Friday November 4, 2022

Center for Biological Diversity

A judge has rejected plans to build a new dam in the Central Valley, ordering the Del Puerto Water District to vacate its approval of the project.

The Stanislaus County Superior Court ruling stated that the district’s approval of the Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir was based on an insufficient environmental study and violated the California Environmental Quality Act. The district failed to adequately address the relocation of Del Puerto Canyon Road, which was a key part of the project, according to Monday’s ruling.

“Considering how much this dam would damage local wildlife and an already strained ecosystem, the court made the right call in denying this project,” said Peter Broderick, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Agencies are required to closely scrutinize major infrastructure projects before they’re built, and the Del Puerto Water District failed to do that.”

The proposed project would store 82,000 acre-feet of water, drawing from the already imperiled Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The reservoir would destroy 800 acres of habitat for California red-legged frogs, California tiger salamanders and golden eagles, species that are protected under the state Endangered Species Act.

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