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Weekly Cases Update Volume 45, Issue 11

Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards v. Red River Coal Co.

45 ELR 20075
2:14CV00024 (W.D. Va., April 2015)

A district court granted summary judgment in favor of a coal company, thereby dismissing environmental groups' CWA claim that the company violated its NPDES permit. The dispute centered on the parties' competing interpretations of a boilerplate condition of all of the company's NPDES permits...

Total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), §303(d), National pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit program, 402

Shell Offshore, Inc. v. Greenpeace, Inc.

45 ELR 20071
3:15-cv-00054 (D. Alaska, April 2015)

A district court granted an oil company's motion for a temporary restraining order barring environmental activists from entering a 1,000 meter "safety zone" around three drilling vessels in the U.S. exclusive economic zone. The company alleged that Greenpeace USA is acting in concert with...

Energy (generally), Injunctions

Hawkes Co. v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

45 ELR 20070
13-3067 (8th Cir., April 2015)

The Eighth Circuit held that a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jurisdictional determination (JD) is a final agency action under the APA, thereby creating a split between the circuits. The case arose after a company sought to mine peat from wetland property owned by two affiliated companies in...

Held included, Wetlands determination

Coalition for Responsible Regulation, Inc. v. Environmental Protection Agency

45 ELR 20072
98-1322 et al. (D.C. Cir., April 2015)

The D.C. Circuit, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, No. 12-1146, 44 ELR 20132 (2014), amended a...

Climate Change (generally), Greenhouse gases

Gulf Restoration Network v. McCarthy

45 ELR 20076
13-31214 (5th Cir., April 2015, April 2015)

The Fifth Circuit reversed and remanded a lower court decision ordering EPA to determine whether new water quality standards were necessary to control nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the mainstem of the Mississippi River...

Water quality standards, §303

Grand Canyon Trust v. Williams

45 ELR 20069
13-08045 (D. Ariz., April 2015)

A district court upheld a U.S. Forest Service decision allowing a uranium mine to renew operations near the Grand Canyon National Park. In January 2012, DOI withdrew approximately 633,547 acres of public lands and 360,002 acres of National Forest System lands for up to 20 years from location and...

Grand Canyon National Park, Held not required for, Mining

Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center v. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

45 ELR 20073
13-cv-03717 (N.D. Cal., April 2015)

A district court held that FWS and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violated the ESA and NEPA when they issued 50-year incidental take permits to a farm to take the northern spotted owl and the Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast coho salmon, both of which are "threatened"...

Incidental taking, Coho salmon, Northern spotted owl

Maryland Dep't of the Environment v. Anacostia Riverkeeper

45 ELR 20077
2199 (Md. Ct. Spec. App., April 2015)

A Maryland appellate court affirmed a lower court decision remanding a stormwater management permit that the state's environmental agency issued to a county. The permit did not fall short for failing to hold the county to state water quality standards, as urged by an environmental group...

State standards, §303(a)

Friends of Merrymeeting Bay v. Hydro Kennebec, LLC

45 ELR 20074
1:11-cv-00035 (D. Me., April 2015)

A district court, on remand from the First Circuit, dismissed environmental groups' CWA claim against the operators of four hydroelectric dams along the Kennebec River. The groups alleged that the...

Water quality standards, §303