Pro-Environment Ruling Overturned In San Bernardino Groundwater Pumping Case
Overturning a trial judge, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has ruled that the private water company Cadiz Inc. and two public agencies did not violate the California Environmental Quality Act in moving forward a groundwater pumping and restoration project in San Bernardino County.
The Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups had argued that the project's environmental review violated CEQA on two major points: First, by making the Santa Margarita Water District the lead agency rather than San Bernardino County; and second, by writing the project description in such a way that the project was characterized as a water conservation project even though it will result in a net loss of water.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail Andrea Andler ruled in favor of the environmental plaintiffs. But the Fourth District overturned her on all of the plaintiffs' claims.