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Atchafalaya Basinkeeper v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20042
Nos. 18-30257, (5th Cir., 03/15/2018)

The Fifth Circuit stayed a preliminary injunction that barred a company from constructing a crude oil pipeline through the environmentally sensitive Atchafalaya Basin. An environmental group claimed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers unlawfully issued a permit allowing the construction, and a lower court enjoined the construction pending a ruling on the merits. The company then sought, and was granted, a stay of the injunction. According to a majority of the Fifth Circuit, the company is likely to succeed on the merits of its claim that the lower court abused its discretion. Instead of issuing a preliminary injunction, the lower court should have allowed the case to proceed on the merits and sought additional briefing from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as to why it allowed the company to purchase out-of-kind mitigation bank credits as a means of environmental mitigation. The court ordered that the pending appeal be expedited.