US sues California, says water policy violates state law

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The federal government has sued California over water policies it says violate state environmental protections.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in Sacramento federal court seeks to block a plan approved in December to increase water flows in the San Joaquin River.

The California State Water Resources Control Board says the plan would help threatened salmon by increasing water in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The delta supplies water for the majority of California’s people and farms.

The U.S. Department of Justice said the plan was arbitrary and failed to analyze impacts on the environment.

A spokesman for the water board says it looks forward to defending the plan that involved years of analysis and public input.

Doug Obegi (Oh-BEE-gee), a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council, expects the lawsuit to be dismissed.

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