Endangered Species Act (ESA)

News & Analysis as of

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Joins List of Endangered Species Despite Delay

On January 11, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final rule listing the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The rusty patched bumble...more

Texas Federal Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Based On Sea Turtle Concerns

On March 13, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction relying primarily on Endangered Species Act (ESA) claims, halting operation of a mooring project on the Lydia Ann...more

D.C. Circuit Reinstates Gray Wolf Delisting in Wyoming

On March 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a final rule delisting the gray wolf in Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Defenders of Wildlife v. Zinke, No. 14-5300 (D.C....more

The Conservative Case for Chevron Deference: Chapter 2

In January, I argued that conservative opposition to the Chevron doctrine seemed inconsistent with conservative ideology and I noted, at a practical level, that opposition to Chevron does not always yield the results...more

Federal and State Cooperative Efforts Provide Basis For DC Circuit Upholding Delisting of Gray Wolf

In the case of Defenders of Wildlife. et al., v. Zinke., et al., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit reversed the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and reinstated the U.S. Department of the Interior’s...more

The Dusky Gopher Frog Lives to Fight Another Day: Fifth Circuit Denies Rehearing

On February 13, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied Defendants’ Petition for Rehearing En Banc in the case titled Markle Interests, L.L.C., et al. v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, et al. The...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2017

Environmental and Policy Focus - Trump directs rollback of Obama-era water rule - The Washington Post - Feb 28 - President Trump on Tuesday instructed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of...more

California to Thwart Trump’s Rollback of Federal Environmental Protections, Including Waters of US Deregulation

Newton’s Third Law apparently not only applies in physics, but in politics as well. Last week, the California Senate leadership unveiled the “Preserve California” legislative package to oppose the rollback of federal...more

Managing Water Releases From Dams to Protect Fish: A Tale of Good Legislation and Bad Engineering

Earlier this week, the 9th Circuit found that the Bureau of Reclamation had authority under 1955 legislation to order additional releases of water to the Trinity River from the Lewiston Dam beyond the amount designated in an...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Injury from Future Water Rights Restrictions Too Speculative for Article III Standing

On February 21, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands Water District (collectively, “Water Contractors”) lacked Article III standing to...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain/West Coast Case Law Highlights

Ninth Circuit Finds “Threatened” Designation For Bearded Seals Proper Based On New Long-Term Projections - Alaska Oil and Gas Ass’n et al. v. Pritzker et al., 840 F.3d 671, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19084 (9th Cir. 2016)....more

Fifth Circuit Issues Contentious Dissent Over Designation of Louisiana Land

On June 13, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had properly included approximately 1,500 acres in Louisiana as designated critical...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, February 2017

TSCA/FIFRA/NTP - EPA Proposes Regulation Of TCE Use In Vapor Degreasing Under TSCA Section 6(a): On January 19, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule under Section 6(a) of the...more

Six 5th Circuit Judges Oppose USFS’s Critical Habitat Designation: Sounds Like Certiorari to Me

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals just denied en banc review in a case involving the Fish & Wildlife Service’s designation of critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog. There are only 100 of these “shy” frogs left, and none...more

Fifth Circuit Rejects Petition For Banc Rehearing In ESA Case Markel Interests, LLC v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

On February 13, a sharply divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit , by a vote of 8 to 6, rejected a petition seeking an en banc rehearing of the court’s initial decision in the case of Markel Interests, LLC, et...more

Endangered Species Act Case Roundup

Two noteworthy cases have recently been issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The two cases address: (1) the interplay between the Federal...more

Trump Administration Takes Initial Steps to Implement Repeal of Energy, Environmental Regulations

Earlier this year, Freedom Partners, a conservative advocacy group, released A Roadmap to Repeal containing a list of former President Barack Obama's regulations that the group argued should be repealed quickly after the...more

Environmental Notes - February 2017

President Trump has wasted no time in acting on his environmental agenda. On January 24, his second working day in office, the President signed two Executive Orders giving the green light to construction of the Keystone and...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Finalizes ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy

We reported in our April 2016 edition that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (“NMFS”) had recently updated certain Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) regulations and proposed...more

Constructing the De-Regulatory State: Trump Executive Orders Aim to Reduce Regulation and Speed Project Development

Over the last week, President Trump has made good on his promise to take immediate action to reduce and streamline regulations he sees as inhibiting domestic industry and key construction projects. Through a series of...more

President Trump Announces Supreme Court Nominee

On January 31, 2017, President Trump announced Judge Neil M. Gorsuch as his nominee to fill the ninth seat of the United States Supreme Court, left vacant since Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing in February 2016. Judge...more

A Sign of Things to Come? Trump’s Regulatory Freeze and Other Early Actions

Behind the pomp and circumstance of Friday’s inauguration, President Donald J. Trump and his administration set their sights on deploying a new guard of regulatory and economic policies focused on reducing burdensome...more

From ESA to Keystone to EPA, Changes Coming Fast

Few things are certain leading up to Donald Trump’s presidency. But there is no question that environmental and energy policy will take center stage in the days – perhaps hours – following his inauguration....more

Clean Water Act Nationwide Permits Reissued: Permit Streamlining Remains Intact

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) on Jan. 6, 2017, published a final rule reissuing its Clean Water Act Nationwide Permits (NWPs) with some modifications (88 Fed. Reg. 1860). The NWP program authorizes streamlined...more

NMFS Publishes Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Recovery Plan

On January 5, 2017, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published notice of the availability of the final Recovery Plan for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas). The Endangered Species Act (ESA)...more

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