Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Judge's decision is 'powerful, excellent'

The Pacific Legal Foundation hails today's decision on the side of farmers in the Delta water lawsuit:

SACRAMENTO, May 18, 2010 --- Pacific Legal Foundation attorneys applauded Federal Judge Oliver Wanger’s issuance today of a preliminary injunction against a federal regulatory action that has contributed to devastating water cutbacks for farms and communities in Central and Southern California.

PLF is the nation’s leading legal watchdog for property rights, and has been participating in the legal challenges to the Endangered Species Act biological opinions (or "biops") that have triggered these dramatic cuts in water pumping. PLF has been representing some San Joaquin Valley farmers who have been hard-hit by the federally imposed water cutbacks.

Today’s preliminary injunction, issued by Federal Judge Oliver Wanger, targets the "biop" relating to chinook salmon and steelhead, among other species.

PLF STATEMENT: "Judge Wanger recognized that federal regulators had not taken account of how water cutoffs could damage the human environment, and they did not use the best available science," said PLF attorney Brandon Middleton.

"This is a powerful, excellent ruling," said Middleton. "The judge is telling the feds that they can’t ignore the harsh human and environmental impacts of cutting off water to farms, workers, businesses and communities. The judge is also saying the feds can’t get away with using slippery science to justify envrionmental restrictions that rob communities of their lifeblood – water."

A hearing tomorrow in Judge Wanger's Fresno courtroom will address the exact nature of the injunctive relief and how much more water pumping must be permitted.

The ruling is linked at PLF’s Liberty Blog: http://plf.typepad.com/plf/2010/05/federal-court-california-water-cutbacks-for-endangered-species-not-scientifically-justified-.html

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