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Weekly Cases Update Volume 44, Issue 34

Buffalo River Watershed Alliance v. Department of Agriculture

ELR 20255
4:13-cv-450 (E.D. Ark., December 2014)

A district court held that the Farm Service Agency and the Small Business Administration violated NEPA and the ESA when they guaranteed loans to a hog farm without adequately assessing the farm's environmental impact. The farm, which houses 6,500 swine, is located near a tributary of the Buffalo...

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Interagency consultation, §7(a)

Amador County, California v. United States Department of the Interior

ELR 20253
13-5245 (D.C. Cir., December 2014)

The D.C. Circuit affirmed a lower court decision dismissing a Native American tribe's motion to intervene in a county's lawsuit against DOI challenging its approval of a casino gaming compact between the tribe and the state of California. Under the agreement, the tribe would open a casino on its...

Tribal-owned land

Kane County, Utah v. United States

ELR 20254
13-4108 et al. (10th Cir., December 2014)

The Tenth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part a lower court decision granting a Utah county rights-of-way over 12 roads that cross federal lands. The county sought to quiet title to 15 roads or road segments under the Quiet Title Act. The county asserted rights-of-way...


Midland Power Cooperative v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

ELR 20252
13-1184 (D.C. Cir., December 2014)

The D.C. Circuit dismissed an Iowa electric utility's motion to overturn a FERC order requiring it to "reconnect" to a wind generator within its territory. Federal Power Act §313 limits judicial review to orders issued in proceedings under that Act. Because the order was issued under §210 of the...

Parish of Plaquemines v. Total Petrochemical & Refining USA, Inc.

ELR 20256
13-6693 (E.D. La., December 2014)

A district court remanded to state court a Louisiana parish's lawsuit against 19 oil and gas companies for alleged environmental damages stemming from the companies' exploration, production, and transportation activities. The parish claims these operations were conducted in violation of the...

Coastal zone management program, Energy (generally)

WildEarth Guardians v. McCarthy

ELR 20251
12-16797 (9th Cir., December 2014)

The Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court decision dismissing an environmental group's citizen suit requesting EPA to issue more stringent regulations for ozone pollution under the PSD program. The group alleged that the EPA Administrator has a nondiscretionary duty to issue revised ozone...

Citizen suits, §304, Prevention of significant deterioration (PSD)

Pebble Ltd. Partnership v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20258
3:14-cv-00171 (D. Alaska, November 2014)

A district court issued a preliminarily injunction barring EPA from taking further steps under CWA §404(c) in connection with the proposed Pebble Mine project in southwestern Alaska until after the court has ruled on the merits of the mine's lawsuit against the Agency for alleged Federal...

EPA veto, §404(c)

Energy & Environment Cabinet v. Frasure Creek Mining, LLC

ELR 20260
10-Cl-18667 (Ky. Cir. Ct., November 2014)

A Kentucky court rejected a proposed consent decree between the state's environmental agency and a coal mine concerning extensive CWA violations. The proposed consent decree is not fair, reasonable, or in the public interest. The agency failed to provide any public notice or comment period prior...

Consent decrees

Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments

ELR 20259
D063288 (Cal. Ct. App. 4th Dist., November 2014)

A California appellate court held that the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) failed to adequately consider greenhouse gas emissions impacts in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) during its preparation of its 2050 regional transportation plan. A lower court...

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

Pioneer Reserve, LLC v. United States

ELR 20257
14-376C (Fed. Cl., November 2014)

The Federal Claims Court denied a motion to dismiss a wetlands mitigation bank's breach of contract claim against the government. A family formed the bank to manage two tracts of valuable land in Alaska that the family wanted to sell as a preserved natural resource to developers who were...