Federal hearing on Quantification Settlement Agreement complaint to be held May 13
Posted by George J Janczyn on May 5, 2010
Although the local news media has given some attention to the Superior Court lawsuits challenging the Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA), there hasn’t been any news about the separate Federal lawsuit that was filed last October 8, 2009. That could change after May 13, which is when a formal Early Neutral Evaluation conference is scheduled to bring the opposing parties together. [sure enough, this item appeared on May 9]
The QSA forms the basis for significant water transfers from Imperial Valley to San Diego.
The Superior Court case produced a decision on Feb. 11, 2010 invalidating the QSA, threatening to cut off San Diego’s supply of water coming from Imperial Valley, but a stay was granted pending outcome of an appeal, so that case is simmering for now.
With regard to the Federal case, to be held at the U.S Courthouse in El Centro, it will be a closed confidential meeting where, according to the order, “both counsel and the parties who have full and unlimited authority to negotiate and enter into a binding settlement shall appear in person at the conference and shall be prepared to discuss the claims, defenses and damages.” The case is CALIFORNIA EX REL. IMPERIAL COUNTY AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT, et al., vs. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR, et al.
An attempt to find grounds for a settlement will be a primary goal of this hearing. If no settlement can be agreed to, discussion will turn to establishing procedures for a discovery plan and overall case management. Due to the confidential nature of the hearing, I suspect the most we’ll know immediately afterwards is whether a settlement could be reached or not.
If you’re interested in more details, I’m following QSA matters on the Hot Topics page (it’s on the menu bar on at the top).