Local governments in Nevada do have the standing to intervene in a lawsuit against the Interior Department, challenging the environmental impact process on a proposed water rights acquisition program, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. The case involves the Interior Department's attempt to implement a water rights acquisition program designed to settle complex and longstanding water rights issues associated with the Newlands Reclamation Project in western Nevada. Under Section 206 of the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribes Water Rights Settlement Act of 1990, the Interior Department is supposed to acquire enough water rights to increase and permanently sustain approximately 25,000 acres of wetlands in the Lahontan Valley. This required Interior to draw up a plan to buy 55,000 acre-feet of water from the Carson Division of the Newlands project, as well as 33,000 acre-feet of water through other methods. Interior prepared an environmental impact statement on the water rights acquisition plan but not a programmatic EIS on the combined impact of this plan and other federal programs. Churchill County and the City of Fallon, which stood to lose water under the acquisition plan, sued to force the programmatic EIS, as did Sierra Pacific Power County. The Ninth Circuit ruled that the city and the county have standing to sue but the power company does not. Churchill County v. Babbitt, No. 97-15508, 98 Daily Journal D.A.R. 7735 (filed July 15, 1998).