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Weekly Cases Update Volume 47, Issue 29

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. Dakota Access

47 ELR 20125
16-1534, 16-1769 and 16-267 (D.D.C., October 2017)

A district court held that the Dakota Access pipeline can continue to operate while the Army Corps of Engineers corrects deficiencies in its EA for the project. In an earlier decision, the court held that the Corps did not adequately consider the consequences of a spill for the plaintiff tribe's...

Energy (generally)

Olin v. Dakota Access

47 ELR 20126
1:17-cv-007 (D.N.D. , October 2017)

A district court held that a group of North Dakota property owners could not sue contractors hired to negotiate easements for the Dakota Access pipeline for misrepresentation and fraud. The contractors were hired to obtain easements from property owners to secure a path for the Dakota Access...

Public Lands

Sierra Club v. Zinke

47 ELR 20124
17-cv-03804-EDL & 17-cv-3885-EDL (N.D. Cal. , October 2017)

A district court held that BLM violated the APA when it postponed compliance with Obama-era greenhouse gas emission rules. Several states and tribal citizen groups brought suit against BLM when it published a notice in the Federal Register postponing compliance dates for certain sections of the...

Air (generally)

Gadsden Indus. Park, LLC v. United States

47 ELR 20127
15-cv-0956 (N.D. Ala., October 2017)

A district court held an Alabama industrial park owner can't pursue claims against the federal government for damage to its property that occurred during a Superfund cleanup. As part of the cleanup, EPA disposed of, cut, severed, tore up from the ground, and removed roughly 1,400 feet of track...

Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign v. USDA

47 ELR 20130
15-5332 (D.C. Cir., September 2017)

The D.C. Circuit held that the USDA's decision to alter territorial lines of the Devil's Garden Wild Horse Territory section of the Modoc National Forest was in violation of NEPA. Since 1975, the United States Forest Service has protected and managed wild horses in the Devil’s Garden section in...


Animal Legal Defense Fund v. USDA

47 ELR 20128
16-5073 (D.C. Cir., September 2017)

The D.C. Circuit held that the USDA did not violate the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when it renewed the licenses of animal exhibitors the agency knew was in violation of numerous animal welfare requirements. Animal activists brought suit against the agency, challenging its renewal of a license to...

Wildlife (generally)

Seneca Resources Corp. v. Highland Township

47 ELR 20129
16-cv-289 (W.D. Pa., September 2017)

A district court held that a township's Home Rule Charter prohibiting deposition of any waste from oil and gas extraction within the township and invalidating any state permit to the contrary was preempted by the SDWA. In 2014, EPA granted an oil company a permit for an underground injection...

Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)