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Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Ass'ns v. United States Department of the Interior

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20057
Nos. 1:12-CV-01303, (E.D. Cal., 03/08/2013) (O'Neill, J.)

A district court held that commercial fishing groups may go forward with their NEPA lawsuit against the Bureau of Reclamation in a case involving the Bureau's approval of eight water delivery contracts in California's Central Valley. The groups argued that the Bureau's EA failed to adequately consider the environmental impacts of the contracts. Although the court dismissed claims that the Bureau failed to prepare an EIS and that it set forth an unlawful no action alternative as part of its EA, it found insufficient evidence to dismiss the remaining NEPA claims, including claims that the EA was based on outdated water needs assessment, that the EA failed to consider the effects of water diversions on certain other environmental laws, and that the EA failed to address the cumulative impacts of the contracts.