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Weekly Cases Update Volume 41, Issue 10

Douglas Timber Operators, Inc. v. Salazar

41 ELR 20130
No. 09-1704 (D.D.C. , March 2011)

A district court held that the Secretary of the Interior violated FLPMA and the APA when he withdrew a record of decision (ROD) adopting six revised resource management plans, collectively known as the Western Oregon Plan Revisions, for 2.5 million acres of BLM lands in western Oregon....

Resource management plans (RMPs)

Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States

41 ELR 20128
No. 2009-5121 (Fed. Cir. , March 2011)

The Federal Circuit held that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' temporary deviations from the water release rates set forth in an operating plan for the Clearwater Dam that caused increased flooding in Arkansas' Dave Donaldson Black River Wildlife Management Area, which in turn caused...

Permanent physical takings, Quantity

Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

41 ELR 20129
No. 08-72288 (9th Cir. , March 2011)

The Ninth Circuit upheld EPA's determination that a California SIP that imposes limits on motor vehicle emissions for years 2009 and 2012 are adequate for purposes of the state's transportation plans and projects. Although EPA’s overall approval process of the SIP is still underway,...

Approval and revision, §110(a), California

United States v. Wilgus

41 ELR 20125
No. 09-4046 (10th Cir., March 2011)

The Tenth Circuit held that an individual's conviction under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act for unlawfully possessing 141 eagle feathers does not violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. The individual is a follower of a Native American faith but is neither a member of a...

Taking, possessing, or offering to sell bald or golden eagle parts, 16 U.S.C. §688

Pacific Merchant Shipping Ass'n v. Goldstene

41 ELR 20126
No. 09-17765 (9th Cir., March 2011)

The Ninth Circuit upheld, on statutory and constitutional grounds, California's vessel fuel rules as they apply to vessels located more than three miles off the California coast. The rules, which seek to reduce air pollutants affecting the state of California, require ocean-going vessels...

Air pollution, California, Submerged lands

Friends of Blackwater v. Salazar

41 ELR 20127
No. 09-2122 (D.D.C. , March 2011)

A district court vacated the FWS' removal of the Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel from the list of endangered species. Instead of applying the criteria set forth in the squirrel's recovery plan when it issued the delisting rule, the FWS conducted an analysis based on the five listing factors...

Endangered species listing

City of Salina, Kansas v. United States

41 ELR 20133
No. 10-2298 (D. Kan. , March 2011)

A district court dismissed a city's CERCLA §107(a) suit against the United States to recover past and future response costs incurred at the former Schilling Air Force Base area in Salina, Kansas. CERCLA §113(h) bars challenges to ongoing response actions being taken under §104. Here, the...

Held to preclude

San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority v. Salazar

41 ELR 20124
No. 10-15192 (9th Cir., March 2011)

The Ninth Circuit held that ESA §§7 and 9, as applied to the California delta smelt, do not violate the Commerce Clause. In 2008, the FWS issued a biological opinion (BiOp) to the Bureau of Reclamation concerning two federal and state water diversion projects in California's Central...

Commerce Clause, Federal actions, §7, Prohibited acts, §9

Scottsdale Indemnity Co. v. Village of Crestwood

41 ELR 20131
No. 09 C 4472 (N.D. Ill., March 2011)

A district court held that insurers have no duty to defend or indemnify a city in over two dozen underlying lawsuits alleging that the city delivered contaminated tap water to its residents. The insurance policies at issue contain pollution exclusion clauses. Under Illinois law, a pollution...

Pollution exclusion clause, Water (generally)

Schiavone v. Northeast Utilities Service Co.

41 ELR 20132
No. 3:08CV429 (D. Conn. , March 2011)

A district court held that utilities who sold used transformers to a scrap metal company in the 1970s are not liable under CERCLA or the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act. After Connecticut's environmental department discovered PCB contamination on the property, the current owner...

Arrangers, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)