Corps Need Not Bear All Deauthorization Costs for MR-GO
The Fifth Circuit reversed a lower court decision that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must bear all the costs of deauthorizing the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet (MR-GO), instead holding that the Corps' cost-sharing formula with the state of Louisiana was reasonable. The Corps’ interpretation of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 and a supplemental appropriations bill passed by Congress in the wake of Hurricane Katrina is well within the bounds of permissible interpretation.
FWS Denies Petition to Delist Coastal California Gnatcatcher
FWS announced a 12-month finding on a petition to remove the coastal California gnatcatcher from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife under the ESA; the agency found that delisting is not warranted at this time.
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed a lower court decision upholding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' 2012 decision to issue a general nationwide permit--NWP 21--authorizing discharges from certain coal mining activities into navigable waters. The 2012 version of NWP 21 contains two new provisions, a grandfathering provision and a provision for new operations. There was nothing arbitrary and capricious about the Corps' decision to treat old and new activities differently, or in its finding that the activities authorized under both provisions would result in minimal individual and cumulative impacts to the aquatic environment.
This month, ELR is pleased to present the Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review (ELPAR), a special issue published in partnership with Vanderbilt University Law School. ELPAR provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of the best environmental law and policy-relevant ideas from the legal academic literature each year. The publication is designed to fill the same important niche as ELR by helping to bridge the gap between academic scholarship and environmental policymaking.