Court Finds Delta Plan Valid Despite Lack of Enforceable Numeric Compliance Targets

July 2020

California Water Law & Policy Reporter, Volume 30, Number 10

On April 10, 2020, the Third District Court of Appeal released a published opinion affirming certain aspects of the 2018 Delta Plan. (Delta Stewardship Council Cases (2020) 48 Cal.App.5th 1014, 262 Cal.Rptr.3d 445.) Seven separate challenges to the Delta Plan were filed. Following coordination of the actions, the trial court vacated the Delta Plan and related regulations because the Delta Plan did not include legally enforceable regulations for numeric compliance targets. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s determination that the Council was required to set enforceable numeric targets. The Court of Appeal also rejected a separate appeal by federal and state water contractors challenging the authority of the Council to regulate water rights. The Court of Appeal remanded to the trial court other matters that were mooted by the adoption of amendments to the Delta Plan during the pendency of the appeal. The Court of Appeal affirmed the remaining portions of the judgment.

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