Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ark Initiative v. Thomas Tidwell

<> Ark Initiative v. Thomas Tidwell - 3/8/16. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 14-5259. At issue in this case is the 2012 Colorado Rule's exclusion from the 4.2 million acres of inventoried roadless land in Colorado of about 8,300 acres of land that the Service also has designated for recreational skiing. 
     The plaintiffs—environmental organizations and two individuals—challenge the Service's application of the 2012 Colorado Rule to allow development of a proposed egress ski trail on once-roadless land within the Special Use Permit boundary for the Snowmass Ski Resort in Aspen. 
     The District Court disagreed, concluding that the Service offered ample reasons for its decision to exclude existing designated ski areas from the Colorado roadless inventory, and that the Service's six-year public rulemaking process satisfied all applicable notice requirements. The Appeals Court agreed and affirmed that the Service adequately explained the limited ski-area exclusion and did not violate any applicable notice requirements.

Sierra Club v. Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co.

<> Sierra Club v. Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. - 3/8/16. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, Case No. 14-7065. Sierra Club brought a citizen suit seeking civil penalties against Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company (OG&E) for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. Sierra Club asserting that a coal-fired power plant in Muskogee, modified a boiler at the plant without first obtaining an emission-regulating permit as required under the Act.

     Because Sierra Club filed its action more than five years after construction began on the plant, the district court dismissed its claim under Rule 12(b)(6) as barred by the statute of limitations. The Panel agreed and affirmed the district court and conclude that Sierra Club's claim for civil penalties is statutorily time-barred and claims for declaratory and injunctive relief are precluded because they are based on the same facts as the time-barred claim for civil penalties. 

Shell Offshore Inc. v. Greenpeace, Inc.

<> Shell Offshore Inc. v. Greenpeace, Inc. - 3/4/16. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 15-35392. The Panel dismissed as moot an appeal from the district court's preliminary injunction against Greenpeace, Inc., concerning protests against oil exploration activities in the Chukchi Sea. The panel held that the appeal was moot because the injunction had expired, and defendants Shell Offshore, Inc., and Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc., did not seek to renew it.