Friday, September 11, 2015

United States v. CITGO Petroleum Corp.

<> United States v. CITGO Petroleum Corp. - 9/4/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, Case No. 14-40128. The Appeals Court said, "CITGO urges this court to reverse the Clean Air Act convictions because the district court erroneously instructed the jury about the scope of a regulation concerning "oil-water separators." CITGO also contends that the MBTA convictions are infirm because the district court misinterpreted the centuryUnited States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED September 4, 2015 Lyle W. Cayce Clerk Case: 14-40128 Document: 00513186668 Page: 1 Date Filed: 09/09/2015 No. 14-40128 2 old statute as covering unintentional bird kills. We essentially agree with both contentions and reverse." 

  • Fifth Circuit Spurns Second and Tenth Circuits, Sides with Eighth and Ninth Circuits on Interpretation of MBTA "Take" Prohibition - Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), it is unlawful to "pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture, or kill . . . any migratory bird" protected by the Act.  16 U.S.C. 703(a) & 704(a) -- a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that although the MBTA imposes a strict liability standard for any of the aforementioned acts, in order for an unlawful "taking" to occur the defendant must have taken a "deliberate act done directly and intentionally to migratory birds."

Pollinator Stewardship Council v. U.S. EPA

<> Pollinator Stewardship Council v. U.S. EPA - 9/10/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 13-72346. Petitioners are commercial bee keepers and bee keeping organizations, and they challenge the EPA's approval of insecticides containing sulfoxaflor, which initial studies showed were highly toxic to bees.
     The Panel ruled: "In this case, given the precariousness of bee populations, leaving the EPA's registration of sulfoxaflor in place risks more potential environmental harm than vacating it. Moreover, on remand, a different result may be reached. Once the EPA obtains adequate Tier 2 studies, it may conclude that a lower maximum application rate of sulfoxaflor is warranted, or that sulfoxaflor cannot be registered at all because of its effects on brood development and long-term colony strength. We therefore vacate the EPA's unconditional registration of sulfoxaflor and remand for the EPA to obtain further studies and data regarding the effects of sulfoxaflor on bees, as required by EPA regulations. Vacated and Remanded."