“With frost season just days away, a Mendocino County judge has issued a second rebuke to the state for its attempt to regulate grape growers who divert water from the Russian River to protect their crops.
Judge Ann Moorman of the Superior Court Wednesday rejected the Environmental Impact Report that was the backbone of the state’s rules that were designed to prevent endangered and threatened fish from becoming stranded and dying when farmers take water from the river to spray on their crops to prevent frost damage.”
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In a decision hailed as a victory by agricultural water users, a Mendocino County Superior Court judge has ruled that the state overstepped its bounds in trying to impose severely restrictive regulations on the use of sprinkler irrigation to protect vines from springtime frost.
Judge Ann Moorman ruled in late September that new frost protection regulations imposed by the State Water Resources Control Board are unconstitutional. Specifically, she ruled the board exceeded its authority by adopting regulations that failed to follow the appropriate process to determine “unreasonableness”; that the regulations were too broad because they included all classes of water rights holders; that they failed to provide for the rule of priority; that the board improperly delegated authority; and that the action was not supported by substantial evidence in the record.
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