SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California judge has rejected a contract granting permanent access to U.S. government-controlled water for the nation’s largest agricultural water supplier. Environmentalists had blasted the deal with Fresno-based Westlands Water District as an arrangement designed to benefit corporate farm interests over environmental needs and taxpayers.
It was crafted during the Trump administration under then-Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former Westlands lobbyist. Westlands says its acted transparently and has not received special treatment.
A Fresno County Superior Court judge on Wednesday became the second judge to rule against Westlands. The first judge said Westlands moved ahead on the contract before all the details were finalized.