Wednesday, September 30, 2015

National Parks Conservation Association n v. U.S. EPA

<> National Parks Conservation Association n v. U.S. EPA - 9/29/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, Case No. 14-3147. Environmental groups petitioned EPA's approval of Pennsylvania's SIP regarding atmospheric visibility in national parks and wilderness areas after the state concluded that the costs associated with the controls outweighed the limited visibility improvements they would produce. 
     The Appeals Court granted the petition in part and deny it in part, and remand the matter to the EPA for further consideration. The Panel said, "In the end, the EPA has identified a host of problems with Pennsylvania's BART analysis. What it has not done, however, is provide a sufficient explanation as to why it overlooked these problems and approved Pennsylvania's SIP."

Sierra Club v. United States Army Corps

<> Sierra Club v. United States Army Corps - 9/29/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 14-5205. The Panel said the central question in this appeal is the scope of environmental review the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) required before a particular oil pipeline was built -- specifically the Flanagan South oil pipeline pumps crude oil across 593 miles of American heartland from Illinois to Oklahoma and owned by Enbridge Pipelines (FSP), LLC, (Enbridge).
     On appeal, of the district court denial of preliminary injunctive relief, Sierra Club principally contends that the district court erred by failing to require the agencies to analyze and invite public comment on the environmental impact of the whole pipeline under NEPA, including the lengthy portions crossing private land and not otherwise subject to federal approvals.
     The Appeals Court ruled, "We hold that the federal government was not required to conduct NEPA analysis of the entirety of the Flanagan South pipeline, including portions not subject to federal control or permitting. . . agencies were not obligated also to analyze the impact of the construction and operation of the entire pipeline. . . the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Sierra Club's motion to supplement and amend its complaint, because the proposed new allegations would not have affected the dispositive legal analysis."