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Weekly Cases Update Volume 49, Issue 6

Appalachian Voices v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

49 ELR 20032
17-1271 (D.C. Cir., February 2019)

In an unpublished opinion, the D.C. Circuit denied environmental groups' petitions to review FERC's issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The groups argued that FERC failed to adequately consider the climate change impacts...

Discussion of, held adequate, Natural Gas Act (NGA)

Clean Air Council v. United States

49 ELR 20028
17-4977 (E.D. Pa., February 2019)

A district court dismissed a lawsuit brought by an environmental group and two children challenging federal rollbacks of environmental regulations. The plaintiffs sought a declaration that the government could not implement rollbacks that increased the frequency of or intensified the effects of...

Climate Change (generally)

Indigenous Environmental Network v. United States Department of State

49 ELR 20024
CV-17-29-GF-BMM and CV-17-31-GF-BMM (D. Mont., February 2019)

A district court granted in part and denied in part a pipeline company's motion to stay a previous order enjoining the company from continuing certain preconstruction activities on the Keystone XL oil pipeline until the State Department completed a supplemental EIS. The company sought to...

Environmental impact statement (EIS)

Energy Transfer Equity, LP v. Greenpeace International

49 ELR 20025
1:17-CV-00173-BRW (D.N.D., February 2019)

A district court dismissed a lawsuit alleging that protesters disrupted the construction of and damaged a crude oil pipeline, known as the Dakota Access pipeline, that runs from North Dakota to Illinois. The pipeline company argued that environmental groups violated the Racketeer Influenced and...

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)

North American Butterfly Ass'n v. Nielsen

49 ELR 20029
17-2651 (RJL) (D.D.C., February 2019)

A district court dismissed a conservation group's suit to block the Department of Homeland Security from constructing a border wall near the National Butterfly Center in southern Texas. The group argued that the Department violated the Fourth Amendment by entering the Center without consent or...

Due Process Clause, Fourth Amendment

League of Humane Voters of New Jersey v. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

49 ELR 20031
A-4630-15T4 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., February 2019)

In an unpublished opinion, a state appellate court rejected animal protection groups' challenge to the New Jersey Fish and Game Council's adoption of a black bear management policy that proposed a second annual bear hunt, increased the number of hunting permits, and allowed bow hunting. The...


Physicians for Social Responsibility v. Wheeler

49 ELR 20027
1:17-cv-02742 (D.D.C., February 2019)

A district court granted EPA's motion to dismiss a challenge by scientific advocacy groups to the Agency's directive barring recipients of EPA grants from serving on any of the Agency's advisory committees. The groups argued that the directive diminished EPA's ability to make science-based...


Wildearth Guardians v. Zinke

49 ELR 20030
CV 17-80-BLG-SPW-TJC (D. Mont., February 2019)

A magistrate judge ruled in favor of environmental groups' motion for summary judgment in a challenge to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement's (OSM's) approval of a coal mine expansion in southeastern Montana.The groups argued that OSM failed to take a "hard look" at impacts...

Discussion of, held inadequate

In re Border Infrastructure Environmental Litigation

49 ELR 20023
18-55474 (9th Cir., February 2019)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment to the Department of Homeland Security for waiving applicable environmental laws to expedite construction of border barriers near San Diego and Calexico, California. Environmental groups argued that the Department exceeded its statutory...

Natural Resources (generally)

Public Citizen, Inc. v. Trump

49 ELR 20026
17-253 (RDM) (D.D.C., February 2019)

A district court denied public interest groups' motion for partial summary judgment in challenging an Executive Order that required federal agencies to repeal two existing rules for each new rule promulgated. The groups argued they established associational standing based on injuries that two of...

Associational standing