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News & Analysis In the Courts Volume 50, Issue 6

Natural Resources Defense Council v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20093
19cv5174 (DLC) (S.D.N.Y., April 2020)
A district court vacated EPA's 2017 directive that prohibited scientists in receipt of certain EPA grants from serving on the Agency's federal advisory committees.

Northern Plains Resource Council v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

ELR 20091
CV-19-44-GF-BMM (D. Mont., April 2020)
A district court vacated a nationwide permit reissued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that allowed for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline across waterways.

WildEarth Guardians v. Chao

ELR 20094
CV-18-110-GF-BMM (D. Mont., April 2020)
A district court denied summary judgment to an environmental group in a lawsuit concerning the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA's) obligations under the Mineral Leasing Act to inspect all pipelines on federal lands annually.

Waterkeeper Alliance v. Wheeler

ELR 20092
18-2230 (JDB) (D.D.C., April 2020)
A district court granted in part and denied in part environmental groups' motion for summary judgment in a challenge to EPA's approval of an Oklahoma program regulating the disposal of coal combustion residuals.

Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

ELR 20090
JKB-19-106 (D. Md., April 2020)
A district court upheld a CWA §404 permit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted to authorize the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to discharge dredge-and-fill materials into nearby waters during construction of a light rail project, known as the Purple Line project, that would connect suburban Maryland commuters to existing transit stations that connect to Washington, D.C.

Gulf South Pipeline Co., LP v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

ELR 20089
19-1074 (D.C. Cir., April 2020)
The D.C. Circuit vacated FERC's refusal to allow a natural gas pipeline company to impose incremental-plus rates to cover the costs of an expansion project.

Center for Biological Diversity v. Ross

ELR 20088
18-112 (JEB) (D.D.C., April 2020)
A district court held that NMFS violated the ESA by approving a U.S. lobster fishery without adequately considering the fishery's impact on the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

Dallas Safari Club v. Bernhardt

ELR 20085
19-cv-03696 (APM) (D.D.C., April 2020)
A district court denied a motion for a preliminary injunction in a challenge against FWS' failure to act on pending elephant trophy import permit applications.

Association of Irritated Residents v. California Department of Conservation

ELR 20087
F078460 (Cal. Ct. App., April 2020)
In an unpublished opinion, a California appellate court affirmed dismissal of a challenge to the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources' issuance of 213 permits to drill new oil wells in a California oil field.

Communities for a Better Environment v. South Coast Air Quality Management District

ELR 20086
B294732 (Cal. Ct. App., April 2020)
A California appellate court affirmed dismissal of a challenge to the South Coast Air Quality Management District's determination that an oil refinery project would reduce air pollution.