San Francisco - Today three commercial fisheries organizations and one environmental group filed a lawsuit accusing the California State Water Resources Control Board (the Water Board) of “failing to fulfill their responsibility to protect clean water and public trust resources in the Bay Delta and Central Valley. “
“At issue is the state’s failure to list long-suffering Delta waterways as impaired on its 303(d) list, a regulatory process that is required by the Clean Water Act,” according to a joint news release from the groups.
The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, the Institute for Fisheries Resources, the North Coast Rivers Alliance, and the San Francisco Crab Boat Owners Association each work on behalf of commercial fishermen and women to protect their jobs and the living marine resources on which they depend. Without healthy salmon populations and functional river habitat free of toxic pesticides, the fishing way of life and thousands of coastal jobs are fundamentally threatened
Fishermen say the Water Board consistently refuses to protect water quality from dangerously warm temperatures and toxic pesticide pollution. In this case, the Water Board wilfully ignored readily available data and instructions from the Environmental Protection Agency that would have lead to targeted protections. They compare the administratively delayed and legally mandated 303(d) listing process, which has lasted seven years despite a two year deadline, with the speed at which exemptions to water protection rules have been issued.