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Weekly Cases Update Volume 50, Issue 12

Natural Resources Defense Council v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

50 ELR 20093
19cv5174 (DLC) (S.D.N.Y., April 2020)

A district court vacated EPA's 2017 directive that prohibited scientists in receipt of certain EPA grants from serving on the Agency's federal advisory committees. An environmental group argued the directive should be vacated and remanded following the court's previous ruling that granted...


Northern Plains Resource Council v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

50 ELR 20091
CV-19-44-GF-BMM (D. Mont., April 2020)

A district court vacated a nationwide permit reissued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that allowed for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline across waterways. Environmental groups argued the reissuance violated the ESA by failing to initiate programmatic consultation. The court found that...

Interagency consultation, §7(a)

WildEarth Guardians v. Chao

50 ELR 20094
CV-18-110-GF-BMM (D. Mont., April 2020)

A district court denied summary judgment to an environmental group in a lawsuit concerning the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA's) obligations under the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA) to inspect all pipelines on federal lands annually. The group argued the agency failed...

Scope of review, §706

Waterkeeper Alliance v. Wheeler

50 ELR 20092
18-2230 (JDB) (D.D.C., April 2020)

A district court granted in part and denied in part environmental groups' motion for summary judgment in a challenge to EPA's approval of an Oklahoma program regulating the disposal of coal combustion residuals. The groups argued that EPA failed to perform its statutory duty under RCRA to...

State programs, §3006

Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

50 ELR 20090
JKB-19-106 (D. Md., April 2020)

A district court upheld a CWA §404 permit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted to authorize the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to discharge dredge-and-fill materials into nearby waters during construction of a light rail project, known as the Purple Line project, that would connect...

Dredge and fill, §404

Gulf South Pipeline Co., LP v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

50 ELR 20089
19-1074 (D.C. Cir., April 2020)

The D.C. Circuit vacated FERC's refusal to allow a natural gas pipeline company to impose incremental-plus rates to cover the costs of an expansion project. The company argued that FERC should have approved the incremental-plus rates and that its failure to do so was arbitrary and capricious....

Natural Gas Act (NGA)

Center for Biological Diversity v. Ross

50 ELR 20088
18-112 (JEB) (D.D.C., April 2020)

A district court held that NMFS violated the ESA by approving a U.S. lobster fishery without adequately considering the fishery's impact on the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Conservation groups argued the agency violated the ESA by failing to include an incidental take statement (ITS)...

Incidental taking