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Mammoth Water District to sue local air pollution agency over geothermal decision

August 1, 2014

The Mammoth Community Water District said Friday, Aug.1, that it plans to sue the local air pollution controlled district for certifying an environmental document that is a necessary part of a proposed geothermal project that the district believes could harm Mammoth's water supply.

Ormat Technologies, the project proponent, will also be mentioned in the lawsuit as a "real party of interest," the news release from the the water district said.

Mammoth Community Water District made its announcement this morning, following a closed session meeting at the district office.

"The Mammoth Community Water District (MCWD) Board of Directors has unanimously voted to pursue a lawsuit against the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (Great Basin) following the certification of the Final Joint Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report (FEIS/EIR) for the controversial Casa Diablo IV Geothermal Development Project (Casa Diablo IV)," the district's news release said.

"The project’s proponent, Ormat Technologies, Inc., will be listed as a real party of interest in the lawsuit, which will assert that the FEIS/EIR for Casa Diablo IV is inadequate and violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in several respects.

“Our Board’s decision to pursue a lawsuit against Great Basin and Ormat is in line with our top priority: the protection of our local water supply,” said Patrick Hayes, MCWD’s general manager. “Unfortunately, the environmental document certified by Great Basin for Casa Diablo IV was blatantly inadequate in its consideration of the project’s potential negative impacts on our water supply, an error that we cannot overlook, particularly during a record statewide drought.”

"MCWD has determined that the FEIS/EIR is inadequate on numerous accounts, including:
· The FEIS/EIR conclusion that there will be no adverse impacts to Mammoth’s groundwater resources is lacking any credible scientific support;
· There was a lack of transparency evident throughout the FEIS/FEIR process; and
· There was a failure to disclose critical documents concerning the hydrological connection between Mammoth’s groundwater and the geothermal zones.

"MCWD plans to file the lawsuit against Great Basin in the weeks ahead."

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