June 4, 2009

New bi-op issued for delta and delta-dependent species

By Damien M. Schiff Senior Attorney

Today, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a new biological opinion governing the operation of the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project as they affect the winter and spring-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, the southern population of North American green sturgeon, and Southern Resident killer whales.  The bi-op's executive summary can be found here.  Interestingly, NMFS makes a point of stating that it considered the economic impact and technical feasability of the reasonable and prudent alternative components; the absence of such an analysis has been challenged in the ongoing delta smelt litigation against the Fish and Wildlife Service (including PLF's suit).

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