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Current Weekly Cases Update

The cases listed below appear in the most recent issue of ELR's Weekly Update. For cases previously reported, please refer to the Weekly Cases archives.

Volume , Issue

Center for Biological Diversity v. Trump

ELR 20080
Nos. 1:19-cv-00408 (TNM) and 1:19-cv-00720 (D.D.C., April 2020)

A district court granted in part and denied in part the Trump Administration's motion to dismiss a challenge to its plans to fund construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. An environmental group argued that the president exceeded his authority under the National Emergency Act (NEA)...


California v. Trump

ELR 20079
Nos. 19-960 (RDM) (D.D.C., April 2020)

A district court dismissed for lack of standing a lawsuit challenging the executive order that requires agencies to repeal two existing rules for each new rule promulgated. California, Minnesota, and Oregon argued that the order delayed or resulted in the undertaking of four rulemakings and that...

Standing to sue

Natural Resources Defense Council v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20078
Nos. 19-2896 (2d Cir., April 2020)

The Second Circuit reversed a district court ruling that denied environmental groups' motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit seeking FOIA disclosure of an EPA computer model related to its rollback of greenhouse gas emission standards for vehicle manufacturers. The groups challenged EPA's...

Deliberative-process privilege

CITGO Asphalt Refining Co. v. Frescati

ELR 20075
Nos. 18-565 (U.S., March 2020)

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an appellate court ruling that an oil refining company was responsible for $140 million in damages from a 2004 oil spill in the Delaware River. The owner of the vessel involved in the spill argued that the company it chartered to deliver crude oil from Venezuela to...

Toxic Substances (generally)

Wheelabrator Baltimore, L.P. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore

ELR 20076
Nos. GLR-19-1264 (D. Md., March 2020)

A district court granted two Baltimore solid waste incineration facilities' partial motion for summary judgment in a challenge to the Baltimore Clean Air Act (BCAA). The facilities argued the BCAA was "conflict preempted" by Maryland law because it prohibited solid waste incinerators from...

Clean Air Act (CAA)

California v. Bureau of Land Management

ELR 20074
Nos. 18-cv-00521-HSG and 18-cv-00524-HSG (N.D. Cal., March 2020)

A district court upheld BLM's rule that repealed a 2015 rule regulating hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and tribal lands. California argued that BLM's rationale that the 2015 rule was duplicative of state and tribal regulations was negated by the agency itself when considering the...

Held not required for

Food & Water Watch v. United States Department of Agriculture

ELR 20077
Nos. 17-1714 (BAH) (D.D.C., March 2020)

A district court denied summary judgment to an environmental group in a challenge to the USDA Farm Service Agency's (FSA's) EA for a loan guarantee to construct and operate a poultry concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Maryland. The group first argued that FSA violated NEPA by...

Discussion of, held adequate

Atchafalaya Basinkeeper v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

ELR 20073
Nos. 18-23-SDD-EWD (M.D. La., March 2020)

A district court denied summary judgment to environmental groups in a challenge to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' issuance of permits for construction of a crude oil pipeline across the Atchafalaya Basin. The groups argued that the Corps violated NEPA by failing to take a hard look at the...

Discussion of, held adequate

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

ELR 20070
Nos. 16-1534 (JEB) (D.D.C., March 2020)

A district court held that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must prepare an EIS for the Dakota Access Pipeline that runs from North Dakota to Illinois. Native American tribes argued that the Corps failed to comply with a previous court decision requiring it to adequately consider whether the...

Held required for

City of Fresno v. United States

ELR 20069
Nos. 16-1276L (Fed. Cl., March 2020)

The Court of Federal Claims granted in part and denied in part the Bureau of Reclamation's motion to dismiss a lawsuit concerning its curtailing of water deliveries during a drought in California. The city of Fresno and irrigation districts argued that the Bureau breached its water-supply...


LSP Transmission Holdings, LLC v. Sieben

ELR 20071
Nos. 18-2559 (8th Cir., March 2020)

The Eighth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a constitutional challenge to Minnesota's right of first refusal (ROFR) law. An electric transmission company argued the law, which granted incumbent transmission owners a ROFR to construct, own, and maintain transmission lines that connect to their...

Energy (generally)

Union of Concerned Scientists v. Wheeler

ELR 20068
Nos. 19-1383 (1st Cir., March 2020)

The First Circuit reversed the dismissal of a challenge to an EPA directive that prohibits scientists in receipt of certain EPA grants from serving on the Agency's federal advisory committees. A nonprofit group argued the directive violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) by...

Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA)

Conservation Law Foundation v. ExxonMobil Corp.

ELR 20067
Nos. 16-11950-MLW (D. Mass., March 2020)

A district court stayed an environmental group's climate change lawsuit against an oil company concerning a CWA permit for its petroleum storage facility in Massachusetts. The group argued that the permit required the company to consider predictable weather patterns, including flooding and...

Climate Change (generally)

City of Austin v. Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline, LLC

ELR 20072
Nos. 1:20-CV-138-RP (W.D. Tex., March 2020)

A district court denied local government entities' and landowners' request to temporarily halt construction of a 430-mile natural gas pipeline in Texas. Plaintiffs argued that allowing construction without an incidental take permit under §10 of the ESA would result in an unlawful take of...

Incidental taking