Author: Damien M. Schiff
Below is PLF's press release applauding Judge Wanger's favorable ruling today in The Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases.
This afternoon, Federal Judge Oliver Wanger of the Eastern District of California issued his long-awaited ruling in the The Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases, a legal challenge to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Delta smelt biological opinion.
Judge Wanger held the Delta smelt "biop" to be invalid, violating the Endangered Species Act and Administrative Procedure Act. He also held that certain specific water pumping restrictions are arbitrary and capricious.
In this challenge to the Delta smelt biop, Pacific Legal Foundation attorneys represent three San Joaquin Valley farmers who have been significantly impacted by the water cutbacks that resulted from the Delta smelt biological opinion.
In response to today's ruling by Judge Wanger, PLF attorney Damien Schiff issued this statement:
Judge Wanger was correct to recognize that the feds' Delta smelt biological opinion involved a lot of junk science. The feds claimed that the pumps harm the smelt population, but they didn't provide any meaningful measurement to back up that assertion. He also blasted the government for failing to consider the devastating economic impacts created by draconian water cutbacks. With the economy struggling and unemployment still soaring, it is welcome to see a judge refusing to rubber stamp extreme, destructive, and unjustified environmental regulations.