Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership v. Salazar
Citation: 40 ELR 20199
No. No. 09-5162, (D.C. Cir., 07/23/2010) Aff'd
The D.C. Circuit denied environmental organizations' petitions for declaratory and injunctive relief arguing that the BLM's record of decision, accompanying EIS, and subsequent drilling permits for a natural gas field in south-central Wyoming violated NEPA, FLPMA, and the APA. The project was designed to manage the resources of more than 270,000 acres of publicly and privately owned land. The BLM reasonably concluded that the project was covered by the Great Divide resource management plan (RMP). Accordingly, the project did not improperly pre-commit resources as it revised the RMP. In addition, BLM's methodology for estimating ozone concentrations in its EIS was reasonable. NEPA does not require agencies to reevaluate their existing environmental analyses each time the original methodologies are surpassed by new, cutting-edge developments. And the BLM did not violate NEPA when it concluded that certain projects were too preliminary to meaningfully estimate their cumulative impacts in the EIS. The court also rejected arguments that the adaptive management plan violated NEPA's mandate to discuss possible mitigation measures, that the project violated the multiple use and sustained yield goals of FLPMA, and that BLM failed to provide sufficient public notice and opportunity for comment.
[A prior decision in this litigation can be found at 39 ELR 20078.]