|We watch the water.|
|12/18/2003||Inyo County approves tentative settlement of LORP litigation|
|Press release, County of Inyo county counsel
The Inyo County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of Water and Power Commissioners respectively approved a proposed settlement for litigation over the Lower Owens River Project December 16 and December 17.
Under the terms of a 1991 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) was required to have established a 40 cfs base flow in the Lower Owens River by June 2003. The MOU deadline passed without the commencement of the base flow. In addition, LADWP has not completed many of its other obligations under the MOU. Past efforts to secure the performance of these obligations have been unsuccessful.
The Sierra Club and the Owens Valley Committee filed a lawsuit September 26, 2003 that sought to have the Inyo County Superior Court set enforceable dates for the establishment of baseflows in the river and for completion of other MOU obligations. On December 4, 2003, the California Department of Fish and Game and the California State Lands Commission filed a similar lawsuit.
For several years, there has been disagreement over whether a pump station to be constructed as part of the Lower Owens River Project can be as large as 150 cfs, as proposed by LADWP, or is limited to 50 cfs by the MOU and 1991 Water Agreement. During this time, discussions concerning a settlement of the issue have been conducted without a resolution.
With the assistance of the judge assigned to the litigation, the Honorable Edward Denton, the attorneys for the parties to the litigation and for the County drafted a proposed settlement agreement. The key provisions of the proposed agreement are outlined below. Under the proposed agreement, all of the provisions will be enforceable orders of the Court.
It is expected that the Sierra Club, the Owens Valley Committee, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the California State Lands Commission will consider approval of the proposed settlement by the middle of next month. If all the parties approve the proposed settlement, it will be submitted to the Inyo County Superior Court together with a request that it become an order of the Court.
Copies of the proposed agreement are available to the public by contacting the Inyo County Water Department at 163 May Street, Bishop, California (760-872-1168).
|Contacts: ||Inyo County Water Department  Phone: 760-872-1168|