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Ecosystem Investment Partners v. Crosby Dredging, L.L.C.

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20047
Nos. 17-30441, (5th Cir., 03/20/2018)

The Fifth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision dismissing an environmental restoration company's lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for building new wetlands without considering whether it should buy mitigation credits from the company. The company, which invests in projects that restore, build, improve, and protect natural resources, receives environmental mitigation credits from the government and then sells the credits to entities seeking to offset their ecologically destructive actions. When the Corps instead decided to build new wetlands to offset environmental damage without first seeking mitigation credits, the company filed suit, arguing that the Corps violated NEPA and should be barred from building the new wetlands. But the company failed to allege an environmental injury that would place it within NEPA's zone of interests. The company's clearest assertion of injury—that it “will suffer irreparable harm” from the bypassing of its mitigation bank—relates to "its pocketbook not the environment." The court therefore upheld the dismissal.