Environmental Group Threatens to Sue Saint Helena Over Groundwater Extraction

Nov 19, 2020 at 7:50pm

Jesse Duarte, Napa Valley Register

ST. HELENA — An environmental advocacy group is threatening to sue the City of St. Helena over its handling of groundwater.

Grant Reynolds, a director of Water Audit California, delivered a letter to the city on Monday criticizing its use of the Stonebridge wells for municipal use and “a pattern of exercising no discretion” in issuing permits for new wells.

Reynolds said Water Audit will begin litigation in 45 days unless the city resolves to modify its use of the Stonebridge wells “to cease injury to the public trust,” sets procedures for monitoring new and existing wells, and begins approving new wells “only following consideration of cumulative extractions on public trust flows.”

City Attorney Ethan Walsh said the city hasn’t had time to evaluate the letter or discuss it internally and therefore has no comment.

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