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Lawsuit accuses government of not protecting SoCal river

Environmental Issues // February 16, 2006

AP reports that afederal lawsuit has accused the US Army Corps of Engineers of not properly protecting one of the last free-flowing rivers in Southern California.

However, a spokesman for the Corps rejected the allegations pertaining to the Santa Clara River, which flows 84 miles from the San Gabriel Mountains to the ocean near Oxnard and Ventura.

The lawsuit filed earlier this weekby three environmental groups claims that the agency did not analyze the cumulative effects of at least 100 dredging and filling projects along the river during the last five years.

The law suitseeks to prevent the federal agency from issuing any more permits until it analyzes the likely impacts of the projects.

"We simply think too many permits for such dumping and filling have been issued without considering the total impacts," said Ron Bottorff, chairman of Friends of the Santa Clara River, one of the plaintiffs.

Jeff Field, a spokesman for the Corps of Engineers, said the agency does consider the effect of future developments.

The Centre for Biological Diversity in Los Angeles and Wishtoyo Foundation/Ventura Coastkeeper, an environmental watchdog group, filed thelaw suit, which was filed in US District Court for the Central District of California.

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