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Weekly Cases Update Volume 48, Issue 21

Berkley v. Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC

48 ELR 20132
18-1042 (4th Cir., July 2018)

The Fourth Circuit affirmed a lower court's dismissal of landowners' challenge to FERC's approval of a natural gas pipeline. The landowners argued that the agency's practice of letting pipeline builders use eminent domain authority to take land once their project is approved is unconstitutional...

Natural Gas Act (NGA)

Adorers of the Blood of Christ v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

48 ELR 20133
17-3163 (3d Cir., July 2018)

The Third Circuit affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a religious group's challenge to FERC's approval of a natural gas pipeline along land owned by the group. The group objected to the use of their land as part of the project, explaining that their deeply held religious beliefs require that...

Natural Gas Act (NGA)

Utility Workers Union of America Local 464 & Robert Clark v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

48 ELR 20130
16-1068 (D.C. Cir., July 2018)

The D.C. Circuit dismissed electricity customers' petitions to review FERC's orders approving high clearing prices for future capacity to generate electricity in wholesale auctions. The customers argued that FERC's determination violated the Federal Power Act and was unsupported by substantial...

Federal Power Act (FPA)

Cooling Water Intake Structure Coalition v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

48 ELR 20129
14-4645 (2d Cir., July 2018)

The Second Circuit denied environmental groups' and industry associations' petitions to review a final rule promulgated by EPA establishing requirements for cooling water intake structures (CWISs) at existing power plants and manufacturing facilities, as well as a biological opinion jointly...

Thermal discharges, §316

Defenders of Wildlife v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

48 ELR 20131
CV-15-14-GF-BMM (D. Mont., July 2018)

A district court denied in part environmental groups' motion for summary judgment challenging BLM's and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' approval of a project to replace a wooden diversion weir with a concrete dam along the Yellowstone River. The groups argued that the agencies' EIS violated...

Environmental impact statement (EIS)

Oglala Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

48 ELR 20126
17-1059 (D.C. Cir., July 2018)

The D.C. Circuit granted in part a Native American tribe's petition to review NRC's license decision for construction of a uranium mining project in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The tribe, which has historical ties to the proposed project area, argued that the agency failed to comply with...

Environmental impact statement (EIS)

Ergon-West Virginia, Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

48 ELR 20127
17-1839 (4th Cir., July 2018)

The Fourth Circuit granted an oil refinery's petition to review EPA's decision denying the refinery an exemption from biofuel requirements under the Agency's renewable fuel standard program, and vacated the Agency's decision. The refinery argued that the Agency's reliance on DOE's analysis of...

Energy Policy Act of 2005

Natural Resources Defense Council v. Environmental Protection Agency

48 ELR 20125
16-1413 (D.C. Cir., July 2018)

The D.C. Circuit denied environmental groups' petition to review a 2016 rule that EPA uses to determine whether an event caused by recurring activity is "exceptional" and thus exempt from a state's emissions report. The groups argued that EPA misread the definition of "natural event" under the...

Clean Air Act (CAA)

City of New York v. BP P.L.C.

48 ELR 20128
18 Civ. 182 (JFK) (S.D.N.Y., July 2018)

A district court granted oil companies' motion to dismiss New York City's case seeking damages for global warming-related injuries caused by greenhouse gas emissions resulting from combustion of the companies' fossil fuels. The companies argued that the city's claims should be dismissed because...

Climate Change (generally)

Western Values Project v. U.S. Department of Justice

48 ELR 20124
17-cv-1671 (CRC) (D.C. Cir., July 2018)

The D.C. Circuit granted in part and denied in part an environmental group's motion for summary judgment challenging DOJ's "Glomar response" refusing to confirm or deny the existence of the records requested. The group argued that the agency was not permitted to give this response to...

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)