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Western Watersheds Project v. Bureau of Land Management

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20143
Nos. No. 3:11-cv-00053-HDM-VPC, (D. Nev., 03/28/2011)

A district court denied environmental groups' motion to preliminarily enjoin the BLM from authorizing the site clearing and construction of a wind energy facility in Spring Valley, Nevada. The groups are not likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that an EIS was required. The BLM's decision to forego issuing an EIS is justified by the adoption of significant mitigation measures to offset potential environmental impacts. Moreover, the BLM sufficiently considered the cumulative impacts of the project and took a "hard look" as required. In addition, a denial of a preliminary injunction at this stage in the proceedings will not result in irreparable harm to either the sage-grouse or the freetailed bats. Further, the balance of equities tips in favor of the government. Delaying this project would harm federal renewable energy goals, and the project is beneficial to Nevada's economic recovery as well. And while the public has a strong interest in preserving the environment and protecting species like the free-tailed bats and greater sage-grouse, that interest is outweighed by the public's economic and energy interests. As such, the groups failed to carry their burden of showing that a preliminary injunction should issue at this time.