Preliminary Injunction Denial Clears Way for Shasta Operations Under New BIOPS by ACWA Staff Jun 29, 2020 Water News A federal judge on June 24 denied a preliminary injunction over operations of Shasta Dam and related temperature management in the Upper Sacramento River, is the latest legal development regarding two largely overlapping lawsuits related to federal biological opinions. Finalized in late 2019, the updated biological opinions became the subject of state legal action in February. In April, the state filed a request for a preliminary injunction, arguing that it was necessary to prevent irreversible harm to California’s ecosystem and multiple species. In addition to the state, a coalition of six environmental organizations filed a second lawsuit in requesting a preliminary injunction. The ruling by Fresno’s U.S. Eastern District Court represents positive news for Central Valley agriculture. Now, water released from Shasta can continue under guidelines set in the new federal biological opinions. The biological opinions update 10-year-old science and further improve our understanding of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta, how to better protect its fishery and ecosystem, and actions that can be taken now to minimize impacts on fish populations from pumping Bay-Delta water. The lawsuits regarding the biological opinions are continuing through the legal process. However, there are multiple calls by ACWA, elected officials and other entities for the state and federal government to set aside litigation and return to negotiations of Voluntary Agreements for Bay-Delta water management. A detailed overview of the ruling is also available through ACWA Associate Member Somach Simmons & Dunn Attorneys at Law.