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Cook Inlet Keeper v. State

Citation: 32 ELR 20699
No. No. S-9730, 46 P.3d 957/(Alaska, 05/03/2002)

The court reverses and remands the state's final consistency determination under the Alaska Coastal Management Act (ACMA) approving the installation and operation of a new offshore exploratory drilling platform in the Cook Inlet. In finding the project consistent with the Alaska Coastal Management Program, the state excluded from its consistency review the platform's proposed discharges of various wastes that were already authorized under a general federal permit. The court first holds that the state had a statutory duty to conduct a project-specific consistency review encompassing all activities--including the platform's discharges--for which the project needed a permit. The ACMA's consistency review requirements apply independently of, and in addition to, any requirements that attach to the issuance of a permit authorizing a discrete activity. Here, the permitted discharge activities unquestionably comprised part of the drilling project, thus, a complete consistency review for the project could not be conducted without considering those activities. The court also holds that the environmental group's action against the state is not barred by the doctrines of collateral estoppel or res judicata.

The full text of this decision is available from ELR (22 pp., ELR Order No. L-517).

Counsel for Appellant
Michael J. Frank
Trustees for Alaska
725 Christensen St., Anchorage AK 99501
(907) 276-4244

Counsel for Appellee
Lisa A. Weissler, Ass't Attorney General
Attorney General's Office
State Capitol
P.O. Box 110300, Juneau AK 99811
(907) 465-3600