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Weekly Cases Update Volume 50, Issue 17

National Family Farm Coalition v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20139
19-70115 (9th Cir., June 2020)

The Ninth Circuit vacated EPA's 2018 decision to conditionally register three dicamba-based herbicides designed to be sprayed on genetically engineered soybeans and cotton. Nonprofit groups argued the decision violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The court...

Pesticide registration, §3

Town of Weymouth v. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

ELR 20140
19-1794 (1st Cir., June 2020)

The First Circuit vacated an air permit issued by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) for a proposed natural gas compressor station that is part of a natural gas pipeline connecting the northeastern U.S. and Canada. Nearby municipalities and citizens argued that MDEP...

Clean Air Act (CAA)

Earth Island Institute v. Wheeler

ELR 20132
20-cv-00670-WHO (N.D. Cal., June 2020)

A district court denied EPA's motion to dismiss a lawsuit concerning its duty to update its National Contingency Plan (NCP) for addressing oil and hazardous substance contamination. Environmental groups argued that the current NCP is dangerous because it continues to permit the use of chemical...

Clean Water Act (CWA)

West Virginia State University Board of Governors v. Dow Chemical Co.

ELR 20141
2:17-cv-3558 (S.D.W. Va., June 2020)

A district court granted a university board of governors' motion to remand to state court a lawsuit concerning groundwater contamination beneath university land from a nearby facility. The board filed suit in state court, arguing that the facility released volatile and semivolatile organic...

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges v. Bernhardt

ELR 20135
3:19-CV-00216 JWS (D. Alaska, June 2020)

A district court vacated DOI's decision to enter into a land exchange agreement to facilitate construction of a road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Environmental groups argued that the agreement, which DOI acknowledged represented a change in the agency's policy, failed to...

Administrative Procedure Act (APA), National Wildlife Refuge System

Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

ELR 20138
18-15937 (9th Cir., June 2020)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part a district court's dismissal of a suit challenging an automobile company's use of diesel-cheat devices to evade compliance with federally mandated emission standards. Two counties argued the company's installation of and modification to the...

Clean Air Act (CAA)

Yurok Tribe v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

ELR 20133
19-cv-04405-WHO (N.D. Cal., May 2020)

A district court denied a Native American tribe's request to lift a stay in a lawsuit against the Bureau of Reclamation seeking to protect endangered coho salmon from the impacts of an irrigation project in the Klamath River Basin. The tribe asserted that the Bureau failed to comply with the...

Endangered Species

American Stewards of Liberty v. Department of Interior

ELR 20134
19-50321 (5th Cir., May 2020)

The Fifth Circuit dismissed a challenge to FWS' constitutional authority to regulate activities affecting the Bone Cave harvestman, a small arachnid known to live only in caves in central Texas that is currently listed as endangered under the ESA. A county and an individual, intervening...

Endangered Species Act (ESA)

Environmental Integrity Project v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20137
18-60384 (5th Cir., May 2020)

The Fifth Circuit upheld EPA's decision to reject a challenge to a CAA Title V permit it issued for expansion of a plant in Baytown, Texas. Environmental groups requested that EPA reject the permit on the grounds that the underlying Title I preconstruction permit allowing the expansion was...

Operating permits,§§501-507

Massachusetts, Commonwealth of v. Exxon Mobil Corp.

ELR 20136
19-12430-WGY (D. Mass., May 2020)

A district court remanded back to state court Massachusetts' consumer protection lawsuit concerning an oil company's accounting of climate change risks. The state argued that the company misled and deceived its investors and consumers about the climate risks of fossil fuel products, and moved to...

Climate Change (generally)