Environmental and Fishing Organizations Challenge Approval of Grasslands Bypass Project Under State and Federal Law
California Water Law & Policy Reporter, Volume 30, Number 5
On November 12, 2019, five environmental and fishing organizations filed a verified petition for writ of mandate and complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief (“Petition”) challenging the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority’s (“Authority”) ongoing operations of the Grasslands Bypass Project (“Grasslands Project”). (North Coast Rivers Alliance, et al. v. San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority, Merced County Superior Court, No. 19CV-04989.) Specifically, the Petition alleges that the Authority: (1) violated the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) by failing to prepare a supplemental environmental impact report (“SEIR”) in connection with its approval of its Long-Term Storm Water Management Program; (2) violated the Delta Reform Act by operating the Grasslands Project; (3) violated the Public Trust Doctrine by approving the Grasslands Project’s discharge of water to Mud Slough; and (4) is in violation of the Clean Water Act and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (“Porter-Cologne”) by operating the Grasslands Project without a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (“Reclamation”) is named in the Petition as a real party in interest.
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