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Water environmental group threatens Calistoga with lawsuit, again

Water environmental group threatens Calistoga with lawsuit, again


CALISTOGA — Stemming from litigation dating back to 2008, the City of Calistoga is confronted again with a long-standing threat from an environmental group over the operation of Kimball Dam.

Grant Reynolds, a director of Water Audit California, delivered a letter to the City of Calistoga on Monday criticizing the city for not fulfilling its commitment to complete a “stream study … and other aspects of its commitments.”

According to the letter, the City adopted an interim bypass plan in 2011, with the intention of meeting demands and ending the litigation.

Since then, “From Water Audit’s extensive review of documents produced in reply to a public records request, from our review of other public records, and from our inquiries to the regulatory agencies, it appears that nearly a decade later Calistoga still has not completed the promised stream study. Other aspects of its commitments under the Plan are apparently also incomplete,” the letter states.

The group is threatening further litigation unless compliance is met by Dec. 31.

The organization has also recently threatened to sue the City of St. Helena over its handling of groundwater.

Reynolds was also behind a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the city’s water rights which was dismissed last year. That litigation, on behalf of Debbie R. O’Gorman, claimed the city violated her family’s exclusive rights to the use of water from the Kimball reservoir, dating back to 1939.

Reynolds declined to be interviewed for this story. “As Water Audit is a consensus driven organization we no longer give individual interviews,” the organization wrote in an email.

The City also declined comment citing pending litigation.


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You can reach Cynthia Sweeney at 942-4035 or

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor

Cynthia Sweeney has been editor of The Weekly Calistogan since July, 2018. Previously, she was a reporter for the St. Helena Star, and North Bay Business Journal. She also spent a significant amount of time freelancing in Hawaii.

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