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Northern Alaska Environmental Center v. United States Department of the Interior

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20202
Nos. 3:18-cv-00030-SLG, (D. Alaska, 12/06/2018) (Gleason, J.)

A district court denied environmental groups' motion for summary judgment in a challenge to BLM's 2017 lease sale of more than 10 million acres in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). The groups challenged the agency's failure to prepare an EIS or EA for the lease sale, arguing that the sale constituted a major federal action under NEPA and thus required a new and site-specific EIS or EA. The agency responded that the EIS it prepared in 2013, which described five alternatives for oil and gas leasing in the NPR-A, covered the 2017 sale. The court concluded that the agency complied with NEPA when it issued its 2013 EIS, indicating that it had taken a hard look at the environmental consequences of oil leasing in the NPR-A, and thus that the agency's decision should be afforded great deference. The court therefore denied the groups' motion for summary judgment.