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Weekly Cases Update Volume 44, Issue 19

CTS Corp. v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20150
12-1256 (D.C. Cir., July 2014)

The D.C. Circuit denied a petition for review challenging EPA's decision to add property formerly owned by a manufacturing company to the NPL. The company argued that in listing the site, EPA failed to properly consider and analyze relevant data. But the company's objections were without merit....

Listing of sites

NO Gas Pipeline v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

ELR 20147
12-1470 (D.C. Cir., July 2014)

The D.C. Circuit held that it lacks jurisdiction over petitions for review of a FERC order granting a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the construction of a natural gas pipeline connecting New York and New Jersey. Environmental groups sought review, claiming that FERC violated...

Energy (generally), Permits

Aransas Project v. Shaw

ELR 20146
13-40317 (5th Cir., June 2014)

The Fifth Circuit reversed a lower court decision barring the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) from issuing new permits to withdraw water from rivers that feed the estuary where wild whooping cranes make their winter home...

Incidental taking, Whooping cranes

Rodriguez v. Abruzzo

ELR 20149
3:12-cv-1458 (M.D. Pa., June 2014)

A district court held that a doctor lacks standing to challenge a Pennsylvania law that prohibits doctors from disclosing the mixture of chemical fluids used during hydraulic fracturing when treating patients for chemical exposure. Doctors have a professional and ethical obligation to...

Constitutional law, Free speech, Hydraulic Fracturing

Energy Corp. USA v. Town of Dryden

ELR 20145
130, 131 (N.Y., June 2014)

New York's highest court held that local governments may ban oil and gas production activities, including hydraulic fracturing, through the adoption of local zoning laws. The case arose after two towns enacted zoning laws banning hydraulic fracturing within their jurisdictions. A private gas...

Hydraulic Fracturing, Land use, Zoning

Cordero v. Leahy

ELR 20148
2014 CO 63 (Colo., June 2014)

The Colorado Supreme Court upheld ballot initiatives that would expand local governments' authority to enact laws regulating oil and gas development that are more restrictive than state law. The initiatives contain just one subject, and the titles fairly reflect the purpose of the initiatives...

Constitutional law

Sierra Club v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20142
08-1145, 12-1295 (D.C. Cir., June 2014)

The D.C. Circuit vacated EPA's gasification exclusion rule, which exempts from RCRA certain hazardous residuals left over from the petroleum refining process. Under the exclusion, oil-bearing hazardous secondary materials that are otherwise hazardous wastes under RCRA §3001 are exempted from...

Burning of hazardous waste for fuel, §3004(q), Identification and listing, §3001

Natural Resources Defense Council v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20141
98-1379 (D.C. Cir., June 2014)

The D.C. Circuit vacated EPA's comparable fuels exclusion, which exempts all fuels deemed comparable to non-hazardous waste-derived fossil fuels from the requirements set forth in RCRA §3004(q). Section 3004(q) directs EPA to establish standards applicable to all facilities that produce, burn...

Burning of hazardous waste for fuel, §3004(q)

High Country Conservation Advocates v. United States Forest Service

ELR 20144
13-cv-01723 (D. Colo., June 2014)

A district court vacated the government's approval of on-the-ground mining exploration activities in a part of western Colorado's North Fork Valley and enjoined the intervening mining companies from proceeding with the project until the agencies comply with NEPA. Although the federal agencies...

Climate Change (generally), Discussion of, held inadequate

Western Lands Project v. United States Department of Interior

ELR 20143
13-cv-339 (S.D. Cal., June 2014)

A district court held that BLM complied with NEPA when it issued a programmatic EIS for utility-scale solar energy projects in six southwestern states. Environmental groups filed suit under NEPA, claiming that BLM failed to consider reasonable alternatives to utility-scale solar energy...

Energy (generally), Programmatic EIS