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Weekly Cases Update Volume 45, Issue 22

Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Otter

45 ELR 20146
1:14-cv-00104 (D. Idaho, August 2015)

A district court held that an Idaho "ag-gag" law that criminalizes undercover investigations of agricultural production operations violates the U.S. Constitution. Under the law, a journalist or animal rights investigator can be convicted for not disclosing his media or political affiliations...

Agriculture, Idaho, Wildlife (generally)

Organized Village of Kake v. United States Department of Agriculture

45 ELR 20145
11-35517 (9th Cir., July 2015)

The Ninth Circuit reinstated application of the roadless rule to the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, holding that USDA violated the APA when it exempted the Forest from the rule. When USDA issued the roadless rule in 2001, it refused to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the rule, which...

Tongass National Forest, Alaska

EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. Environmental Protection Agency

45 ELR 20142
11-1302 (D.C. Cir., July 2015)

The D.C. Circuit, on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, invalidated EPA's 2014 emissions budgets under the transport rule, also known as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, as applied to various...

Interstate pollution abatement, §126, National ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), §109

Chinatown Neighborhood Ass'n v. Harris

45 ELR 20143
14-1578 (9th Cir., July 2015)

The Ninth Circuit upheld California's "shark fin law", which bans the possession, sale, and distribution of shark fins within the state. An association claimed that the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act preempts the law. But they failed to identify any actual conflict...

Wildlife, Sharks

Solonex, LLC v. Jewell

45 ELR 20144
13-0993 (D.D.C., July 2015)

A district court held that DOI has unreasonably delayed agency action in the agency's review of an oil and gas drilling permit on BLM lands in Montana held sacred to Native Americans. Under the APA, agencies must decide issues presented to them within a reasonable time. Here, BLM initially...

BLM lands, Administrative Procedure Act (APA), Energy (generally)

Gunpowder Riverkeeper v. Federal Energy Regulatory Comm'n

45 ELR 20141
14-1062 (D.C. Cir., July 2015)

The D.C. Circuit denied an environmental group's petition for review challenging FERC's decision to issue a natural gas pipeline operator a certificate of public convenience and necessity to extend a natural gas pipeline in Maryland. The group argued that FERC's issuance of the conditional...

Courts of appeals, actions unreviewable by, Energy (generally), Standing

Alaska v. Jewell

45 ELR 20140
3:14-cv-00048 (D. Alaska, July 2015)

A district court denied Alaska's request for a court order directing DOI to review the state's plan for the exploration of oil and gas resources in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). When Congress enacted the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) in 1980, it...

Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, Energy (generally)

National Ass'n for Surface Finishing v. Environmental Protection Agency

45 ELR 20139
12-1459 (D.C. Cir., July 2015)

The D.C. Circuit denied petitions challenging an EPA regulation that revised the NESHAP for hexavalent chromium, a carcinogenic compound that gets emitted into the air during the chrome-finishing process. The new rule, issued in 2012, imposes more stringent emissions limitations than its...

Hazardous air pollutants, §112

Oklahoma v. McCarthy

45 ELR 20138
15-CV-0369 (N.D. Okla., July 2015)

A district court held that it lacks jurisdiction over Oklahoma's lawsuit against EPA challenging its proposed emission standards for coal-fired power plants. The state argues that the proposed emission standards, if adopted as a final rule, would constitute an ultra vires action in violation of...

District court jurisdiction, Greenhouse gases

Center for Biological Diversity v. California Dep't of Conservation

45 ELR 20137
RG15769302 (Cal. Super. Ct., July 2015)

A California court denied an environmental group's motion to preliminarily enjoin emergency regulations governing the underground injection of wastewater produced by oil drilling. The emergency regulations establish a timeline for companies to stop injecting into certain wells, but it still...

Drinking water, Underground injection control (UIC) program