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Weekly Cases Update Volume 48, Issue 9

Western Organization of Resource Councils v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management

48 ELR 20044
4:16-cv-00021 (D. Mont., March 2018)

A district court held that BLM violated NEPA by failing to adequately consider climate change in the resource management plans (RMPs) for Buffalo, Wyoming, and Miles City, Montana, both located within the coal-rich Powder River Basin. BLM's EISs failed to consider any alternative that would...

Climate Change (generally), Energy resource projects, Resource development

Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste v. Pruitt

48 ELR 20046
17-cv-03434 (N.D. Cal., March 2018)

A district court held that EPA violated the APA by failing to provide notice and opportunity to comment before delaying the effective date of a January 2017 rule concerning the certification and use of “restricted use pesticides." The rule, which was to go into effect on March 6, 2017,...


M.L. Johnson Family Properties, LLC v. Zinke

48 ELR 20048
7:16-CV-6-KKC (E.D. Ky., March 2018)

A district court upheld a surface coal mining permit issued to a company even though the cotenant objected to any mining on the property. The company cotenant conveyed the right to enter and surface mine coal to an affiliate, but the other cotenant did not consent to surface mining. Nevertheless...

Land use, State laws, §505, State programs, §503

Ecosystem Investment Partners v. Crosby Dredging, L.L.C.

48 ELR 20047
17-30441 (5th Cir., March 2018)

The Fifth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision dismissing an environmental restoration company's lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for building new wetlands without considering whether it should buy mitigation credits from the company. The company, which invests in projects...


Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency

48 ELR 20043
12-1342 (D.C. Cir., March 2018)

The D.C. Circuit upheld EPA's 2012 regional haze rule, which seeks to restore air quality and visibility in certain national parks and wilderness areas to what they would be under natural conditions. The rule requires states to impose best available retrofit technology (BART) on certain...

Visibility protection for class I areas, §169A

Environmental Working Group v. United States Food & Drug Administration

48 ELR 20049
1:16-cv-2435 (D.D.C., March 2018)

A district court dismissed environmental groups' lawsuit against the FDA concerning the use of formaldehyde and formaldehyde-producing chemicals in hair-straightening products. The groups petitioned the FDA to investigate deceptive labeling of such products, require appropriate labeling, and...


League of Conservation Voters v. Trump

48 ELR 20050
3:17-cv-0101 (D. Alaska, March 2018)

A district court denied motions to dismiss environmental groups' lawsuit challenging Executive Order 13795, “Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy,” which reversed President Obama’s withdrawal of 128 million acres in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans from future oil and gas leasing...

Energy (generally), Executive Orders

County of San Mateo v. Chevron Corp.

48 ELR 20051
17-cv-04929 et al. (N.D. Cal., March 2018)

A district court granted California cities' motions to remand their climate change tort actions against oil and gas companies back to state court. Although their state law claims raise national and perhaps global questions, they should not have been removed to federal court. Removal based on...

Climate Change (generally), Removal jurisdiction

Sierra Club v. Environmental Protection Agency

48 ELR 20045
16-1021 (D.C. Cir., March 2018)

The D.C. Circuit granted in part and denied in part petitions concerning EPA's NESHAPs for industrial boilers. The first challenge raised by environmental groups concerned regulations that indirectly control a group of organic pollutants by limiting carbon monoxide emissions as a proxy for the...

Hazardous air pollutants, §112