Tuesday, March 6, 2012

San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water v. Department of Interior

Mar 2: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 09-17594. Appealed from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. As explained by the Appeals Court, the appeal arises from a long-running conflict which has devolved to the present remaining dispute as to the classification of approximately 9,000 acre feet (AF) of water released between June 17 through 24 of 2004 from the Nimbus and New Melones reservoirs within California's Central Valley Project (the CVP or Project) by Defendant-Appellee United States Department of the Interior (Interior), acting through the United States Bureau of Reclamation (the Bureau).
    Plaintiff-Appellants San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands Water District contend that Interior abused its discretion in failing to apply the latter June 2004 releases against the 800,000 AF of CVP yield especially designated for fish, wildlife, and habitat restoration under section 3406(b)(2) of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA).
    The Appeals Court ruled that, "Because we find that the Water Agencies have standing and the accounting which Interior conducted for the latter June 2004 releases did not constitute an abuse of discretion, we affirm the district court's orders granting summary judgment in favor of the Federal Appellees and against Appellants.
    Access the complete opinion (click here). [#Water, #CA9]

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