Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

AES Sparrows Point LNG, Ltd. Liab. Co. v. Smith

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20117
Nos. No. 07-1615, (4th Cir., 05/19/2008) rev'd

The Fourth Circuit held that the Natural Gas Act (NGA) preempts a county bill prohibiting the siting of any liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal within 1,000 feet from the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The bill is an amendment to the state's critical management plan (CMP) because it imposes a categorical ban on LNG terminals that the plan did not previously contain. Although the NGA's savings clause provides that "nothing in the [NGA] affects the rights of states under" the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), Maryland never presented the bill to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for approval pursuant to the CZMA's procedures for amending state CMPs. Thus, until NOAA approves the bill or fails to take action after being presented with it, it is not part of Maryland's CMP and cannot be saved from preemption by the NGA's savings clause.

[A prior decision in this litigation can be found at 37 ELR 20161.]