U.S. agency's smelt plan 'arbitrary,' judges rules


U.S. agency’s smelt plan ‘arbitrary,’ judges rules
Kelly Zito, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle December 14, 2010 09:05 PM

(12-14) 21:05 PST FRESNO – A federal judge has ruled that a landmark 2008 environmental study laying the groundwork for controversial water cutbacks from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta relied on faulty science.

In his much-anticipated decision released Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to re-examine and rewrite its plan for the threatened delta smelt.

The agency’s solution for shoring up the collapsing species - namely cutting water exports to California cities and farms - is “arbitrary” and “capricious,” the Fresno judge wrote in his 225-page decision.

This bout of junk science cost 10s, 100s or even 1000s of millions in lost agricultural production, farm businesses and businesses that support farmers. And in some Central Valley areas, unemployment was way over 25%. maybe in another year or two, it’ll “all be over” … except for the 10s of thousands of lives that were ruined.