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Indigenous Environmental Network v. United States Department of State

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20191
Nos. CV-17-29-GF-BMM and CV-17-31-GF-BMM, (D. Mont., 11/08/2018) (Morris, J.)

A district court temporarily enjoined a pipeline company from constructing a cross-border oil pipeline known as Keystone XL. Environmental groups argued that the State Department violated NEPA when it approved Keystone XL, by failing to evaluate in its final EIS the cumulative climate impacts of the pipeline in combination with pending expansion of another pipeline. The court found that the agency should have considered the cumulative impacts of greenhouse gas emissions for both projects. By viewing Keystone XL in isolation, the agency ignored its duty under NEPA to take a "hard look." The court also found that the agency failed to consider new information regarding the pipeline's potential impacts on cultural resources and oil spills in its final EIS. The court therefore ordered the agency to satisfy its obligations under NEPA through a supplement to its final EIS, and enjoined the company from constructing the pipeline until the agency has completed the supplement.