Lawsuit Filed Over Proposal For Delta Water Transfers

Jun 12, 2014


Delta smelt, one of the endangered species at home in the Delta.
Credit Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

A coalition of environmental groups announced Wednesday that it is suing the Bureau of Reclamation over its proposal to send water from northern California to farms in the San Joaquin Valley.

The water transfers would involve pumping over 175,000 acre-feet of water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, home to the endangered delta smelt and other fragile aquatic species.

The Bureau of Reclamation issued a report saying the transfer wouldn’t have a significant effect on the environment.  But Barbara Vlamis, executive director of AquAlliance, one of the organizations behind the suit, disagrees. 

Vlamis:  They are violating the National Environmental Policy Act.  That is very clear.  NEPA, which is the acronym, requires that they fully analyze and disclose and attempt to mitigate impacts.  They are not doing that.  They assume, like they have for years, that this will not harm a thing.

Vlamis says lawsuits from AquAlliance have stopped Delta water transfers in the past.