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Weekly Cases Update Volume 40, Issue 34

Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack

ELR 20034
No. C 10-04038 JSW (N.D. Cal., November 2010)

A district court issued a preliminary injunction ordering genetically modified sugar beet seedlingscalled stecklings...

Agriculture, Injunctions, FRCP 65

Sierra Club v. Elk Run Coal Co.

ELR 20032
No. 2:10-00673 (S.D. W. Va., November 2010)

A district court dismissed a motion to dismiss environmental groups' citizen suit against five coal companies alleging thousands of violations of the CWA and SMCRA in West Virginia. Because EPA entered into a consent decree with the companies, the defendants argued that the groups' CWA...

Citizen suits, §520, Settlement agreements, Citizen suits, §505

Humane Society of the United States v. Locke

ELR 20025
No. 08-36038 (9th Circ., November 2010)

The Ninth Circuit held that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), but not NEPA, when it authorized Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to kill up to 85 California sea lions annually at the Bonneville Dam in order to protect salmon in the...

Pinnipeds, §210, California sea lion, Marine mammals

Sierra Club v. Sandy Creek Energy Associates, L.P.

ELR 20036
No. 09-51079 (5th Cir., November 2010)

The Fifth Circuit held that an energy company's current and ongoing construction of a coal-fired power plant, for which no maximum achievable control technology (MACT) determination has ever been made, violates CAA §112(g). In ordinary circumstances, there would be no question as to...

Maximum achievable control technology (MACT)

Cherry Valley Pass Acres & Neighbors v. City of Beaumont

ELR 20026
No. E049651 (Cal. App. 4th Dist., November 2010)

A California appellate court affirmed a lower court decision denying a petition challenging a city's approval of a project to build 560 residential units on a 200-acre site long used for agricultural purposes. A citizens group filed a petition, claiming that the environmental impact...

Agriculture, Environmental Assessment/Impact Statement, Environmental impact reports (EIRs)

County of Nelson v. Kern

ELR 20029
No. F059293 (Cal. App. 5th Dist. , November 2010)

A California appellate court reversed a lower court decision denying a petition challenging the adequacy of a county's environmental analysis of a proposed surface mining operation on a 40-acre site in the foothills of the Southern Sierra Nevada mountain range. The county limited its...

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Environmental Assessment/Impact Statement, Mining

Eastman v. Coffeyville Resources Refining & Marketing, LLC

ELR 20031
No. 10-1216-MLB-KGG (D. Kan. , November 2010)

A district court dismissed landowners' OPA claim against a company for damages stemming from an oil spill in the Verdigris River in Kansas, but denied the company's motion to dismiss the landowners' nuisance claim. The landowners failed to file their OPA claim within the three-year...

Oil Pollution Act (OPA), Surface water

Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida v. South Florida Water Management District

ELR 20028
Nos. SC 09-1817 (Fla. , November 2010)

The Supreme Court of Florida affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court decision validating $650 million in "certificates of participation" to finance a water district's purchase of 73,000 acres of land owned by a sugar company for Everglades restoration purposes. Certificates...

Florida, Restoration

CRV Enterprises, Inc. v. United States

ELR 20033
No. 2009-5100 (Fed. Cir., November 2010)

The Federal Circuit upheld a lower court decision rejecting landowners' claims that the United States had taken their property without just compensation by erecting a log boom that prevented them from using a slough next to their property. The government placed the log boom in the slough...

Inverse condemnation, Permanent physical takings

Center for Biological Diversity v. United States Department of Agriculture

ELR 20035
No. 09-17233 (Fed. Cir., November 2010)

The Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of an environmental group requiring the USDA, under FOIA, to disclose the GPS coordinates of wolf depredations to which it had responded. The district court held that the coordinates were not exempt from...

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Wolves