Another lawsuit has been filed over federal rules ordering dam modifications to restore salmon in the Yuba River, this time by environmental groups.
The South Yuba River Citizens League and Friends of the River on Monday filed suit in federal court against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, alleging the agency failed to meet deadlines to begin modifying Englebright and Daguerre Point dams.
The rules, known as a biological opinion, were imposed in February 2012 by the National Marine Fisheries service to improve fish passage around the dams, which have impeded migration of salmon, steelhead and sturgeon for more than 70 years. The rules may eventually lead to removal of the dams.
"Our citizen suit is necessary to stop the foot dragging," said Caleb Dardick, executive director of the citizens league.
Monday's action essentially adds the Army Corps to a lawsuit filed two weeks by the environmental groups against the fisheries service. They claim the fisheries service violated the Endangered Species Act by giving the Army Corps more time to meet deadlines.
The Yuba County Water Agency also filed suit two weeks ago against the fisheries service, alleging the rules will compromise its facilities on the Yuba River, including operation of New Bullards Bar Dam.
The Army Corps has argued it cannot comply with many of the fishery rules because it has not been authorized by Congress to modify the two dams for fish passage.
"We'll continue to implement the measures within our authority," said Army Corps spokesman Chris Gray-Garcia, who declined to comment directly on the lawsuit.
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