Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Update on Challenge to Reclamation's Supplemental Storage Releases from CVP's Lewiston Dam

Following a two day hearing, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on August 22, 2013, lifted a temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting excess releases of stored water into the Trinity River from the Central Valley Project’s Trinity River Division.  

The TRO had been in place since August 12.  In lifting the TRO and declining to issue a preliminary injunction, the court observed that the amount of CVP water slated for release had fallen to some 20,000 acre-feet, which is down from the more than 100,000 acre-feet originally contemplated by Reclamation.  In deciding not to enjoin the smaller storage release, the Court compared the risk of harm to fall-run Chinook salmon to the risk of harm from reducing water supplies for people.  The order acknowledges that “[b]oth sides of this dispute represent significant public interests. . . . Neither side holds veto power over the other.”

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