Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Greater Yellowstone Coalition v. Lewis

Dec 24: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 09-35729, 09-35753. Appealed from the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho. The Appeals Court indicates that Greater Yellowstone appeal the district court grant of summary judgment on Greater Yellowstone's action claiming that the expansion of the J .R. Simplot Smoky Canyon Mine would violate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA). The Appeals Court, in a split decision, affirmed district court decision.
    The majority opinion said, "The agencies did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in their review and approval of Simplot's proposed mine expansion project. The agencies complied with NEPA's procedural requirements by fully evaluating the environmental impacts of the mine and disclosing those results to the public. Simplot was not required to obtain a § 401 certification. The district court properly granted summary judgment to the agencies.
    The dissent indicated that, "Although I concur in Part II.C of the majority opinion, I cannot agree with the majority that the federal agencies acted neither arbitrarily nor capriciously when approving the Smoky Canyon Mine expansion project. The majority violates both the letter and the spirit of the applicable federal environmental standards by approving agency action despite currently lacking critical information and by deferring key evaluations to some unspecified future date."
    Access the complete opinion and dissent (click here).

No comments: