Category: NEPA

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Ninth Circuit Holds That a Project’s NEPA Analysis Need Not Explain Why Its Impact Significance Conclusions Differ from CEQA Analysis of the Same Project; Dissent Perceives Environmental Racism at Work

In Ctr. for Cmty. Action & Envtl. Justice v. FAA (9th Cir. Nov. 18, 2021, Nos. 20-70272, 20-70464) ___F.3d___ [2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 34541], the 9th Circuit held that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) does not require an agency to explain why its impact conclusions differed from CEQA analysis of the same project, nor is … Continue Reading

Lake Norconian Club Foundation v. Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, 39 Cal. App. 5th 1044

Lake Norconian Club Foundation v. Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, 39 Cal. App. 5th 1044 The California Department of Corrections (Department) operates a prison next to the historic Lake Norconian Club, a former resort and hotel constructed in the 1920’s. The Department used the building as a drug rehabilitation facility, and later, as prison administrative … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rejects NEPA Challenges to Los Angeles Metro’s Light Rail Extension Project

In Japanese Village, LLC v. Federal Transit Administration, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21700, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s rulings and rejected NEPA challenges to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (“Metro”) approval for a 1.9-mile light rail extension line in downtown Los Angeles. The project was proposed to be funded by the Federal … Continue Reading

NINTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMS BLM’S PROPOSAL TO EXPAND ACCESS FOR OFF-ROAD VEHICLES IN IMPERIAL SAND DUNES SPECIAL RECREATION MANAGEMENT AREA

In Imperial County, just north of the Mexican border, lies the Imperial Sand Dunes Planning Area, a 227,000-acre tract of desert, of which 214,930 acres is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This swath of land is home to the Algodones Dunes, the largest active sand dune system in the United States. A … Continue Reading

IN UNPUBLISHED OPINION, COURT OF APPEAL UPHOLDS CEQA REVIEW FOR FRESNO’S FULTON MALL PROJECT

The City of Fresno’s Fulton Street lies in the heart of its downtown and was once a bustling commerce center lined with numerous retailers. Suburbanization drew those retailers to the periphery of town in the 1950s. In the early 1960s, in an attempt to revive its urban core, the City turned Fulton Street into Fulton … Continue Reading

NINTH CIRCUIT REJECTS NEPA CHALLENGE TO THE JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE CASINO PROJECT

In Jamul Action Committee v. Chaudhuri, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13104, the Ninth Circuit held that the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) did not apply to the Jamul Indian Village Casino project in Jamul, California due to an irreconcilable timing conflict between NEPA and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). The Jamul Indian Village (Tribe), … Continue Reading

NINTH CIRCUIT REJECTS NEPA CHALLENGE TO CHANGES TO ALBENI FALLS DAM OPERATIONS

In Idaho Conservation League v. Bonneville Power Administration, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11175, the Ninth Circuit rejected a National Environmental Protection Act (“NEPA”) challenge to changes in the operation of the Albeni Falls Dam. The Dam, constructed in 1957 as part of the Federal Columbia River Power System, helps provide power to the Pacific Northwest. … Continue Reading

NINTH CIRCUIT REJECTS NEPA CHALLENGE TO SAN DIEGO NAVY BROADWAY COMPLEX PROJECT

In a published opinion, San Diego Navy Broadway Complex Coalition v. United States Department of Defense, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 5813, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court and rejected a National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) challenge to the redevelopment of the San Diego Navy Broadway Complex (Complex), a fifteen-acre waterfront site adjacent to downtown … Continue Reading

Oil Spill Response Plan Does Not Require Endangered Species Act Consultation or Environmental Impact Statement

In Alaska Wilderness League v. Sally Jewell, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9755, a coalition of environmental groups sued various administrative agencies following their approval of Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc.’s (Shell’s) Oil Spill Response Plans (OSRPs) for their planned oil rigs in Alaska’s arctic coast. OSRPs are mandated under a combination of both the Clean … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rejects ESA and NEPA Challenges to Yellowstone Bison Management Plan

In Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21949, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part an environmental advocacy groups’ challenge to a management plan for bison herds in Yellowstone National Park. While the court reversed several procedural determinations of the trial … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Approves Air Quality Analysis for Expressway Connecting 405 Freeway and Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles

In NRDC v. United States Department of Transportation, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20815, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and other federal and state defendants (defendants). The court held defendants’ environmental review of an expressway connecting the ports of Los … Continue Reading

Court Finds No Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Needed

In Great Old Broads v. RLH Ram Abigail Kimbell, (March 4, 2013) 2013 U.S.App.LEXIS 4422, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the District Court’s summary judgment in favor of the United States Forest Service (Forest Service) on the merits in an action challenging the Forest Service’s approval of the restoration of a flood-damaged road … Continue Reading

Things are About to go Nuclear: Ninth Circuit Court Upholds BLM’s Decision that Uranium Mine Can Reopen without Supplemental NEPA Review

In Center for Biological Diversity v. Salazar (Feb. 4, 2013) 2013 U.S.App.LEXIS 2406, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s approval of the reopening of a uranium mine after a seventeen year lapse.  The Court held that operations could restart without obtaining any additional environmental review. In 1988, … Continue Reading

Thirty-Five Miles of Alaskan Rail Line Not in Violation of NEPA

In Alaska Survival v. Surface Transportation Board (2013) 43 ELR 20016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denies Alaska Survival’s NEPA challenge to the Surface Transportation Board’s (Board) decision authorizing Alaska Railroad Corporation (the Railroad) to construct thirty-five miles of new rail line. Alaska Survival contended that the Board violated NEPA by (1) adopting an … Continue Reading

Forest Service Alternatives Analysis That Did Not Consider Alternatives Unrelated to Purpose and Need for National Forest Motorized Travel Project at Klamath National Forest Upheld

In Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center v. Graham (2012) 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141142, the court considered a challenge to the United States Forest Service’s (Service) adoption of the record of decision (ROD) approving the Klamath National Forest Motorized Travel Management Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In 2005, the Service adopted a final rule governing management of motor … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Upholds NMFS’s Review and Approval of the Pacific Council’s Program for the Better Management of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery

In Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association v. Rebecca M. Blank (2012) 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18974, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the National Marine Fisheries Service (Service) complied with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when it adopted changes to the Pacific … Continue Reading

U.S. Forest Service’s Motion to Dismiss NEPA Challenge Denied

In Caleen Sisk Franco v. United States Department of the Interior (2012) 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105316, Plaintiffs challenged the U.S. Forest Service’s (Service) conduct on various religious and cultural sites around the McCloud River.  The Service responded with a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ complaint.  The District Court for the Eastern District of California granted … Continue Reading

Annual Operating Plans Not Subject to Discretionary Review Do Not Require ESA or NEPA Compliance

In Grand Canyon Trust v. United States Bureau of Reclamation (2012) 2012 U.S. App LEXIS 16859, the Grand Canyon Trust (Trust) charged the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) with violating several federal environmental laws in the operation of the Glen Canyon Dam. The District Court granted summary … Continue Reading

District Court Holds Approval of Timber Project Complied with ESA, NEPA, and NFMA

In Conservation Congress v. Nancy Finley (2012) U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104377, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California upheld the authorization of the Beaverslide Timber Sale and Fuel Reduction Project (Project), denying Conservation Congress and Environmental Protection Information Center’s (Plaintiffs) motion for summary judgment and granting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s (Fish … Continue Reading

District Court Grants Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss Challenge to the Bureau of Land Management’s Approval of a Solar Project in California’s Desert Region

In La Cuna De Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle Advisory Committee v. United States Department of the Interior (2012) 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97759, the Bureau of Land Management (Bureau) approved Chevron Energy Solutions Company’s (Chevron) solar-electricity general project (Project), which is located on federal public land in the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA). The … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Requires 2004 EIS to Include Higher Level of Analysis of Environmental Impacts on Fish, While Finding the Analysis of Environmental Impacts on Amphibians Sufficient

In January 2001, the United States Forest Service (Forest Service) issued an environmental impact statement (EIS) recommending amendments to the Forest Plans in the Sierras Madre Mountains (2001 EIS) to conserve and repair the riparian and amphibian habitat. By November 2001, the Forest Service reviewed the 2001 EIS and its proposed alternatives, and made several … Continue Reading

Environmental Plaintiffs Do Not Need to Wait for Environmental Damage to Occur Before Challenging NEPA Compliance

In Friends of the River v. United State Army Corps of Engineers, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59405, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) adopted several documents establishing “mandatory vegetation-management standards for levees.”  Friends of the River, Defenders of Wildlife, and Center for Biological Diversity (Plaintiffs) filed suit to challenge the Corps’ procedural process.  … Continue Reading

Court Rules in Favor of Forest Service’s Approval of Post-Fire Logging and Restoration Project

In Earth Island Institute v. Carlton, (2012) 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44177, petitioner challenged a logging and restoration project under the National Forest Management Act (“NFMA”) and the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). The district court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff makes four central arguments for why Defendants violated NEPA in the preparation … Continue Reading

Court Rules Forest Service’s Categorical Exclusion Memos are Arbitrary and Capricious Regarding Livestock Grazing

In Western Watersheds v. United States Forest Service, (2012) 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45573, petitioners challenged the Forest Service’s alleged practice of reauthorizing livestock grazing on federal land without conducting the proper environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). The court concluded that the actions by the Forest Service in connection with the … Continue Reading
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