The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is Being Sued in Federal Court

By TRT Staff

The California Sportsfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), North Coast River Alliance, Friends of the River and the Winnemem Wintu Tribe have sued the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Federal Court for failing to conduct a full environmental view of interim Central Valley Project (CVP) water delivery contracts.

The water is exported from the imperiled Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas, to irrigate drainage-impaired land owned by corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. The CVPIA’s goals included the doubling of anadromous fish populations, including Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River chinook salmon, white and green sturgeon, striped bass and American shad, by 2002. Of course, that goal was never reached, due to massive water exports to Westlands Water District, declining water quality and bad state and federal fishery management practices. In fact many fish populations declined even further, as evidenced by the Central Valley fall chinook salmon collapse of 2008 and 2009.

The Action requests the Court to: 1) find that USBR has acted contrary to law by issuing a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for interim contract renewals; 2) issue an order requiring USBR to withdraw their FONSI until they have complied with the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedures Act; and 3) and issue an injunction against further water deliveries until USBR had complied with the law.

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