Welcome!

News Feed Item

California Court of Appeal Holds Local Irrigation District Must Seek Removal of Water Restrictions Imposed on Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians Decades Ago and Which Federal Government Has Concluded Are Illegal

PLACERVILLE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 10/05/12 -- On Tuesday, October 4, 2012, the California Court of Appeal ruled that a local irrigation district that supplies water to the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians (Tribe) must seek permission from another local agency in order to continue to do so, and if such permission is not granted, the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) and sovereign Tribe must take the matter to court for judicial relief.

However, by existing court order, so long as EID is working with the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) to remove certain water restrictions -- as it is doing -- then EID can continue to provide water service to the Tribe.

The matter involves water restrictions the LAFCO purported to impose on the Tribe when approving the annexation of its trust lands into EID's service area in 1988. LAFCO purported to restrict the amount of water the Tribe could receive to only that needed for 40 residential lots, limited governmental purposes, and no commercial purposes. The restrictions are unprecedented in that LAFCO has never before or after imposed such restrictions on an applicant for water service from EID. For its part, EID has a "first come, first serve" policy for its customers.

The United States Department of Interior, Tribe and EID all have concluded LAFCO's patently discriminatory restrictions -- targeting only the Tribe -- are illegal and unenforceable as a matter of federal law. State or local agencies cannot, without violating federal law, purport to control the land use of sovereign territory. And the original effect and intent of the water restrictions was to control the Tribe's use of its own land and ability to pursue economic development (since water is essential). The legality of the restrictions was not an issue that was before the California Court of Appeal for decision.

Without reaching that issue, the Court of Appeal ruled that EID could not just disregard the restrictions under California law, at least not without first formally applying to LAFCO to remove them.

"We were hoping the state appellate court would see the injustice of all of this, and undo it. It chose a different course," said Nicholas Fonseca, Chairman of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians. "What the judges did not know is that we tried to work with LAFCO, and ask them to remove the restrictions. That body was not interested at the time because certain people then sitting on the LAFCO were politically opposed to our effort to build a casino. Now that Red Hawk Casino is a reality, that view may have changed."

Notwithstanding the Tribe's appeal to the Court of Appeal, the United States Department of Interior and EID have been working to remove the restrictions, through a formal application to LAFCO. That application remains pending, and should be presented for formal action in December. It follows an effort by EID, the United States and the Tribe to resolve the matter informally, through entry of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the parties.

In June 2008, after the Department of Interior's Regional Solicitor had issued an opinion concluding the water restrictions were illegal and unenforceable, the Tribe and EID entered an MOU that would allow EID to provide water to the Tribe, consistent with the "first come, first serve" policy that applies to all others. In exchange, the Tribe agreed to pay the commercial rate for water (even though it is a government, entitled to a governmental rate). The Tribe also agreed to upgrade water-delivery infrastructure on the reservation, an upgrade that positively affected water pressure not only on the reservation, but within the surrounding community.

A local group opposing the Tribe's casino (Voices for Rural Living or VRL) then challenged the MOU on the ground that it violated state environmental law, in that an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) had to be prepared before more water could be provided the Tribe. The Court of Appeal disagreed with this argument, ruling that no EIR was actually required in order to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act. However, VRL also argued EID and the Tribe could not, under California law, disregard the water restrictions, without LAFCO's involvement. The Court of Appeal agreed with this argument.

For its part, while the Tribe appealed the ruling to the Court of Appeal, EID agreed to prepare another EIR to evaluate the water impacts and support its application to LAFCO to remove the restrictions. The EIR and application to LAFCO have been issued for public comment, and a hearing will likely occur this fall. In the meantime, the Superior Court already has ruled that EID can continue to provide the Tribe water so long as EID works to secure removal of the restrictions.

Prior to this EIR, the Tribe and two federal agencies had already prepared an environmental analysis evaluating the impacts of delivering water to the Tribe's gaming facility. That environmental document found that while the Tribe could truck water into Red Hawk Casino on a daily basis, the environmental impacts associated with delivering water to the Rancheria by pipe were far less impactful.

"We hope LAFCO does the right thing, and removes the restrictions once and for all," said Chairman Fonseca. "If it does not, we are confident a federal court will right this wrong, since the restrictions so clearly violate federal law, which is an issue the state court did not reach."

Contact:
Kim Stoll
530.672.4179, office
775.232.4976, cell

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
While DevOps promises a better and tighter integration among an organization’s development and operation teams and transforms an application life cycle into a continual deployment, Chef and Azure together provides a speedy, cost-effective and highly scalable vehicle for realizing the business values of this transformation. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, a Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, will present a unique opportunity to witness how Chef and Azure work tog...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...