Lawsuit originally filed by pro se litigant Man Against eXtinction, aka Richard Max Strahan, challenging Massachusetts's regulation of its lobster and gillnet fisheries due to the harm these fisheries are causing to endangered whales and sea turtles, especially to the critically endangered Northern Right Whale. The Commonwealth not only permits, but requires, the use of vertical buoy ropes by these fisheries in Massachusetts waters, which entangle whales and turtles. Entanglement causes lethal and sublethal harm, killing whales and turtles and interfering with feeding and breeding activity even when the whales do not die.
This harm is in violation of the Endangered Species Act and is the single most important factor in the imminent extinction of the Northern Right Whale.
Without eliminating vertical buoy ropes in Massachusetts waters, the remaining 400+ Northern Right Whales have no chance to recover.
Strahan secured a favorable ruling on his motion for a preliminary injunction, requiring the state to secure a permit under the Endangered Species Act to continue harming Northern Right Whales, and if it could not do so within 90 days, permitting Strahan to renew his motion. Massachusetts of course could not secure the permit (and it has zero chance of ever being granted such a permit in the future), so Strahan, now represented by Adam Keats, filed his renewed motion. As of October 2020 the motion is pending.
Lawsuit filed by Food & Water Watch and Center for Food Safety challenging the approval, by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, of a funding scheme to pay for over half of the cost (far more than MWD's share) of California WaterFix. That project would build two massive tunnels (now a single tunnel) under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, in order to enable the State Water Project to evade environmental laws and restrictions governing the pumping of water out of the Delta. The suit alleges that MWD's funding scheme violates California's Propositions 13 and 26 because MWD did not secure voter approval for its tax and/or rate increases that will be required (and are planned and anticipated) to pay off the bonds it will issue to pay for WaterFix.
The trial court granted demurrers filed by MWD and San Diego County Water Authority on the basis that the lawsuit was premature, since tax increases had not yet been imposed. FWW and CFS have appealed. As of October 2020, the appeal is fully briefed, waiting for a hearing and ruling by the court.
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