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Three Strikes and Mingo Logan Is Out: The D.C. Circuit Affirms EPA Withdrawal of Approval of Mountaintop Removal Disposal Sites

In 2013, the D.C. Circuit affirmed EPA’s authority to withdrawal approval of mountaintop mining disposal sites, even after the Army Corps has issued a Section 404 permit. In 2014, the District Court rejected Mingo Logan’s...more

Environmental Notes - July 2016

CONGRESS FINDS THE FORMULA TO REFORM CHEMICAL REGULATION - The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is the primary federal law by which the manufacture, import and use of chemical substances are regulated in the United...more

D.C. Circuit Holds Informational Standing Nonexistent Prior to 12-Month Finding

In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the dismissal of an environmental organization’s Endangered Species Act (ESA) claim, concluding that the organization lacked standing...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds USFWS Designation of “Uninhabitable” Critical Habitat for Endangered Dusky Gopher Frog

In a 2-1 decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected challenges to the final rule designating critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National...more

Lack of Court Direction Requires Developers and Lenders to Estimate Their Own Significance Thresholds for GHG Emissions Past 2020

This June, the California Supreme Court heard the last set of oral arguments before breaking for the summer. Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments, 231 Cal.App.4th 1056 (2014)...more

Wetlands Determinations - Uncertainty for the Clean Water Rule?

On May 31, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc. holding that approved judicial determinations as to the presence of wetlands issued by the...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Tribal Treaty Rights Obligate State to Ensure Harvestable Fish Are Available

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the state of Washington violated tribal treaty obligations by building and maintaining barrier culverts that block 1,000 linear miles of streams suitable...more

Wyoming Federal Court Strikes Down BLM Fracking Rule

U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl in State of Wyoming et al v. U.S. Department if Interior et al. struck down Bureau of Land Management regulations applying to hydraulic fracking on federal and Indian lands. He...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC’s NEPA Analysis in Sabine Pass and Freeport LNG Projects

On June 28, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected two related challenges to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s environmental review of the Sabine Pass LNG and Freeport LNG...more

SCOTUS Gives Landowners New Tools to Challenge Wetlands Permitting Decisions

The United States Supreme Court handed landowners and developers a win this month in a unanimous decision allowing appeals to federal courts of Army Corps of Engineers determinations that a body of water or wetland is subject...more

Court Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

US District Court rejects US Bureau of Land Management’s rule regarding hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and Tribal lands. On June 21, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Wyoming (District Court)...more

NEPA Does Not Require An Agency To Guarantee Project Compliance with Environmental Laws

In an interesting decision last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to BLM’s decision to issue a right-of-way permit for Tule Wind’s plan for a wind farm southeast of San Diego. It’s not exactly...more

Supreme Court Update: U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers V. Hawkes (15-290), Johnson V. Lee (15-789), Lynch V. Arizona (15-8366) And...

As we settle into June, the Eight seem to be clearing out the less difficult decisions in preparation for what could be a messy end to the term, given some controversial issues (abortion, affirmative action, immigration) and...more

Supreme Court Rules Landowners Can Challenge Jurisdictional Determinations

On May 31, 2016, in a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held in USACE v. Hawkes Co. that approved jurisdictional determinations (“JD”) are final actions which can be reviewed by the courts. Under the Clean Water Act a...more

D.C. Circuit Holds Injury Exists Where Statutory Enactment Denies Plaintiff’s Right to Information; Upholds Section 9 Exemption...

On June 3, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held in Friends of Animals v. Jewell (No. 1:14-cv-00357) that Plaintiff Friends of Animals (“Plaintiff”) had Article III standing to pursue a constitutional...more

The Supreme Court Holds that Army Corps’ Jurisdictional Determinations are Final Actions Subject to Judicial Review

On May 31, 2016, in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., the US Supreme Court unanimously held that a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) approved jurisdictional determination (JD) is a final agency action...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - U.S. Supreme Court allows pre-permit challenges to approved jurisdictional determinations - Allen Matkins - May 31 - In a major new legal development for the Clean Water Act's...more

Supreme Court Authorizes Judicial Review of Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations Over Federal Government’s Objection

In a rebuke to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”), the United States Supreme Court unanimously held on May 31, 2016, in Corps v. Hawkes that jurisdictional determinations (“JDs”) under the Clean Water Act are...more

Supreme Court Sides with Property Owners: Jurisdictional Determination is Reviewable

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Supreme Court decided that Army Corps’ jurisdictional determinations are judicially reviewable. This decision leaves open the question of whether other types of administrative decisions are immediately...more

Supreme Court Again Sinks Government on Wetlands

A few months ago, we (and most everyone else not working at the Justice Department) predicted that the Supreme Court would rule that property owners seeking to develop potential federal wetlands on their property may...more

Unanimous Supreme Court Sides With Property Owners In Clean Water Act Row

Introduction - On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision that continues a trend of judicial skepticism toward federal agency efforts to avoid judicial review of agency permitting and related...more

US Supreme Court Holds US Army Corps Clean Water Act Determinations Reviewable

Decision allows landowners to challenge in court a US Army Corps of Engineers’ determination that a property is subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act....more

Supreme Court: Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations Challengeable in Federal Court

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled on May 31, 2016, in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc., No. 15-290, slip op., 578 U.S. ___ (2016) that approved jurisdictional determinations (JDs) issued by...more

Supreme Court Allows Challenges to Section 404 Jurisdictional Determinations

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc., No. 15-290 (May 31, 2016) - Why It Matters: The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously concluded that property owners who are required to obtain Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404...more

US Supreme Court rules wetland determinations appealable

The Supreme Court recently held that a landowner may appeal a determination that its property contains waters that are regulated under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). See U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc.,...more

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