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Weekly Cases Update Volume 49, Issue 12

Western Watersheds Project v. Grimm

ELR 20071
18-35075 (9th Cir., April 2019)

The Ninth Circuit reversed a dismissal of a lawsuit brought by conservation groups to enjoin USDA from killing gray wolves in Idaho pending additional NEPA analysis. The groups argued before the district court that the agency violated NEPA by failing to prepare an EIS on its wolf management...

Discussion of, held inadequate

Environmental Defense Center v. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

ELR 20072
CV 16-8418 PSG (FFMx) (C.D. Cal., April 2019)

A district court denied an offshore drilling platform operator's motion to reconsider the court's previous ruling that barred the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) from issuing offshore drilling permits until it conducted further environmental review. Conservation groups had argued that...

Consistency, §307

New York v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20070
17-1273 (D.C. Cir., April 2019)

The D.C. Circuit denied downwind states' petition challenging EPA's refusal to expand the Northeast Ozone Transport Region, which consists of states required by the Agency to enact tight restrictions on pollutants that contribute to ozone that drifts across state lines. The downwind states...

Interstate pollution abatement, §126

Citizens for Clean Energy v. U.S. Department of the Interior

ELR 20066
CV-17-30-GF-BMM (D. Mont., April 2019)

A district court granted in part a challenge to DOI's decision to lift a 2016 moratorium on new coal leasing on public lands. States and environmental groups argued that DOI's decision to lift the moratorium constituted a major federal action subject to NEPA review, and requested that the court...

"Major Federal action" construed

Conservation Law Foundation v. Ross

ELR 20064
18-1105 (JEB) (D.D.C., April 2019)

A district court denied an environmental group's motion for summary judgment in a challenge to NMFS' approval of a fishery management plan amendment that opened up a portion of the western Gulf of Maine to commercial and recreational fishing. The group argued that NMFS wrongly concluded that the...

Discussion of, held adequate, Essential fish habitat

Wildearth Guardians v. Conner

ELR 20065
17-1334 (10th Cir., April 2019)

The Tenth Circuit affirmed a district court ruling that upheld the U.S. Forest Service's management plan to protect the San Isabel and White River National Forests from insects, disease, and fire, improve wildlife habitat, and maintain watershed conditions. A conservation group argued that the...

Discussion of, held adequate

Southwestern Electric Power Co. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20067
15-60821 (5th Cir., April 2019)

The Fifth Circuit vacated portions of a 2015 EPA rule that set new effluent limitation guidelines (ELGs) for legacy wastewater and combustion residual leachate that are discharged from steam electric power plants. Environmental groups argued that the Agency arbitrarily set the ELGs using an...

Best available technology economically achievable (BAT), §301(b)(2)(A)

Oceana, Inc. v. Ross

ELR 20069
17-5247 (D.C. Cir., April 2019)

The D.C. Circuit affirmed summary judgment for NMFS in a challenge to the agency's adoption of the 2016 Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology for fisheries in the northeastern United States. An environmental group argued that the 2016 methodology violated the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA)...

Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act)

Lighthouse Resources Inc. v. Inslee

ELR 20068
3:18-cv-05005-RJB (W.D. Wash., April 2019)

A district court stayed a constitutional challenge to the Washington Department of Ecology's decision to deny a coal company a CWA §401 certification for construction of a coal export facility along the Columbia River. The company argued that the Department violated the Commerce Clause by...

State certification, §401

Clark Fork Coalition v. Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

ELR 20073
CDV-2018-150 (Mont. 1st Jud. Dist., April 2019)

A state court reversed the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation's approval of a water use permit for a proposed silver-copper mine in Montana's Cabinet Mountains. An environmental group argued that the Department ignored data in the mining company's permit application...

Water (generally)