February 13, 2012

Another round of Ninth Circuit delta smelt briefing completed

By Another round of Ninth Circuit delta smelt briefing completed

On Friday, February 10, State Water Contractors, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands Water District, and the California Department of Water Resources filed briefs in the ongoing appeal of Judge Wanger’s 12/14/10 decision to invalidate the 2008 delta smelt biological opinion.  Relevant joinders were filed by Pacific Legal Foundation as well as Kern County Water Agency and the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta.  Previous briefs in this appeal filed by the federal government and the Natural Resources Defense Council may be found here.

Briefing in the appeal over Judge Wanger’s December 2010 decision should be completed later this Spring.  Meanwhile, briefing has been completed over the motion to dismiss NRDC’s appeal of last year’s Fall X2 injunction, and we also await word from the Ninth Circuit on NRDC’s attempt to subject renewals of water delivery contracts to Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultation for the delta smelt.

And in case that’s not enough Ninth Circuit litigation for you, over the last couple of weeks various groups have appealed Judge Wanger’s 9/20/11 salmonid biop summary judgment decision.  These groups include the federal government, NRDC, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands, State Water Contractors, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and Kern County Water Agency and the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta. Briefing will likely begin in this new appeal later this year.

What to read next