Thursday, June 20, 2013

Seven Lawsuits Filed Challenging the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan and Environmental Review Document

Seven lawsuits challenging the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan and final environmental document  were filed by the June 17 deadline.  The groups challenging the Council’s actions represent a range of interests: export contractors, environmental and fishing industry groups, a city, and in-Delta residents.  Links to the parties’ complaints and/or petitions are provided here:
The Delta Plan, adopted on May 16, 2013, by the Delta Stewardship Council, was developed in response to legislative mandate in the 2009 Delta Reform Act.  The Council certified its CEQA document, or Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR), on May 16, 2013.  The PEIR was prepared to evaluate the potential environmental impact of the proposed Delta Plan.

Although filed by disparate interests, the various lawsuits assert claims that fall into three general categories: (1) alleged CEQA violations, (2) alleged Delta Reform Act violations, and (3) alleged Public Trust Doctrine violations.  Because cases have been filed in three different counties, a threshold procedural issue will be whether all the cases should be coordinated before a single judge in one county.  

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