January 13, 2015

SCOTUS Refuses to Consider Delta Smelt Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has declined to consider appeals that challenge water export restrictions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  The restrictions, implemented in accordance with the Endangered Species Act, were set forth in 2008 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). 

On Friday, the Court let stand two rulings by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last March upholding strict pumping restrictions in the Delta.  The Appellate Court’s decision affects millions of water users throughout the state, including the water agencies and Central Valley farmers who brought the original suits.

The Supreme Court rejection eliminates all legal remedies in these two cases.   

Western Growers signed onto an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief  in support of the petition for writ of certiorari as it did in the appellate proceedings.

WG will continue to work alongside its allies to pursue legislation in Congress that would restore more reasonable water deliveries from the Delta without amending the Endangered Species Act.  Bipartisan legislation that would have met this objective was abandoned last month as Congress finished its session.