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Weekly Cases Update Volume 45, Issue 16

Pebble Ltd. Partnership v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20108
3:14-cv-0171-HRH (D. Alaska, June 2015)

A district court dismissed portions of a mining company's lawsuit against EPA alleging that the Agency violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) during its review of the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska. The company claimed that EPA formed three committees—the Anti-Mine Coalition, the...

"Established" construed, "Utilized" construed

Solvay USA Inc. v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20107
11-1189 (D.C. Cir., June 2015)

The D.C. Circuit denied several petitions for review challenging aspects of an EPA rule that provides procedures for classifying non-hazardous secondary materials as RCRA "solid waste" for the purpose of CAA emission standards for incinerators and other combustion units. The rule classifies...

"Solid waste" construed, Boilers and industrial furnaces, Clean Air Act (CAA)

Carbon Sequestration Council v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20103
14-1046 (D.C. Cir., June 2015)

The D.C. Circuit held that energy companies lack standing to challenge EPA's determination that carbon dioxide (CO2) streams injected into Class VI wells for the purpose of geologic sequestration constitute "solid waste" subject to RCRA. Class VI wells are designated to receive CO2 streams...

"Solid waste" construed, RCRA, Underground injection

Adkisson v. Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.

ELR 20109
14-6207 (6th Cir., June 2015)

The Sixth Circuit reversed and remanded a lower court decision dismissing individuals' lawsuit against a government contractor on jurisdictional grounds, holding that the company was not necessarily immune from suit. The case arose out of cleanup and remediation work that an engineering company...

Sovereign immunity

Hermes Consolidated, LLC v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20102
14-1016 (D.C. Cir., June 2015)

The D.C. Circuit vacated and remanded an EPA decision denying an oil refinery's request to extend its exemption from the Agency's renewable fuels program. The program requires oil refineries to meet annual obligations concerning the production of renewable fuels. A small refinery located in...

Fuels regulation, §211

Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20104
12-1309 (D.C. Cir., June 2015)

The D.C. Circuit denied petitions for review of EPA decisions regarding nonattainment designations under the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Several states, counties, industrial entities, and environmental organizations petitioned the court challenging EPA's determination that certain geographic areas are, or...

Review and revision, §109(d)

Sierra Club v. Bostick

ELR 20101
14-6099 (10th Cir., May 2015)

The Tenth Circuit held the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not violate NEPA, the CWA, or nationwide permit (NWP) 12 when it allowed an energy company to build a 485-mile oil pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas under the general permit. The pipeline, part of a larger network of pipelines to...

Nationwide permit

Alaska Conservation Foundation v. Pebble Ltd. Partnership

ELR 20105
7012 (Alaska, May 2015)

The Supreme Court of Alaska reversed a lower court decision that plaintiffs challenging land and water use permits allowing intensive mineral exploration in Alaska's prospective Pebble Mine had "sufficient economic incentive" to warrant the imposition of attorney fees against them. The...

Mining, Mining

Aulukestai v. Alaska

ELR 20106
7011 (Alaska, May 2015)

The Supreme Court of Alaska held that the state's Department of Natural Resources should have provided public notice before issuing land and water use permits allowing intensive mineral exploration in the prospective Pebble Mine. The Alaska Constitution requires public notice when interests in...

Constitutional law, Mining, Mining

National Ass'n of Home Builders v. United States Fish & Wildlife Service

ELR 20099
14-5121 (D.C. Cir., May 2015)

The D.C. Circuit held that building and development associations lacked standing to challenge consent decrees that require FWS to determine, in accordance with a settlement-defined schedule, whether 251 species should be listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA. The case arose after...

Consent decrees, Determination of endangered and threatened species, §4