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Weekly Cases Update Volume 50, Issue 10

Center for Biological Diversity v. Trump

50 ELR 20080
1:19-cv-00408 (TNM) and 1:19-cv-00720 (D.D.C., April 2020)

A district court granted in part and denied in part the Trump Administration's motion to dismiss a challenge to its plans to fund construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. An environmental group argued that the president exceeded his authority under the National Emergency Act (NEA)...


California v. Trump

50 ELR 20079
19-960 (RDM) (D.D.C., April 2020)

A district court dismissed for lack of standing a lawsuit challenging the Executive Order that requires agencies to repeal two existing rules for each new rule promulgated. California, Minnesota, and Oregon argued that the order delayed or resulted in the undertaking of four rulemakings and that...

Standing to sue

Natural Resources Defense Council v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

50 ELR 20078
19-2896 (2d Cir., April 2020)

The Second Circuit reversed a district court ruling that denied environmental groups' motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit seeking FOIA disclosure of an EPA computer model related to its rollback of greenhouse gas emission standards for vehicle manufacturers. The groups challenged EPA's...

Deliberative-process privilege

CITGO Asphalt Refining Co. v. Frescati

50 ELR 20075
18-565 (U.S., March 2020)

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an appellate court ruling that an oil refining company was responsible for $140 million in damages from a 2004 oil spill in the Delaware River. The owner of the vessel involved in the spill argued that the company it chartered to deliver crude oil from Venezuela to...

Toxic Substances (generally)

Wheelabrator Baltimore, L.P. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore

50 ELR 20076
GLR-19-1264 (D. Md., March 2020)

A district court granted two Baltimore solid waste incineration facilities' partial motion for summary judgment in a challenge to the Baltimore Clean Air Act (BCAA). The facilities argued the BCAA was "conflict preempted" by Maryland law because it prohibited solid waste incinerators from...

Clean Air Act (CAA)

California v. Bureau of Land Management

50 ELR 20074
18-cv-00521-HSG and 18-cv-00524-HSG (N.D. Cal., March 2020)

A district court upheld BLM's rule that repealed a 2015 rule regulating hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and tribal lands. California argued that BLM's rationale that the 2015 rule was duplicative of state and tribal regulations was negated by the agency itself when considering the...

Held not required for

Food & Water Watch v. United States Department of Agriculture

50 ELR 20077
17-1714 (BAH) (D.D.C., March 2020)

A district court denied summary judgment to an environmental group in a challenge to the USDA Farm Service Agency's (FSA's) EA for a loan guarantee to construct and operate a poultry concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Maryland. The group first argued that FSA violated NEPA by...

Discussion of, held adequate

Atchafalaya Basinkeeper v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

50 ELR 20073
18-23-SDD-EWD (M.D. La., March 2020)

A district court denied summary judgment to environmental groups in a challenge to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' issuance of permits for construction of a crude oil pipeline across the Atchafalaya Basin. The groups argued that the Corps violated NEPA by failing to take a hard look at the...

Discussion of, held adequate

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

50 ELR 20070
16-1534 (JEB) (D.D.C., March 2020)

A district court held that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must prepare an EIS for the Dakota Access Pipeline that runs from North Dakota to Illinois. Native American tribes argued that the Corps failed to comply with a previous court decision requiring it to adequately consider whether the...

Held required for

City of Fresno v. United States

50 ELR 20069
16-1276L (Fed. Cl., March 2020)

The Court of Federal Claims granted in part and denied in part the Bureau of Reclamation's motion to dismiss a lawsuit concerning its curtailing of water deliveries during a drought in California. The city of Fresno and irrigation districts argued that the Bureau breached its water-supply...