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Jones v. National Marine Fisheries Service

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20002
Nos. 11-35954, (9th Cir., 12/20/2013)

The Ninth Circuit held that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not violate the CWA or NEPA when it issued a dredge and fill permit necessary for a mineral sands mining project near Coos Bay, Oregon. An environmental group argued that the Corps should have prepared an EIS, rather than an EA and FONSI, before issuing the permit. But the Corps properly considered the risks of hexavalent chromium generation, properly considered that the risk of hexavalent chromium generation did not warrant a full EIS, and properly declined to consider cumulative impacts of future chromium mining under NEPA. Nor did the Corps' analysis of alternative sites and project designs violate the CWA. The court, therefore, affirmed the lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Corps.