Ninth Circuit Dismisses "Fall X2" Appeal for Mootness

On August 23, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an order in San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority, et al. v. Salazar, et al., Appeal No. 11-17143, granting Appellees' motion to dismiss the appeal.

The Fall X2 Action is an action in the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative identified in the 2008 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biological opinion regarding the effects of the long-term operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project on the delta smelt. In the August 23, 2012 order, the Ninth Circuit held: "Because the implementation period for the Fall X2 Action has passed, any challenge to the district court's injunction is moot."

As a result of the order, the scheduled oral argument for the two Delta Smelt Consolidated Cases appeals will no longer include oral argument on the propriety of the district court's August 31, 2011 decision that enjoined the federal government from implementing the Fall X2 Action, which, absent the injunction, would have restricted California's water supply by hundreds of thousands of acre feet.

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