Description: Challenge to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's issuance of a contract allowing new water extractions from the Green River.
Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Department of the Interior
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 03/21/2019 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Groups Challenged Environmental Review for Contract for Green River Water Extractions, Alleging Failure to Take Climate Impacts into Account. Four environmental groups filed a lawsuit asserting that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation failed to conduct an adequate environmental review pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) prior to issuing a contract allowing new water extractions from the Green River and the Colorado River Basin. The groups alleged, among other things, that the Bureau of Reclamation’s environmental assessment used a modeling run “cherry picked to show minimal impact from the project” because the modeling run ignored the effects of climate change on water availability in the system. The groups asserted that an environmental impact statement should have been prepared, that the NEPA analysis had been unlawfully segmented, that the defendants failed to take a hard look at environmental effects (including by failing to take into account that climate change was “predicted with strong certainty to decrease stream flows”), and that they failed to look at a reasonable range of alternatives.