Judge affirms denial of request to suspend ban on Paso Robles basin pumping

A Superior Court judge has affirmed his tentative ruling to deny a request to suspend San Luis Obispo County’s two-year ordinance banning any new pumping from the Paso Robles groundwater basin.

Judge Martin Tangeman issued his tentative ruling earlier this week and heard oral arguments in the case Wednesday. On Thursday, he issued his final ruling, which stated that the county Board of Supervisors acted within its authority in order to deal with a crisis within the Paso basin.

“Here, the board acted to maintain the status quo not by determining or fixing water rights but by imposing a temporary land use moratorium,” he wrote.

The request for a stay was part of a lawsuit filed against the county by a group of Paso Robles basin property owners called the Paso Robles Water Integrity Network. The case could go to trial later this year.