News & Analysis In the Courts

Volume 52 Issue 7

In an en banc decision, the First Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part summary judgment for an environmental group in a CWA citizen suit against developers of a construction site in Massachusetts. The group argued the developers violated the CWA by failing to comply with the construction ge...

Keywords:
Citizen suits, §505

The Tenth Circuit affirmed dismissal of a lawsuit concerning a long-running water dispute between an Indian tribe and a private landowner in Utah. The tribe sued the landowner in tribal court, arguing the landowner had been diverting the tribe's water for years. The tribal court held it had subject ...

Keywords:
Jurisdiction

The Tenth Circuit reversed a district court's denial of a motion to dismiss a CWA citizen suit concerning the release of contaminated water from an inactive gold mine in Colorado. Nearby farmers filed suit in a New Mexico district court, alleging several state-law claims. A hazardous waste managemen...

Keywords:
Statute of limitations

In an unpublished opinion, the Ninth Circuit affirmed dismissal of a lawsuit concerning the Forest Service's 1987 plan for Custer Gallatin National Forest. An environmental group argued that NEPA obligated the Service to supplement its EIS for the plan after recognizing in 2012 that climate change n...

Keywords:
Decision not to prepare

The Ninth Circuit, 2-1, affirmed a district court ruling that the Forest Service acted arbitrarily and capriciously in approving a mining operations plan for a copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains. The Service approved the plan based on its conclusion that §612 of the Surface Resources and Multi...

Keywords:
Mining Law of 1872

The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the National Park Service (NPS) in a challenge to the Service's authority to prohibit commercial herring fishing in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). A fishing group argued that NPS lacked authority under the GGNRA Act to enforce the co...

Keywords:
Wildlife (generally)

A district court granted summary judgment for environmental groups in a challenge to FWS' 2020 withdrawal of its 2013 proposal to list the bi-state sage-grouse as a threatened species under the ESA, and vacated the withdrawal. The groups argued the withdrawal violated the ESA because the Service's d...

Keywords:
Determination of endangered and threatened species, §4