1/18/2005 OVC and Sierra Club ask Court to enforce MOU
The Owens Valley Committee and the Sierra Club filed a petition for injunctive relief against the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in mid-January with the Superior Court of California.

The lawsuit alleges that LADWP has failed to comply with the terms of a 1997 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that would have rewatered approximately sixty miles of the Lower Owens River by June 2003. Among other things, the petition alleges that the current plan for the Lower Owens River Project restricts or eliminates the use of seasonal habitat flows to manage the health of the river, fails to describe adequate monitoring and adaptive management techniques to ensure the success of the project, doesn't follow consultants' recommendations for the project, reduces water flows to important shallow water habitat in the Delta Habitat Area, and includes no final monitoring plan for the project.

The suit notes that, although the City of Los Angeles acknowledged many years ago that groundwater pumping from 1970 to 1990 had caused significant environmental impacts, and although they agreed to the Lower Owens River Project as partial mitigation for some of that damage, LADWP continues to export water while mitigation projects languish. The suit seeks an order from the Court that would both require LADWP to meet its MOU obligations and to provide a plan for the Lower Owens River Project that would satisfy those obligations.

Contacts:  CJK  Phone: