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Weekly Cases Update Volume 45, Issue 23

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Fola Coal Co., LLC

ELR 20152
2:13-21588 (S.D.W. Va., August 2015)

A district court held that a mining company violated state and federal permits when it discharged high levels of ionic pollution. Environmental groups successfully demonstrated that high conductivity discharges from two of the company's mines are causing or materially contributing to the...

Illegal discharges, §301(a), Violations

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals v. United States Department of Agriculture

ELR 20150
14-5157 (D.C. Cir., August 2015)

The D.C. Circuit held that USDA's failure to apply general animal welfare standards to birds does not violate the APA. In 2004, USDA announced that it intended to apply the protections of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to birds. Although the Agency has taken steps to craft avian-specific animal...

Wildlife (generally)

Shearwater v. Ashe

ELR 20151
14-CV-02830 (N.D. Cal., August 2015)

A district court held that FWS violated NEPA when it issued a rule increasing from five years to 30 years the maximum duration of programmatic permits for wind energy developers to take bald and golden eagles. FWS issued the rule in hopes of promoting renewable energy projects. But when it...

Alternative Energy, Incidental taking

In re Pesticide Action Network North America

ELR 20148
14-72794 (9th Cir., August 2015)

The Ninth Circuit ordered EPA to respond to an administrative petition filed nearly nine years ago requesting a ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos. EPA has spent nearly a decade reviewing the petitioner's data and arguments. In response to a previous court order directing EPA to specify a date...


Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center v. MacWhorter

ELR 20149
13-35453 (9th Cir., August 2015)

The Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court decision dismissing an environmental group's ESA lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service concerning the agency's approval of suction dredge mining projects in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Because the Forest provides designated critical...

Rogue River National Forest, Or., Siskiyou Forest Reserve and Siskiyou National Forest, Or., Notice requirements, §11(g)(2), Coho salmon

Indiana v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20153
14-3214 (7th Cir., August 2015)

The Seventh Circuit upheld EPA's approval of revisions to Illinois' SIP, thereby rejecting challenges raised by Indiana. Indiana argued that the relaxation of Illinois' vehicle emissions testing program will decrease the likelihood that the Chicago area—which includes two Indiana counties—will...

Air pollution, Approval and revision, §110(a)

West Side Irrigation District v. California State Water Resources Control Board

ELR 20147
34-2015-80002121 (Super. Ct. Cal., August 2015)

A California court held that revised "curtailment letters" that the state water board sent to irrigation districts and water appropriators in the Central Valley no longer violate due process, and therefore denied the districts' motions for a preliminary injunction. The court...

Water rights, Property rights/entitlements