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City of Austin v. Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline, LLC

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20072
Nos. 1:20-CV-138-RP, (W.D. Tex., 03/19/2020) (Pitman, J.)

A district court denied local government entities' and landowners' request to temporarily halt construction of a 430-mile natural gas pipeline in Texas. Plaintiffs argued that allowing construction without an incidental take permit under §10 of the ESA would result in an unlawful take of endangered species, such as the golden-cheeked warbler, and that the company constructing the pipeline and FWS sidestepped requirements for environmental review under NEPA. They thus sought a preliminary injunction to halt construction. The court found that despite compelling evidence related to gaps in ESA compliance, plaintiffs failed to demonstrate a reasonably certain threat of imminent harm to a protected species, and thus failed to show the irreparable harm required for a preliminary injunction. It therefore denied plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction.