Description: Lawsuit charging that the conversion of Central Valley Project “renewal contracts” into “permanent repayment contracts” was a major federal action that required compliance with NEPA.
Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 10/05/2021 Motion for Summary Judgment Download Memorandum filed by federal defendants in response to plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and in support of cross-motion for summary judgment. 08/17/2021 Motion for Summary Judgment Download Motion for summary judgment filed by the plaintiffs. 05/20/2020 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Groups Asked Court to Compel NEPA Review for Permanent Water Diversion Contracts. Center for Biological Diversity and two other organizations filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Eastern District of California asserting that the conversion of Central Valley Project “renewal contracts” into “permanent repayment contracts” was a major federal action that required compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The plaintiffs alleged that completed and pending conversions would obligate the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to deliver more than two million acre-feet of water each year by diverting water from rivers and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, resulting in many significant adverse impacts on the watershed. The plaintiffs said a NEPA alternatives analysis “would allow meaningful consideration of the trade-offs between water deliveries and environmental harm as well as opportunities to reduce deliveries over time,” including, for example, “to limit the term of the contract so as reduce quantities over time to reflect worsening conditions caused by climate change.”