The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Water Impact Network, AquAlliance and Restore the Delta have filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief, under the Administrative Procedures Act, and a Petition for Writ of Mandate, under California Code of Civil Procedure, in federal District Court for the Eastern District of California.
The lawsuit alleges that the U. S. Department of Interior, U. S. Bureau of Reclamation the State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Water Resources violated the federal Clean Water Act, the Bay-Delta Plan, Central Valley Project Improvement Act, the Delta Protection Act and other state and federal statutes in weakening and/or failing to comply with water quality standards established to protect the Bay-Delta estuary. As a result of their failure to comply with the law, water quality in the Delta is severely degraded and fisheries have been pushed to the brink of extinction.
“We bring this lawsuit in an effort to prevent the impending extinction of fisheries that thrived for millennia. Delta smelt, once the most abundant species in the estuary, are on the precipice of extinction and longfin smelt and winter-run and spring-run Chinook salmon are close behind,” said CSPA Executive Director Bill Jennings adding “we cannot stand aside and watch species go extinct simply because special interests have captured our regulatory agencies and they refuse to comply with laws enacted to protect fish and water quality. The situation is critical and we’re left with no alternative but the courts. And we’re prepared to sue them again and again and again. We don’t know if we can save these species, perhaps we can, but by god we will try!”