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Weekly Cases Update Volume 51, Issue 16

Center for Biological Diversity v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

51 ELR 20097
20-cv-6572 (JSR) (S.D.N.Y., June 2021)

A district court denied nonprofit groups' motion for summary judgment in a challenge to EPA's failure to consult with FWS and NMFS before announcing a temporary nonenforcement policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the policy having since been terminated, the groups sought to compel...

Enforcement and Compliance

Connecticut v. Exxon Mobil Corp.

51 ELR 20098
3:20-cv-1555 (JCH) (D. Conn., June 2021)

A district court remanded to state court a climate liability lawsuit brought by the state of Connecticut against an oil company. Connecticut sued the company in state court, asserting eight claims under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. The company removed the suit to federal court...

Climate Change (generally)

Kalispel Tribe of Indians v. U.S. Department of the Interior

51 ELR 20099
19-35808 (9th Cir., June 2021)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for DOI and a Native American tribe in a lawsuit brought by a nearby tribe challenging DOI's decision that the former tribe's proposed casino on newly acquired off-reservation land would not be detrimental to the surrounding community. The plaintiff...

Land Use (generally)

Voigt v. Coyote Creek Mining Co., LLC

51 ELR 20096
18-2705 (8th Cir., June 2021)

The Eighth Circuit affirmed, 2-1, summary judgment for a mining company in a lawsuit concerning the company's operation of a coal mine in North Dakota. Owners of an adjacent ranch argued the company violated the CAA by failing to obtain the proper construction permit for the mine and failing to...

Clean Air Act (CAA)

Indigenous Environmental Network v. President Donald J. Trump

51 ELR 20094
4:19-cv-00028-BMM (D. Mont., May 2021)

A district court overrode the Biden Administration's objections to a lawsuit challenging President Trump's issuance of a presidential permit in 2019 for construction of a cross-border segment of the Keystone XL pipeline. Environmental groups argued the former president violated the Property...

Mootness

Union of Concerned Scientists v. United States Department of Energy

51 ELR 20095
20-1247 (D.C. Cir., May 2021)

The D.C. Circuit dismissed a nonprofit group's petition to review DOE's rule concerning the designation of critical electric infrastructure information. The group argued the rule exceeded DOE's authority under §215A of the Federal Power Act, was arbitrary and capricious, and was promulgated in...

Federal Power Act (FPA)

Center for Biological Diversity v. Haaland

51 ELR 20093
20-5088 (D.C. Cir., May 2021)

In an unpublished opinion, the D.C. Circuit affirmed dismissal of a challenge to FWS' failure to provide notice and comment on its guidelines for creating species status assessments. An environmental group had argued that FWS violated the ESA by failing to put the guidelines through notice and...

Endangered Species Act (ESA)

Guam v. United States

51 ELR 20092
20-382 (U.S., May 2021)

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that a settlement of environmental liabilities must resolve a CERCLA-specific liability to give rise to a contribution action under §113(f)(3)(B), in a lawsuit concerning a landfill in Guam formerly owned by the U.S. Navy. After entering into a consent...

Contribution

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

51 ELR 20091
16-1534 (JEB) (D.D.C., May 2021)

A district court denied Native American tribes' motion for a permanent injunction in an ongoing dispute concerning the Dakota Access pipeline. The tribes argued they were entitled to injunctive relief because the pipeline's continued operation was likely to cause them immediate, irreparable harm...

Natural Resources (generally)