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Weekly Cases Update Volume 42, Issue 22

Summit Petroleum Corp. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20167
09-4348;10-4572 (6th Cir., August 2012)

The Sixth Circuit vacated EPA's determination that a natural gas operation's plant and production wells separately located within a 43-square-mile area constitute a single stationary source under the CAA Title V permitting program. EPA concluded that the facilities satisfy the regulatory...

Operating permits,§§501-507

Sierra Club, Inc. v. Bostick

ELR 20168
CIV-12-742-R (W.D. Okla., August 2012)

A district court denied environmental groups' motion to preliminarily enjoin the construction of segments of the Keystone XL pipeline. After an oil company's original request to complete the Keystone XL pipeline was denied by President Obama in 2011, the company sought to divide its original...

Energy (generally), Negative determination, EIS not required for, Nationwide permit, Wetlands

Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20161
11-1474, -1610 (1st Cir., August 2012)

The First Circuit denied a petition challenging an EPA NPDES permit setting forth discharge limits for nitrogen, phosphorous, and aluminum for a large sewage treatment plant along the Blackstone River in Massachusetts. A water district that operates the treatment plant argued that EPA should...

Permit issuance

National Mining Association v. Jackson

ELR 20165
10-1220 et al. (D.D.C., July 2012)

A district court held that EPA overstepped its statutory authority under the CWA and SMCRA when it issued guidance on Appalachian surface coal mining permits. EPA argued that the guidance was not final agency action and, thus, not subject to judicial review. But the court disagreed, holding that...

Held included, Permits, §506, Permit issuance, Nationwide permit

Wildearth Guardians v. Salazar

ELR 20166
10-01174, 11-00037 (D.D.C., July 2012)

A district court dismissed environmental groups' lawsuits challenging BLM's decision to authorize the leasing of certain public lands in northeastern Wyoming for coal mining operations. The groups, who claim that BLM failed to prepare an adequate EIS before authorizing the leasing of the tracts...

Aesthetic and recreational interests, Climate Change (generally), Discussion of, held adequate

Luminant Generation Co. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20163
10-60934 (5th Cir., July 2012)

The Fifth Circuit upheld an EPA rule partially approving and partially disapproving revisions to Texas' SIP concerning civil penalties for excess emissions resulting from startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM) activities. Environmental petitioners sought review of EPA's decision to approve a...

Air pollution, Approval and revision, §110(a)

League of Wilderness Defenders v. United States Forest Service

ELR 20162
11-35451 (9th Cir., July 2012)

The Ninth Circuit held that the U.S. Forest Service's EIS for a forest thinning research project in the Pringle Falls Experimental Forest within the Deschutes National Forest complies with NEPA. The project allows logging and controlled burning on roughly 2,500 acres of the Forest to reduce the...

Deschutes National Forest, Or., Discussion of, held adequate

Minnesota v. BNSF Railway Co.

ELR 20164
11-3103, -3139 (8th Cir., July 2012)



The Eighth Circuit held that costs a developer incurred to reduce pollution on a property it owns in Brainerd, Minnesota, that had formerly been owned by a railway company were not removal costs and thus not recoverable under the Minnesota Environmental Response and Liability Act (...

Environmental Response and Liability Act, Hazardous