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Judge's ruling could delay California's water tunnel project

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California judge's ruling could delay construction of two large tunnels to more easily move water from the state's central valley to the parched south.

The Sacramento Bee reported that the judge invalidated a comprehensive environmental management plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The judge ruled that the plan must be "set aside" until deficiencies he found earlier are fixed.

State officials say they will appeal Friday's ruling.

Gov. Jerry Brown and other project proponents must show the tunnels comply with the management plan's recommendations to manage land and water use in the delta. With the plan on hold, the $15.5 billion tunnel project could face significant delays.

The plan has been the target of number legal challenges since the Delta Stewardship Council approved it in 2013.

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