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Weekly Cases Update Volume 51, Issue 15

Gallatin Wildlife Ass'n v. United States Forest Service

ELR 20090
19-35528 (9th Cir., May 2021)

In an unpublished opinion, the Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the Forest Service in a lawsuit concerning domestic sheep grazing in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Environmental groups argued the Service violated the National Forest Management Act, NEPA, and the APA by...

National forests

Kentucky Waterways Alliance v. Kentucky Utilities Co.

ELR 20088
5:17-292-DCR (E.D. Ky., May 2021)

A district court granted summary judgment for a utility company in a lawsuit concerning groundwater discharges from coal ash ponds at its power plant in Kentucky. Environmental groups argued that the discharges threatened immediate and substantial environmental harm to a nearby lake and streams...

Imminent and substantial endangerment, §7002(a)(1)(B)

Conservation Congress v. United States Forest Service

ELR 20087
2:13-cv-00934-JAM-DB (E.D. Cal., May 2021)

A district court granted summary judgment for the Forest Service and FWS in an ongoing dispute over a tree-thinning project in Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Conservation groups argued the Forest Service violated NEPA by failing to take a hard look at the project's effects and failing to...

Discussion of, held adequate

Friends of Animals v. Haaland

ELR 20089
20-35318 (9th Cir., May 2021)

The Ninth Circuit reversed summary judgment for FWS in a challenge to the Service's rule requiring that affected states receive a 30-day notice of intent to file a petition to list an endangered species. An environmental group argued that FWS violated the ESA by impermissibly requiring the 30-...

Endangered Species Act (ESA)

BP P.L.C. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore

ELR 20086
19-1189 (U.S., May 2021)

The U.S. Supreme Court held, 7-1, that an appellate court erred in concluding it lacked jurisdiction to consider all of energy companies' grounds for removing to federal court a climate liability lawsuit brought against them. The city of Baltimore sued in state court, arguing the companies...

Climate Change (generally)

A Community Voice v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20085
19-71930 (9th Cir., May 2021)

The Ninth Circuit remanded, 2-1, a rule EPA promulgated in 2019 in response to the court's 2017 writ of mandamus directing the Agency to respond to the need for updated lead-based paint hazard standards. Nonprofit groups argued the rule violated provisions of the the Residential Lead-Based Paint...

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

Voyageur Outward Bound School v. United States

ELR 20084
1:18-cv-01463 (TNM), 1:18-cv-01496 (TNM), and 1:18-cv-01499 (TNM) (D.D.C., May 2021)

A district court denied environmental groups' motion to reconsider its prior decision in a lawsuit concerning DOI's renewal of mining leases for a proposed copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The groups argued new evidence retrieved through third-party FOIA requests—communications from...

Mining

Sierra Club v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

ELR 20083
20-2195 (1st Cir., May 2021)

The First Circuit affirmed a district court's denial of a preliminary injunction in a challenge to the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to authorize construction of a segment of an electric transmission line project in Maine. Environmental groups argued the Corps' EA and FONSI violated NEPA...

Discussion of, held adequate