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Weekly Cases Update Volume 45, Issue 25

Pollinator Stewardship Council v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20167
13-72346 (9th Cir., September 2015)

The Ninth Circuit vacated and remanded EPA's unconditional registration of insecticides containing sulfoxaflor, ordering the Agency to obtain further studies and data regarding the effect of sulfoxaflor on bees, as required by EPA regulations. FIFRA prohibits the use or sale of pesticides that...

Pesticide registration, §3

United States v. Citgo Petroleum Corp.

ELR 20166
14-40128 (5th Cir., September 2015)

The Fifth Circuit reversed an oil company's convictions for violating the CAA and Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) in connection with its wastewater treatment system at its Corpus Christi refinery. The company was convicted for knowingly operating two uncovered tanks as oil-water separators...

Enforcement, §113, Violations and penalties, 16 U.S.C. §707

Ludlow v. BP, P.L.C.

ELR 20165
14-20420 (5th Cir., September 2015)

The Fifth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision that investors who bought BP stock soon after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill may file a class action against the oil company for alleged misrepresentations regarding the oil flow rate after the spill, but that investors who...

Class certification, FRCP 23(b), Misrepresentation, Oil Pollution Act (OPA), Stock sales

North Dakota v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20163
3:15-cv-59 (D.N.D., September 2015)

A district court held that its preliminary injunction enjoining EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from implementing the "waters of the United States" rule only extends to the 13 plaintiff states that...

Dredge and fill, §404

Permian Basin Petroleum Ass'n v. Department of the Interior

ELR 20162
MO-14-C V-SO (W.D. Tex., September 2015)

A district court vacated an FWS rule listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species under the ESA. ESA §4(b) requires FWS to take into account conservation efforts being made by any state before making a listing decision. In 2003, to encourage the development of conservation...

Listing policy, Wildlife (generally)

Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Weber

ELR 20161
13-35770 (9th Cir., August 2015)

The Ninth Circuit held that the U.S. Forest Service's continued authorization of a 6-foot-tall Jesus statue on national forest land overlooking a northwestern Montana ski resort does not violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The statue, known as "Big Mountain Jesus," was...

Establishment Clause, National forests

Montana Environmental Information Center v. United States Bureau of Land Management

ELR 20160
13-35688 (9th Cir., August 2015)

The Ninth Circuit vacated and remanded a lower court decision that environmental groups lacked standing to challenge BLM's decision to sell oil and gas leases in...

Climate Change (generally), Standing to sue

United States v. Lipar

ELR 20164
H-10-1904 (S.D. Tex., August 2015)

A district court dismissed EPA's enforcement action against a developer for filling wetlands in violation of the CWA and ordered the Agency to pay attorney fees the developer incurred defending the suit. Relying on the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S....

Not "waters of the United States" within FWPCA jurisdiction, Dredge and fill, §404, Dredge and fill permits