Catching up with the delta smelt in the Ninth Circuit
Recall that earlier this year Judge Wanger enjoined implementation of the delta smelt Fall X2 action. The Natural Resources Defense Council appealed the X2 injunction to the Ninth Circuit and filed its opening brief on appeal in October. Last week the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, Kern County Water Agency, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Westlands Water District, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, and the State Water Contractors filed this motion to dismiss NRDC’s X2 appeal, arguing (among other things) that the appeal is moot because the X2 injunction has expired. The California Department of Water Resources partially joined the water users’ X2 dismissal motion. NRDC has until January 17, 2012, to respond.
Meanwhile, appeals relating to Judge Wanger’s Dec. 14, 2010, decision to invalidate and remand the 2008 delta smelt biological opinion continue. On December 5, 2011, the federal government filed this opening brief in its appeal to overturn Judge Wanger’s decision. On the same day, NRDC filed this opening brief in its appeal to overturn Judge Wanger’s decision. Responses from water users and the California Department of Water Resources will likely be filed in January.