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Weekly Cases Update Volume 50, Issue 1

Massachusetts Lobstermen's Ass'n v. Ross

ELR 20008
18-5353 (D.C. Cir., December 2019)

The D.C. Circuit affirmed a district court decision that upheld President Barack Obama's 2016 proclamation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the New England coast. Commercial fishing associations argued the monument exceeded the president's authority under the...

National monuments

Western Watersheds Project v. Bernhardt

ELR 20004
2:19-cv-0750-SI (D. Or., December 2019)

A district court vacated grazing permits renewed by former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in response to a presidential pardon of a ranching company's prior criminal convictions. Environmental groups argued that Secretary's decision violated the APA and BLM regulations because it did not include...

Administrative Procedure Act (APA)

Indigenous Environmental Network v. President Donald J. Trump

ELR 20005
CV-19-28-GF-BMM (D. Mont., December 2019)

A district court denied a motion to dismiss a challenge to President Trump's issuance of a permit authorizing a pipeline company to construct a cross-border segment of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Environmental groups argued the permit's unilateral authorization of the pipeline conflicted with...

Executive Orders

Public Citizen, Inc. v. Trump

ELR 20003
17-253 (D.D.C., December 2019)

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

Harm to members

Center for Biological Diversity v. Ross

ELR 20013
4:19-cv-03135-KAW (N.D. Cal., December 2019)

A district court vacated exempted fishing permits issued by NMFS that allowed two vessels to engage in commercial longline fishing in federal waters off the coast of California for two years. Environmental groups contended that the permits threatened the survival and recovery of Pacific...

Held required for, Best scientific data, §7(a)(2)

Columbia Riverkeeper v. Wheeler

ELR 20012
18-35982 (9th Cir., December 2019)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed judgment for environmental groups in a CWA challenge to compel EPA to develop and issue long-overdue temperature TMDLs for the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The groups argued that inaction by Oregon and Washington to issue TMDLs for the two rivers amounted to a "...

Total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), §303(d)

Idaho Conservation League v. U.S. Forest Service

ELR 20009
1:18-CV-504-BLW (D. Idaho, December 2019)

A district court granted in part and denied in part a motion for summary judgment in a challenge to the U.S. Forest Service's approval of a mining company's permit to explore for gold in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Environmental groups first argued that the Forest Service violated NEPA...

Discussion of, held inadequate

California v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20001
18-cv-03237-HSG (N.D. Cal., December 2019)

A district court denied EPA's request to stay a previous order requiring it to comply with its 2016 Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills. Eight states had argued that the Agency failed to implement and enforce the guidelines by, among other things, failing...

Federal implementation plans (FIPs), §110(c)(1)

In re Upstream Addicks and Baker (Texas) Flood-Control Reservoirs

ELR 20002
17-9001L (Fed. Cl., December 2019)

The Court of Federal Claims held the U.S. government liable for the flooding of homes and businesses near two dams managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Houston during Hurricane Harvey. Property owners argued that the government improperly used their land to retain floodwaters during...

Fifth Amendment

Giovanni v. United States Department of the Navy

ELR 20011
16-04873 and 17-00765 (E.D. Pa., December 2019)

A district court denied the U.S. Navy's motion to stay a lawsuit concerning the release of perfluorochemicals from naval facilities in eastern Pennsylvania. Families in neighborhoods near the facilities argued that the Navy improperly disposed of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and...

Toxic Substances (generally)