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Weekly Cases Update Volume 42, Issue 16

Karuk Tribe of California v. United States Forest Service

ELR 20116
No. 05-16801 (9th Cir., June 2012)

The Ninth Circuit held that the U.S. Forest Service violated the ESA when it failed to consult with federal wildlife agencies before approving four notices of intent (NOIs) to conduct mining activities in coho salmon critical habitat within the Klamath National Forest....

Forest Service

Alec L. v. Jackson

ELR 20115
No. 1:11-cv-02235 (D.D.C., May 2012)

A district court dismissed a lawsuit filed by nongovernmental organizations and a group of minors claiming that six federal agencies violated their fiduciary duties to preserve and protect the atmosphere as a commonly shared public trust resource under the public trust doctrine. The public...

Climate Change (generally)

United States v. Renton

ELR 20110
No. C11-1156JLR (W.D. Wash., May 2012)

A district court held that the CWA's waiver of sovereign immunity applies to stormwater management fees. In 2011, in response to federal agencies that had ceased paying stormwater program charges, Congress passed the "stormwater amendment" (CWA §313(c)) to clarify federal responsibility to...

Sovereign immunity, §313(a)

Native Village of Point Hope v. Salazar

ELR 20114
Nos. 11-72891, -72943, (9th Cir., May 2012)

The Ninth Circuit dismissed environmental and Alaska Native groups' petitions challenging the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM's) approval of an oil company's exploration plan to drill in the Beaufort Sea. BOEM's decision that the company's exploration plan complied with the Outer...

Minerals Management Service, Oil and gas leasing

Sierra Club v. Korleski

ELR 20113
No. 10-3269 (6th Cir., May 2012)

The Sixth Circuit held that the CAA's citizen suit provision does not allow an environmental group to file suit to compel the state of Ohio to administer a particular federal CAA regulation it has chosen no longer to administer. In 2006, the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation that allows...

Citizen suits, §304

Yankee Atomic Electric Co. v. United States

ELR 20111
Nos. 2011-5020 et al. (Fed. Cir., May 2012)

The Federal Circuit awarded a power company $17,021,742 in its suit against the U.S. government for the cost of storing spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste beyond the time that the government promised by contract to begin storing that waste in a permanent and secure...

Waste disposal

Department of Environmental Quality v. Worth Township

ELR 20112
No. 14180 (Mich., May 2012)

The Michigan Supreme Court held that under the state's Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), a municipality can be held responsible for, and required to prevent, a discharge of raw sewage that originates within its borders, even when the raw sewage is discharged by a...

Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act