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United States v. California

ELR Citation: 7 ELR 20801
Nos. No. 75-3554, 558 F.2d 1347/10 ERC 1623/(9th Cir., 08/12/1977) Reh'g denied

By applying for unappropriated water in California for use in a federal reclamation project, the federal Bureau of Reclamation is not subject to conditions imposed by the State Water Resources Control Board even though the Bureau is assignee of an application originally filed by the State Department of Finance. Because the assignment was of an application rather than a permit, the applicant obtains only a priority of right over later applicants. The Department filed the application only to obtain for the Bureau a priority right as appropriator. When the Bureau became assignee of the priority, it then was applying in its own name under congressional legislation, and its rights arose under federal law, not pursuant to the assignment or subject to state-imposed conditions.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellee
Dwayne Keyes, U.S. Attorney
2058 Capitol Mall, Sacramento CA 95815
(916) 440-2331

Counsel for Defendants-Appellants
Evelle J. Younger, Attorney General
555 Capitol Mall, Sacramento CA 95814
(916) 445-9555

Paul A. Stewart
Collette & Erickson
555 California St., San Francisco CA 94104
(415) 788-4646

Before DUNIWAY, CARTER, and WALLACE, Circuit Judges.