Endangered Species Laws Put Legal Squeeze on State's Waterworks

California Real Estate Journal

Nossaman Partner, Rob Thornton, is quoted in this California Real Estate Journal article as an expert on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) which he helped write revisions to while serving as counsel to Congress in the late 1970’s. The article discusses the recent shut down of the Sate Water Project in the Sacramento Delta due to the potential impact on an endangered species of fish, the delta smelt. The water pumps that were shut down provided 25 million Californians with drinking water and there has been speculation that water shortages could result.

Mr. Thornton is quoted in the article as saying, this is an endangered species crisis that is probably the biggest deal since the [Endangered Species] act has been passed in the country, easily. He went on to say, my sense is there is a very, very real risk here that the state and federal water projects are going to be enjoined.

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