Environmental and Policy Focus
Reuters - Mar 14
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday rejected a challenge to a determination by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that limits transfers of water from the Sacramento Delta to farmers and southern California water users on the ground that more extensive transfers would threaten the survival of the Delta smelt, a tiny fish that is listed as an endangered species. The court's decision quickly drew criticism by farmers and others who contend that, particularly in a drought year, the Service's determination placed the welfare of the smelt before the needs of farmers and others.
LA Times - Mar 5
A court ruling issued Wednesday could throw up obstacles to operation of a Kern County groundwater bank that has helped billionaire Stewart Resnick build a nut empire in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley found that the state Department of Water Resources failed properly to analyze the environmental impacts of the Kern Water Bank, which is partly controlled by Resnick's Paramount Farms enterprise. Environmental groups have announced that they intend to argue that the water bank should be shut down while the state prepares a new environmental report.
San Francisco Bay Guardian - Mar 11
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on March 4 to bar the City from buying plastic water bottles and, starting October 1, to ban distribution of plastic water bottles smaller than 21 ounces on City property. Exempted from the ban are major sporting events such as the San Francisco marathon.
CourtHouse News - Mar 10
Two solar power projects on public land at the California-Nevada border threaten to wipe out the Mojave Desert tortoise, an environmental group claimed in Federal Court. In a lawsuit against the Secretary of the Interior, the directors of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management, Defenders of Wildlife seek to halt the 1,600-acre Stateline solar power plant in San Bernardino County, and to block the 2,400-acre expansion of the Silver State South facility on tortoise habitat in Ivanpah Valley.
The Times Tribune - Mar 11
A Pennsylvania retailer of baby furniture is challenging a California law that would require it to attach a cancer warning label on all products it sells in California. Babyage.com Inc. filed suit in federal court in Scranton, Pennsylvania, seeking a court order declaring that it is not subject to California's Proposition 65, the 1986 voter-approved initiative that requires manufacturers to place a warning label on any product that contains chemicals California has deemed to cause cancer.