stayed (delayed altogether) until the Districts litigated the order by FERC to license the project. Conservation Groups opposed stay, and FERC denied it. The Districts initiated litigation in September, opposing licensing entirely. The Tuolumne River Trust also sued, seeking licensing of La Grange as part of the Don Pedro Project, just upstream, and CSPA and others intervened in support of the Trust. Briefs have not been filed in the now combined lawsuits.