News & Analysis as of

Two petitions filed seeking Supreme Court review of Ninth Circuit decision in Delta smelt case

Recently, two separate petitions were filed with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in San Luis and Delta Mendota Water Authority v. Jewell, a case involving a challenge to the biological...more

District Court Denies Motion to Enjoin Delta Water Transfers

Last Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied a motion brought by environmental groups to enjoin a water transfer project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (Delta). Plaintiffs...more

More Pipeline Development Projects: What America Needs

National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) challenges to pipeline projects and other natural gas infrastructure have become a commonplace tool in recent years for environmental groups seeking to defeat or delay midstream...more

D.C. Circuit to FERC: Environmental Review of “Related” Pipeline Expansion Projects Must Consider Cumulative Effects, Even After...

On June 6, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Delaware Riverkeeper Network, et al. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, that could significantly impact efforts to expand...more

Inside the Mining Industry: An Arizona Mining Lawyer Discusses Key Challenges, Opportunities & Trends for 2014 and Beyond

Other than market forces, Federal permitting processes continue to be a primary cause of delay for new mines and the expansion of existing mines throughout the United States. The federal government manages a significant...more

Federal Appellate Court Upholds Environmental Review of Colorado River Water Delivery Agreement

Ninth Circuit Affirms District Court’s Decision Approving NEPA and Clean Air Act Review of Federal QSA - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued its decision on the federal case challenging...more

High-Speed Rail Fresno to Bakersfield Route Approved

The California High Speed Rail Authority’s (the “Authority”) Board of Directors unanimously voted on Wednesday to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for the Fresno to Bakersfield...more

9th Circ. Reminds BOEM About The Importance Of Evidence

On Jan. 22, 2014, the Ninth Circuit held that the final environmental impact statement ("FEIS") and supplemental environmental impact statement ("SEIS") regarding the effects of proposed leases for oil and gas development in...more

Ninth Circuit Reverses NEPA Approval of an Oil and Gas Lease in the Chukchi Sea

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) of the Department of Interior sought to lease approximately 30 million acres of federal land in the Chukchi Sea for oil and gas development, but, according to a recent decision by...more

There May Be Trouble Ahead: Legal Challenges on Home Turf Threaten U.S. Ex-Im Bank Funding for Foreign Mining Projects

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is facing a new wave of legal challenges related to the financing of natural resource projects outside of the US, and which threaten to de-rail one of Western...more

The Ninth Circuit Addresses NEPA’s Goldilocks Problem: How Many Alternatives Are Just Enough?

One of the critical elements of NEPA is that project proponents must assess the feasibility and impacts of not only the preferred alternative, but also a range of alternatives. However, there is a tension in NEPA, because it...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Environmental Document for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale Violates NEPA

On January 22, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Final Environmental Impact Statement ("FEIS") and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement ("SEIS") regarding the effects of...more

FHWA and FTA Issue New Guidance On MAP-21 Exclusions

On July 6, 2012 President Obama signed into law MAP-21, which, among other things, contained new National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA") requirements for the Federal Transit Administration ("FTA") and Federal Highway...more

BOEM Gives a Lesson on How Not To Survive NEPA Review

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the plaintiffs that the Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to support oil and gas leasing in the Chukchi Sea was flawed. ...more

General Statements About Future Expansion Do Not Trigger NEPA “Cumulative Impact” Analysis Requirement For CWA Section 404 Permit

In a ruling that stands to benefit project proponents, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Jones v. National Marine Fisheries Service, Case No. 11-35954 (9th Cir., Dec. 20, 2013), found that the Army Corps of Engineers...more

FCC Sets Comment Deadlines for Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Environmental and Historic Review Processes for Small Cell and...

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) recently released a Public Notice setting comment deadlines for its September 26, 2013 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) on improving wireless facilities...more

Environmental Challenges to Exporting Coal from the United States

Chesapeake Climate Action Network v. Export-Import Bank of the United States highlights how failure to follow the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 can result in delays to coal export endeavors. As recent news...more

USDOT Proposes Regulations Allowing States To Assume USDOT Responsibilities For Environmental Review Under NEPA And Other Laws

On August 30, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) proposed regulations for the Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program, a program that allows states to assume federal environmental review authority for...more

Environmental Groups Set Stage for Litigation Challenging BLM’s Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Rulemaking with Claim That BLM Is...

Eighteen environmental organizations – lead by the Sierra Club – are claiming that the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) will violate the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) if it finalizes its proposed rulemaking...more

Court Extends Temporary Restraining Order Against Excess Storage Releases From CVP's Trinity River Division

On August 14, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California extended a modified temporary restraining order (“TRO”) prohibiting excess releases of stored water into the Trinity River from the Central...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms APHIS’s Deregulation of Roundup Ready Alfalfa; Denies Plaintiffs’ Request for Rehearing En Banc

In May 2013, the Ninth Circuit in Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack, No. 12-15052 (9th Cir. May 17, 2013), affirmed a district court’s ruling that upheld the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection...more

Ninth Circuit Clarifies NEPA Supplementation Requirements And Rules That Mining Plans Of Operations Do Not Expire After Temporary...

On February 4, 2013, a Ninth Circuit panel held that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) did not violate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), or its own mining...more

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