Data source
Date of text
06 Apr 2012
Original language


Type of text
National - higher court
Reference number
Court name
United States District Court, District of California
Battaglia., A.J.

Plaintiffs, Imperial County and the Imperial County Pollution Control District, argued that the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI ) violated the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act when it approved the Colorado River Water Delivery Agreement (CRW DA) in 2003. They argued that implementation of the CRW DA and another Colorado River distribution agreement, the Quantification Settlement Agreement, will cause injury to public health, the environment and fish and wildlife habitats through accelerated salinization of the Salton Sea and increased emissions resulting from greater exposure of the Salton Sea shoreline.
According to the federal court, “in lawsuits against the federal government, a state does not have standing to protect quasi-sovereign parens patriae interests because, with respect to the relationships between citizens and the federal government, the United States, and not the state, is presumed to represent the interests of the citizens as parens patriae.” Determining that plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge CRW DA, the court further noted that neither plaintiff is regulated by CRW DA, neither claims a right to divert Colorado River water, and neither claims to own land beneath or adjacent to the Salton Sea. Thus, they could show no injury-in-fact, an element necessary to demonstrate standing.