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Weekly Cases Update Volume 44, Issue 23

Colorado Oil & Gas Ass'n v. City of Fort Collins

ELR 20183
2013CV31385 (Colo. Dist. Ct., August 2014)

A Colorado court held that the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Act preempts a city's five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. The city is a "home-rule" city, meaning it has “the full right of self-government” on local and municipal matters. Nevertheless, a local ordinance that infringes on...

Constitutional law, Hydraulic Fracturing

Defenders of Wildlife v. North Carolina Department of Transportation

ELR 20181
13-2215 (4th Cir., August 2014)

The Fourth Circuit affirmed a lower court's decision that FHwA and North Carolina complied with NEPA in their approval of a bridge and highway improvement project between the mainland and the Outer Banks barrier islands, but reversed that court's determination that the defendants were exempt...

Highways, Parklands, §4(f)

Columbia Riverkeeper v. United States Coast Guard

ELR 20179
12-73385 (9th Cir., August 2014)

The Ninth Circuit held that it lacked jurisdiction to review a U.S. Coast Guard letter to FERC concerning the suitability of the Columbia River for vessel traffic associated with a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility and pipeline. The letter of recommendation stated that although the...

Actions not reviewable, Energy (generally)

Arizona v. City of Tucson

ELR 20182
12-15691 (9th Cir., August 2014)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court decision approving CERCLA consent decrees between settling parties and the state concerning cleanup costs stemming from a hazardous waste site near Tucson, Arizona. Several nonsettling PRPs intervened in the case, seeking a...

Intervention to oppose consent decree

United States v. Hamilton

ELR 20180
10-cv-00231 (D. Wyo., July 2014)

A district court upheld a jury verdict that a Wyoming farmer who discharged material into a creek on his property without a permit was exempt from the CWA's permitting requirements. Below, the jury found in the farmer's activities fell under the CWA's "normal farming and ranching activities"...

Change in use permit requirement, §404(f)(2)