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Environmental Law & Policy Center v. United States Coast Guard

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20063
Nos. 18-12626, (E.D. Mich., 03/16/2020) (Ludington, J.)

A district court denied summary judgment to environmental groups in a challenge to the U.S. Coast Guard's approval of a contingency plan for a Michigan oil pipeline. The groups argued that the plan failed to respond to a worst-case discharge, as required by the OPA, by failing to consider the need for ice-breaking vessels to reach an oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac or the impact of significant wave heights in adverse weather conditions. The court found the plan included abundant references to ice and high wave conditions, and thus that the Coast Guard sufficiently considered the possibility of such conditions if a worst-case discharge were to occur. It therefore denied the groups' motion for summary judgment and granted the Coast Guard's cross-motion.