Friday, August 22, 2014

Southwestern Power Admin. v. FERC

Southwestern Power Admin. v. FERC - 8/22/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 13-1033. The Appeals Court said in part, "Neither section 215(b) nor section 215(e), nor the two considered in combination, speaks with the requisite clarity to waive the federal government's sovereign immunity from monetary penalties. We therefore vacate the Commission's order."
 
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ctr. for Cmty. Action v. BNSF Railway Co

Ctr. for Cmty. Action v. BNSF Railway Co - 8/20/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 12-56086. The Panel affirmed the district court decision and concluded that Defendants' emission of diesel particulate matter does not constitute "disposal" of solid waste within the meaning of RCRA, and that Plaintiffs therefore cannot state a plausible claim for relief.

Monday, August 18, 2014

El Dorado Chemical Company v. EPA

El Dorado Chemical Company  v.  EPA - 8/15/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, Case No. The Panel ruled that the district court did not err in upholding the EPA's ruling rejecting Arkansas's water quality standards governing plaintiff's discharge of dissolved minerals; the EPA's reading of the relevant regulations to permit it to look at downstream waters when evaluating a state's water quality standards was not plainly erroneous; the EPA's determination that Arkansas's supporting documentation was insufficient to demonstrate that the proposed standards were appropriately protective of aquatic life in the downstream waters had a rational basis and the decision to reject the State's standards was not arbitrary or capricious.

South Carolina Public Service v. FERC

South Carolina Public Service v. FERC - 8/15/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 12-1232 (Consolidated with 12-1233, 12-1250, 12-1276, 12-1279, 12-1280, 12-1285, 12-1292, 12-1293, 12-1296, 12-1299, 12-1300, 12-1304, 12-1448, 12-1478). The case involves numerous challenges to the most recent reforms of electric transmission planning and cost allocation adopted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pursuant to the Federal Power Act. The Panel ruled that FERC had authority; it  reasonably determined that regional planning must include consideration of transmission needs driven by public policy requirements; and it reasonably relied upon the reciprocity condition. Petition denied.

Minisink Residents for Enviro. v. FERC

Minisink Residents for Enviro. v. FERC - 8/15/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 12-1481. The Appeals Court said, "Though we respect the concerns they raise, we conclude that, as a legal matter, the Commission's decisions were both reasonable and reasonably explained. Consequently, we deny the petitions for review.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sierra Club v. EPA

Sierra Club v. EPA - 8/12/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 11-73342 & 11-73356. The panel granted a petition for review brought by environmental groups, and vacated EPA's decision to issue a Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permit, allowing Avenal Power Center LLC to build and operate the Avenal Energy Project, a 600 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant, under the old air quality standards.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Defenders of Wildlife v. NC Dep't of Transportation

Defenders of Wildlife v. NC Dep't of Transportation - 8/6/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, Case No. 13-2215. Plaintiffs claim that Defendants violated NEPA and the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 by, among other things, committing to the construction of only one segment of the transportation project—namely a replacement bridge—and denying the public the full review of the entire project and its environmental impact, as NEPA requires. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants; and the Appeals Court reversed the district court's determination and remand for further proceedings.