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Weekly Cases Update Volume 51, Issue 17

Trout Unlimited v. Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp.

51 ELR 20111
20-35504 (9th Cir., June 2021)

The Ninth Circuit, 2-1, affirmed in part and reversed in part dismissal of a challenge to EPA's withdrawal of a previously proposed determination restricting mining operations in part of southwest Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed. A conservation group had argued the withdrawal violated the CWA and...

Clean Water Act (CWA)

Louisiana v. Biden

51 ELR 20110
2:21-CV-00778 (W.D. La., June 2021)

A district court granted states' motion to preliminarily enjoin the president's Executive Order pausing new oil and gas leases on public lands and in offshore waters. The states argued the "pause" violated the APA, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), and the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA...

Natural Resources (generally)

In re the Application of Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership, for a Certificate of Need and a Routing Permit for the Proposed Line 3 Replacement Project in Minnesota From the North Dakota Border to the Wisconsin Border

51 ELR 20109
A20-1071, A20-1072, A20-1074, A20-1075, and A20-1077 (Minn. App. Ct., June 2021)

A state appellate court upheld, 2-1, a certificate of need and routing permit granted by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for replacement of a portion of the Line 3 oil pipeline. Native American tribes and environmental groups challenged the Commission's decision to grant the...

Natural Resources (generally)

Yaw v. The Delaware River Basin Commission

51 ELR 20107
21-119 (E.D. Pa., June 2021)

A district court dismissed two Pennsylvania state senators' challenge to the Delaware River Basin Commission's imposition of a moratorium on gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the Delaware Basin. The senators argued, among other things, that the moratorium exceeded the Commission's...

Standing to sue

Yawn v. Dorchester County

51 ELR 20108
20-1584 (4th Cir., June 2021)

The Fourth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for a county in South Carolina in a lawsuit concerning the county's alleged taking of honey sellers' bees. The sellers argued their bees died after the county sprayed pesticide in an effort to kill mosquitoes, and thus constituted a Fifth Amendment...

Fifth Amendment

Western Watersheds Project v. Bernhardt

51 ELR 20106
1:18-cv-00187-REB (D. Idaho, June 2021)

A district court remanded without vacatur oil and gas lease sales approved by BLM in greater sage-grouse habitat in Montana and Wyoming. Conservation groups argued BLM violated NEPA by failing to consider their proposed alternative of deferring priority sage-grouse habitat and failing to take a...

Discussion of, held inadequate

Farmworkers Ass'n of Florida v. Environmental Protection Agency

51 ELR 20105
21-1079 (D.C. Cir., June 2021)

The D.C. Circuit vacated EPA's authorization of the pesticide aldicarb for use on oranges and grapefruit in Florida. EPA had moved to remand without vacatur. The court found the Agency itself acknowledged it did not make an effects determination as required by §7(a)(2) of the ESA, and that it...


Idaho Conservation League v. Poe

51 ELR 20102
1:18-cv-353-REB (D. Idaho, June 2021)

A district court granted a conservation group's motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit concerning a California resident's recreational gold mining in a river in Idaho. The group argued the defendant violated the CWA by suction dredge mining during the 2014, 2015, and 2018 dredging seasons...

National pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit program, 402

Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Forest Service

51 ELR 20101
2:20-cv-00128-BLW (D. Idaho, June 2021)

A district court denied environmental groups' motion for summary judgment in a challenge to the Forest Service's approval of a road reopening project in grizzly bear habitat in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. The groups argued the Service's approval of the project violated NEPA and the...

Discussion of, held adequate

Phoenix Herpetological Society v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service

51 ELR 20104
20-5161 (D.C. Cir., June 2021)

The D.C. Circuit affirmed summary judgment for FWS in a lawsuit concerning its denial of a nonprofit group's permit applications to export four blue iguanas to a Danish zoo and to continue a captive-bred wildlife program at its Arizona facility. A district court saw no problem with FWS' denials...

Endangered Species Act (ESA)