This just in … Court Strikes Down Environmental Review of Kern Water Bank: California Officials Failed to Consider Environmental Impacts of Bank Operation (includes court documents)

This just in from the Center for Biological Diversity:

Center_for_Biological_Diversity_logo“A California judge has struck down the environmental review of the Kern Water Bank, saying state regulators didn’t do enough in 2010 to examine how its operation effects the state’s water resources and wildlife. The ruling by Superior Court Judge Timothy M. Frawley means the state Department of Water Resources will now have to conduct a new review of Kern Water Bank, the country’s largest underground water-banking operation and the subject of nearly two decades of controversy and litigation.

The decision is a key victory for environmentalists, sportfishers, delta farmers and State Water Project ratepayers impacted by the private water bank that serves San Joaquin Valley agribusiness interests.

The water bank was transferred out of public control as part of the controversial 1995 “Monterey Amendments” to the State Water Project long-term contracts, which were also at issue in the latest suit, filed in 2010 by the Center and joined by C-Win, CSPA, and two public water districts representing delta farmers and residents. The suit challenged the second attempt by state authorities to analyze the environmental impacts of the Kern Water Bank transfer, with the first attempt being struck down in an earlier lawsuit in 2003.

“We’re pleased that the court agreed with us that the environmental review didn’t do nearly enough to analyze how this water giveaway impacts other natural resources. This is an important victory that will hopefully shine a light on the murky operation of the Kern Water Bank,” said Adam Keats, senior counsel with the Center for Biological Diversity. “But we strongly disagree that the state’s approval of the transfer of the water bank is untouchable. Despite our victory here, we will likely have to take our fight to the appellate court to reverse one of the greatest rip-offs in California’s history.” … ”

Continue reading the press release here: Court Strikes Down Environmental Review of Controversial Kern Water Bank: California Officials Failed to Consider Environmental Impacts of Bank Operation

Read the court documents …




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