August 3, 2012
The Regional Water Project might already be underwater at the California Public Utilities Commission, which has accepted California American Water's new project as a substitution.
But Marina Coast Water District, formerly a partner with Cal Am on the desal project, is still battling it out with the Ag Land Trust in court.
The Court of Appeal Thursday denied Marina Coast's writ petition. The district was pushing back against a December decision by Monterey County Superior Court Judge Lydia Villarreal.
Villarreal agreed with Ag Land Trust's contention that the project parties—Marina Coast, Cal Am and the Monterey County Water Resources Agency—should've taken the lead on preparing environmental documents, not the PUC.
In her ruling, Villarreal instructed the triumvirate to scrap the PUC's environmental impact report and and have Marina Coast prepare a new one.
Marina Coast has one last shot at the Appellate Court, with a pending appeal that attorneys involved expect will receive a ruling within a year. (A writ petition, which was denied Thursday, can be filed as an urgent action before a formal appeal makes its way before the court.) A Marina Coast attorney was not immediately available for comment Friday.
For its new proposed project, Cal Am has proposed using a revised version of the environmental impact report Villarreal rejected in December.