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Weekly Cases Update Volume 45, Issue 1

Thompson v. Heineman

ELR 20004
S-14-158 (Neb., January 2015)

The Nebraska Supreme Court upheld state legislation enacted in 2012 that permits major oil pipeline carriers to obtain approval from the governor to exercise the power of eminent domain for building a pipeline—such as the controversial Keystone XL—in Nebraska. A lower court...

Constitutional law, Energy (generally)

Association des Éleveurs de Canards et D'Oies du Quebec v. Harris

ELR 20003
2:12-cv-5735 (C.D. Cal., January 2015)

A district court struck down California's sales ban on foie gras—a delicacy made from fattened duck liver. Foie gras producers and sellers argued that the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) preempts the ban, Cal. Health & Safety Code §25982, and the court agreed. The PPIA...

Agriculture, Preemption

Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation v. Pennsylvania

ELR 20006
228 M.D. 2012 (Pa. Commw. Ct., January 2015)

A Pennsylvania court held that the state legislature acted within its constitutional authority when it gave itself the power to transfer money out of a special account, funded by oil and gas revenue from state lands, that had been set aside for conservation projects; but that the state's...

Constitutional law, Energy (generally)

Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Brazell

ELR 20002
14-35050 (9th Cir., January 2015)

The Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court decision affirming the U.S. Forest Service's decision to implement the Little Slate Project, a 2,598-acre timber thinning sale within the Nez Perce National Forest. Environmental groups...

National forests, Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho, Biological opinion, §7(b)

Rags Over the Arkansas River, Inc. v. Bureau of Land Management

ELR 20001
12-cv-0265-WJM (D. Colo., January 2015)

A district court upheld BLM's approval of a temporary public art project over the Arkansas River by New York-based artist Christo. The project would consist of 5.9 miles of steel cables, anchored on the riverbanks between 8 and 25 feet above a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River, over which...

BLM lands

North Carolina Environmental Justice Network v. Taylor

ELR 20005
4:12-cv-154 (E.D.N.C., December 2014)

A district court denied a swine farm's motion to strike an environmental group's request for a jury trial in their CWA and RCRA citizen suit. The group's citizen suit alleged that the farm illegally dumped swine waste onto surrounding lands and waters in violation of the two statutes. The farm...

Citizen suits, §7002, Citizen suits, §505

Vermonters for a Clean Environment v. Madrid

ELR 20007
1:12-cv-73 (D. Vt., December 2014)

A district court dismissed an environmental group's NEPA and Wilderness Act lawsuit challenging the U.S. Forest Service's approval of a proposed utility-scale wind farm project in the Green Mountain National Forest in southern Vermont. The groups sought declaratory and injunctive relief to...

Energy (generally), Green Mountain National Forest, Vt.