Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

<> Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - 3/23/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, Case No. 14-12357. Riverkeeper challenges the 2012 version of Nationwide Permit 21 ("NWP 21"), a general permit that allows surface coal mining operations to discharge dredged or fill materials into navigable waters.
     The district court first determined that Riverkeeper has standing to sue affirming the district court's decision on that point. The district court also held that Riverkeeper's lawsuit was, nonetheless, barred by the equitable doctrine of laches; however, the Appeals Court concluded that the Intervenors had shown neither inexcusable delay on the part of Riverkeeper nor prejudice resulting from Riverkeeper's alleged delay. . . "We, therefore, hold that the district court abused its considerable discretion in barring Riverkeeper's suit."
     On the merits, and based on significant change in the facts, supplemental briefs were filed and the Corps then conceded that the district court's decision must be reversed and the matter remanded to the Corps for further consideration based on a more accurate assessment of the potential impacts of NWP 21, to which the Appeals Court agreed.

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