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Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20037
Nos. 19-1009, (D.C. Cir., 02/07/2020)

The D.C. Circuit dismissed a Native American tribe's petition to review a FERC order denying the tribe's motion to intervene in the Commission's proceeding over construction of a natural gas pipeline in Massachusetts. The tribe argued that, in authorizing construction of a pipeline across land that held sacred significance to the tribe, the Commission denied it the procedural protections under the National Historic Preservation Act; and it sought to compel FERC to amend its regulations to prevent denial of such protections in the future. The court found the tribe lacked standing because by the time the tribe filed its petition, the pipeline had been constructed and thus the ceremonial land had already been irreparably destroyed. Because the cultural and religious injury the tribe suffered could no longer be redressed by the relief it sought, the court dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction.