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Weekly Cases Update Volume 44, Issue 32

Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc. v. Center for Biological Diversity

44 ELR 20243
13-35835 (9th Cir., November 2014)

The Ninth Circuit dismissed an oil company's Declaratory Judgment Act lawsuit against several environmental groups, seeking a declaration that the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s approval of two oil spill response plans under OPA for Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas did not...

Declaratory Judgment Act (DJA), Energy (generally)

Tronox, Inc. v. Anadarko Petroleum Co.

44 ELR 20245
14-cv-5495 (S.D.N.Y., November 2014)

A district court approved a $5.15 billion settlement agreement—the largest such recovery in American history—resolving two lawsuits in which a spin-off company and the U.S. government asserted fraudulent transfer and other claims against an energy company and its parent. In 2006, the energy...


Tamosaitis v. URS Inc.

44 ELR 20240
12-35924 (9th Cir., November 2014)

The Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of an energy construction company for whistleblower retaliation against an employee in a case concerning cleanup efforts of nuclear waste at the Hanford Nuclear site in Washington state. The “opt-out” provision of the...

Hanford Nuclear Reservation (Wash.)

Alaska v. United States Department of Agriculture

44 ELR 20242
13-5147 (D.C. Cir., November 2014)

The D.C. Circuit held that Alaska's lawsuit challenging the U.S. Forest Service's roadless rule is not time barred. The Forest Service issued the roadless rule in 2001. In 2005, the Forest Service repealed it, but the rule was reinstated by court order in 2006. In 2011, Alaska filed its lawsuit...

Action not barred, National forests

People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. United States Fish & Wildlife Service

44 ELR 20241
2:13-cv-00278-DB (D. Utah, November 2014)

A district court held that the federal government may not regulate the take of the Utah prairie dog, a threatened species, on nonfederal lands under the ESA. In 2012, FWS issued a rule authorizing the take of the Utah prairie dog, via permit, on "agricultural lands, [private property] within [.5...


State v. Wahkiakum County

44 ELR 20244
44700-2-II (Wash. Ct. App., November 2014)

A Washington State appellate court held that a county ordinance banning the land application of the most common class of biosolids is unconstitutional. The state' s biosolids program was created in 1992 to facilitate and encourage recycling, rather than disposal, of sewage waste, and the state's...

Preemption, Solid, Solid waste

Sierra Club v. County of San Diego

44 ELR 20239
D064243 (Cal. Ct. App., October 2014)

A California appellate court held that San Diego County's adoption of a climate action plan violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the county issued a program environmental impact report (PEIR) and adopted a...

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Climate Change (generally)