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Weekly Cases Update Volume 44, Issue 10

WildEarth Guardians v. Bureau of Land Management

44 ELR 20069
1:11-cv-1481 (D.D.C., March 2014)

A district court held that environmental groups' NEPA and FLPMA claims against BLM in connection with its decision to lease two coal tracts in Wyoming's Powder River Basin lack merit. The groups alleged that BLM violated the statutes because the agency failed to adequately consider the impacts...

Discussion of, held adequate, Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA)

Oceana v. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

44 ELR 20070
12-0981 (D.D.C., March 2014)

A district court, in a memorandum opinion, dismissed environmental groups' lawsuit against the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for APA, NEPA, and ESA violations in connection with two lease sales in the area where the Deepwater...

Oil and gas lease, Jeopardize species/habitat, §7(a)(2)

National Ass'n of Home Builders v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

44 ELR 20071
12-2013 (D.D.C., March 2014)

A district court upheld two court-approved settlement agreements between environmental advocacy groups and the FWS in a multi-district litigation that require the agency to determine by certain deadlines whether to list 251 species as endangered or threatened under the ESA or find that listing...

Determination of endangered and threatened species, §4

BARK v. United States Forest Service

44 ELR 20073
12-1505 (D.D.C., March 2014)

A district court held that fee restrictions set forth in the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) do not apply to private, third-party concessionaires who operate recreation areas within the National Forests. Nonprofit groups challenged the U.S. Forest Service’s issuance of several...

National forests

Powder River Basin Resource Council v. United States Bureau of Land Management

44 ELR 20072
12-cv-00996 (D.D.C., March 2014)

A district court dismissed environmental groups' claims that BLM violated NEPA when it approved a plan for developing a coal bed natural gas lease in an area of Wyoming's Powder River Basin as well as amendments to the applicable resource management plan for the area. The groups claimed that BLM...

Negative determination, EIS not required for, Oil and gas lease

Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

44 ELR 20068
08-CV-5606, -8430 (S.D.N.Y., March 2014)

In a 100+ page opinion, a district court vacated EPA's water transfers rule, which excludes water transfers that convey or connect "waters of the United States without subjecting the transferred water to intervening industrial, municipal, or commercial use" from the CWA's NPDES permitting...

Regulations, Navigable Waters

Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada v. U.S. Department of the Interior

44 ELR 20076
12-15412 (9th Cir., March 2014)

The Ninth Circuit held that BLM did not violate NEPA or FLPMA when it approved the expansion of a gold mine near Nevada's Mount Tenabo. Native American tribes claimed that BLM failed to address mitigation measures specific to groundwater in situ, failed to propose new mitigation measures...

Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), Mining, Native Americans

Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Ass'ns v. Murillo

44 ELR 20077
S-2:11-2980 (E.D. Cal., March 2014)

A district court held that plaintiffs may go forward with their CWA citizen suit against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and a California water authority in a case involving the need for a NPDES permit for an irrigation project jointly administered by the two agencies. The plaintiffs pled...

Coverage

Organized Village of Kake v. United States Department of Agriculture

44 ELR 20067
11-35517 (9th Cir., March 2014)

The Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court decision invalidating a 2003 USDA regulation that temporarily exempted Alaska's Tongass National Forest from the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. USDA clearly acknowledged that its 2003 record of decision, which excluded the Tongass from the Roadless...

Tongass National Forest, Alaska

In re Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

44 ELR 20066
A-4878-11T4 (N.J. Sup. Ct. App. Div., March 2014)

A New Jersey appellate court held that the state's Department of Environmental Protection violated the New Jersey APA when it withdrew from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) program. In 2011, the state posted a notice on the Department's website that is was withdrawing from the RGGI...

Air pollution, Climate Change (generally)