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Native Village of Point Hope v. Salazar

Citation: 40 ELR 20142
No. Nos. 09-73942 et al., (9th Cir., 05/13/2010)

The Ninth Circuit, in a memorandum opinion, ruled that the Minerals Management Service (MMS) complied with NEPA and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) in approving oil companies' plans for exploratory drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, Alaska. Petitioners claimed that there are multiple deficiencies in the two EAs prepared by the MMS, as well as deficiencies in the companies' proposed exploration plans. The court disagreed. The MMS took a hard look at the consequences of its actions, considered the relevant factors, and reasonably explained why the projects' impacts are insignificant. In addition, the MMS' decision to approve the exploration plans under OCSLA was supported by substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole.