for Yuba River Dams!
According to the
Association of California Water Agencies, a federal court ordered a new biological opinion (BiOp) for
Daguerre Point and Englebright dams this week.
District Court Judge Morrison C. England set a May 12, 2014 due date for the
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to issue a new biological opinion, and
told the federal government to not utilize the existing 2012 BiOp in the
preparation of the new opinion or in any Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
relicensing processes for the two dams.
Water Agency, Nevada Irrigation District, Pacific Gas & Electric and other
plaintiffs challenged the 2012 BiOp, which identified dam removal and other
fish passage improvements as the preferred approaches to improve conditions for
spring run Chinook salmon, steelhead and green sturgeon.
water agencies argued that fish passage improvements or dam removal would
negatively impact water deliveries and hydropower generation, and imperil the
award-winning Lower Yuba River Accord, a regional agreement benefitting
agriculture and fisheries. Furthermore, the plaintiffs said the 2012 BiOp was
flawed and violated key elements of the Federal Endangered Species Act and the
Administrative Procedures Act.
issued a stay of proceedings until the new biological opinion is done, and he
denied a related lawsuit from a local environmental group seeking enforcement
of the 2012 BiOp. He also ordered the Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains
the two dams, to continue taking steps to improve fish habitat on the river.
Labels: biological opinion, California Water Agencies, Daguerre Point, Endangered Species Act, Energy Regulatory Commission, Englebright, Judge Morrison C. England, Yuba County Water Agency, Yuba River Dam