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Weekly Cases Update Volume 45, Issue 17

Cottonwood Environmental Law Center v. United States Forest Service

45 ELR 20114
13-35624, -35631 (9th Cir., June 2015)

The Ninth Circuit held that the U.S. Forest Service violated ESA §7 when it failed to reinitiate consultation after FWS designated critical habitat for the Canada lynx on National Forest land. In 2006, FWS designated critical habitat for the Canada lynx that did not include any National Forest...

Critical habitat designation, Forest Service, Canada lynx

Turner v. Georgia River Network

45 ELR 20116
S14G1780 (Ga. Sup. Ct., June 2015)

Georgia's highest court held that the state's 25-foot buffer zone for development projects along state waters does not apply to wetlands. The applicable statute does not require a buffer for state waters alongside banks without "wrested vegetation." The language at issue states, in pertinent...

Wetlands, Easements

Swanson Group Mfg., LLC v. Jewell

45 ELR 20113
13-5268 (D.C. Cir., June 2015)

The D.C. Circuit reversed a lower court injunction requiring BLM to sell more timber from federal land managed under the Oregon and California Railroad and Coos Bay Wagon Road Grant Lands Act of 1937. The lower court had sided with timber companies, granting their motions for summary judgment...

Timber sales

Alaska Wilderness League v. Jewell

45 ELR 20112
13-35866 (9th Cir., June 2015)

The Ninth Circuit upheld the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's (BSEE's) approval of oil spill response plans for an oil company's leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas on Alaska's Arctic coast. Several environmental groups claimed that BSEE's approval was arbitrary and...

Interagency consultation, §7(a), Oil and hazardous substance spills, §311

National Parks Conservation Ass'n v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

45 ELR 20111
12-73710, -73757 (9th Cir., June 2015)

The Ninth Circuit granted in part and denied in part petitions for review challenging EPA's federal implementation plan to reduce regional haze at two power plants in Montana. The owner and operator of the plants, as well as environmental groups, filed separate petitions for review, and the...

Federal implementation plans (FIPs), §110(c)(1), Visibility protection for class I areas, §169A

In re Murray Energy Corp.

45 ELR 20110
14-1112 et al. (D.C. Cir., June 2015)

The D.C. Circuit dismissed petitions for review challenging EPA's anticipated rule restricting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants. On June 18, 2014, EPA proposed a rule to restrict CO2 emissions from existing coal-fired and natural gas-fired power plants. The comment...

Greenhouse gases, New source performance standards, §111

McClung v. Paul

45 ELR 20115
14-3463 (8th Cir., June 2015)

The Eighth Circuit held that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not abuse its discretion when it revoked homeowners' permits to maintain a boat dock and stone steps on the public land between their property and a lake. The Corps revoked the permits after the homeowners sprayed herbicide and...

Army Corps of Engineers, Watershed Protection