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San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority v. United States Dep't of the Interior

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


June 1, 2009

SAN LUIS & DELTA-MENDOTA WATER AUTHORITY AND WESTLANDS WATER OWW DLB DISTRICT, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
SAVE SAN FRANCISCO BAY ASSOC., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

ORDER RE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

The motion for reconsideration brought by San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands Water District ("Plaintiffs") was heard May 1, 2009. Daniel J. O'Hanlon of Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard appeared as counsel for Plaintiffs; Jeanne M. Zolezzi of Herum Crabtree appeared as counsel for Stockton East Water District ("Intervenor Plaintiff"); Charles Shockey, United States Department of Justice, appeared as counsel for the United States Bureau of Reclamation and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service ("Federal Defendants"); and Paul A. Peters of Hines & Thomas appeared as counsel for Save San Francisco Bay Association, The Bay Institute of San Francisco, and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations ("Environmental Plaintiffs").

Plaintiffs moved for reconsideration of the Court's Memorandum Decision and Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment, filed September 19, 2008 (Doc. 711) ("September 2008 Memorandum Decision"). The motion sought reconsideration on the issue of whether the Delta outflow and Vernalis flow numeric standards in the 1995 Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay/San Joaquin Estuary ("WQCP") were intended to contribute toward implementation of the narrative fish doubling standard contained in the WQCP. Having considered the papers and evidence submitted by the parties, and having heard the argument of counsel, and for the reasons explained in the Court's Memorandum Decision Re Motion For Reconsideration (Doc. 715), filed May 15, 2009 (Doc. 738), IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows:

1. The Plaintiffs' motion to reconsider the ruling in the September 2008 Memorandum Decision regarding the intended effect of the Delta outflow and Vernalis flow numeric standards in the WQCP is GRANTED. To the extent that the September 2008 Memorandum Decision determined that these two WQCP numeric objectives do not contribute toward the narrative salmon doubling goal in the WQCP, the September 2008 Memorandum Decision was incorrect. The California State Water Resources Control Board intended that these two numeric flow standards in the 1995 WQCP contribute toward meeting the narrative fish doubling goal in that WQCP.

2. This correction of the September 2008 Memorandum Decision does not alter the Court's ruling in the September 2008 Memorandum Decision regarding accounting for the June 2004 actions. Based on the record before the Court, and the unique conditions that then existed, Federal Defendants did not abuse their discretion in not counting the releases made in late June 2004 to meet the Delta outflow standard and the Vernalis flow standard against the annual 800,000 AF (b)(2) allocation.

3. In the future, the Federal Defendants should provide clear explanations why multi-purpose CVP water use that partially benefits anadromous fish should or should not be charged against the annual 800,000 AF (b)(2) allocation.

SO ORDERED

20090601

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