The Ninth Circuit has decided to rehear en banc its decision that environmental groups could not challenge certain Bureau of Reclamation water supply contracts, and that other contracts were not subject to the ESA’s consultation provisions (Natural Resources Defense Council v. Salazar, 09-17661).
A 3-page order issued today (March 5) stated simply that the court had elected to rehear its July 17, 2012, split decision. In October, NRDC and fellow environmental appellants requested the rehearing.
In other California water news, the Ninth Circuit on Friday rejected the arguments of farmers who get water from the San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project that BuRec must deliver to them the amount of water they want.
Here’s part of the summary provided by the court:
The panel held that the Bureau was not legally required to take a discrete action to deliver the farmers’ preferred amount of water from the San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project for irrigation before it provides water for other purposes. The panel held that there was no final agency action, nor was there any action that the Bureau had unlawfully withheld. The panel concluded that the farmers had not established subject matter jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedure Act.