Judge: Protect fish or stop pumping

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Specifically, Roesch said the water agency should apply for permits that would allow it to kill spring and winter runs of salmon and Delta smelt, which are protected under the California Endangered Species Act. The ruling pleased sport fishing groups that have long criticized the state’s operation of the enormous pumps, which suck in and kill salmon and other fish. “It’s certainly an earthshaking decision,” said Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, which had sued the state. SACRAMENTO – In a decision that could cripple water deliveries to California farms and cities, a judge has ordered the state to halt pumping water out of the delta within 60 days unless it complies with environmental laws that protect endangered fish. State water officials on Friday said they cannot meet the short deadline and hope to persuade the court to reconsider cutting off water to the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley and Southern California. “We’re perplexed by the court’s ruling,” state Department of Water Resources Director Lester Snow said in a conference call with reporters. “The way that would harm the economy is not in the best interests of anyone.” Thursday’s ruling by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch found that the Department of Water Resources lacks the proper authority to run a key station that pumps water from the delta into the California Aqueduct. last_img

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