Category Archives: Natural Resources and Endangered Species

Subscribe to Natural Resources and Endangered Species RSS Feed

9th Circuit Upholds Biological Opinions For Proposed Mine

Rock Creek Alliance v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, No. 10-35596 (9th Circuit Court of Appeal; November 16, 2011) By Keith Garner and Alex Merritt This month the 9th Circuit upheld the Fish and Wildlife Service’s biological opinions finding that a proposed silver and copper mine in northwestern Montana would not result in "adverse modification" … Continue Reading

Fish and Wildlife Service Settles Lawsuits on Listing Deadlines

By Keith Garner & Charlotte Cunningham On July 12, 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) and the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) settled litigation concerning the FWS’s obligations to render decisions on whether species warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). The settlement does not guarantee that the subject species will be listed … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court to Review Two Cases With Potentially Significant Consequences for Wetlands and Waterways

By Keith Garner The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided to hear two environmental cases in its 2011-2012 term, which begins in October. The two cases will have consequences for waterbodies that may be subject to the public trust and for property owners and facilities operators who are given administrative compliance orders under federal environmental laws.… Continue Reading

Application of Sections 7 and 9 of the Endangered Species Act to California Delta Smelt Does Not Violate Commerce Clause

By Keith Garner & Michael Leake In Stewart & Jasper Orchards v. Salazar, the Court of Appeals affirmed the district court judgment that the application of Sections 7 and 9 of the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) to the California delta smelt does not violate the Commerce Clause in the United States Constitution.… Continue Reading

Corps Proposes New, Reissued, And Modified Nationwide Permits

By Keith Garner On February 16, 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a notice of its proposal to reissue and modify 48 of the 49 existing Nationwide Permits (“NWPs”) and to issue two new NWPs and two new general conditions. The Corps proposes to let one NWP (47 – Pipeline Safety Program Designated … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Offers Pyrrhic Victory On Corps Jurisdiction Over Developer’s Clean Water Act Permit

Precon Development Corporation, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2011 WL 213052 (C.A.4 (Va.)) By Greg Woodard The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal case, Precon Development Corporation, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2011 WL 213052 (C.A.4 (Va.)), arises out of a determination by the Army Corps of Engineers ("Corps") that it has … Continue Reading

California Endangered Species Act Prohibits State Agencies From Taking Threatened and Endangered Species Without Permit Authority

Kern County Water Agency v. Watershed Enforcers, No. A117715 (1st Dist. June 17, 2010) By Keith Garner and Alex Merritt Last month the California Court of Appeal for the First District held that the California Endangered Species Act ("CESA") prohibits a state agency from taking threatened or endangered species without proper permit authority. In reaching … Continue Reading

9th Circuit Upholds Critical Habitat Designation for Mexican Spotted Owl

Arizona Cattle Growers’ Ass’n v. Salazar, No. 08-15810 (9th Cir. June 4, 2010) By Robert Uram, James Rusk & Alex Merritt The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this month decided two key issues related to the designation of critical habitat for species protected under the Endangered Species Act ("ESA"): (1) what constitutes an "occupied" area for purposes of … Continue Reading

9th Circuit Upholds Corps Permit and Biological Opinion

Butte Environmental Council v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, No. 09-15363 (9th Cir. June 1, 2010) By Robert Uram, Keith Garner & Brenna Moorhead In Butte Environmental Council v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, No. 09-15363 (9th Cir. June 1, 2010), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that it is appropriate for the … Continue Reading

EPA Proposes ‘Veto’ of Section 404 Permit for Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Project in West Virginia

By James Rusk The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") has proposed to rescind the Clean Water Act ("CWA") section 404 permit for a controversial mountaintop removal coal mining project in West Virginia, more than three years after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ("Corps") issued the permit. It would be a rare application of the … Continue Reading

Fish and Game Commission Seeks Comments Related to Proposed California Tiger Salamander Rulemaking

By Robert Uram and Keith Garner The Fish and Game Commission has published a notice of proposed regulatory action and invited interested parties to provide oral or written comments relevant to the proposed action prior to or at its May 5 hearing. The proposed regulation would add the California tiger salamander ("CTS") to the list … Continue Reading

State Listing of California Tiger Salamander Warranted

By Robert Uram, Keith Garner and Brenna Moorhead It was a close call. On March 3, 2010, the California Fish and Game Commission voted 3-2 that listing of the California Tiger Salamander ("CTS") pursuant to the California Endangered Species Act was warranted. The Commission was under court order to accept the listing petition, which it … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Strategic Climate Change Plan

By Robert Uram and Robyn Christo The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (the "Service") is accepting public comments through November 23, 2009, on its proposed Strategic Plan for Climate Change ("Strategic Plan") and accompanying 5-Year Action Plan ("Action Plan"). Both Plans are part of the Department of the Interior’s (the "Department’s") commitment to organizing a … Continue Reading

EPA’s New Source Performance Standard Does Not Apply to Discharges of Mining Slurry Regulated Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act

Coeur Alaska, Inc. v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Counsel, et al., 557 U.S. ____ (2009). By Katharine E. Allen and Robert J. Uram On June 22, 2009, the United States Supreme Court held that the new source pollution standards in Section 306(b) of the Clean Water Act (the “CWA”) did not apply to discharges of slurry from … Continue Reading

EPA May Use Cost-Benefit Analysis In Setting “Best Technology Available” Standards Under Clean Water Act

Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper, Inc., 556 U.S. ____, No. 07-1355 (2009) By Robert J. Uram, Ella Foley-Gannon and James Rusk On April 1st, the Supreme Court held that the federal Clean Water Act (the “Act”) allows the Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) to use cost-benefit analysis in setting the performance standards that power plants must … Continue Reading

City Not Required To Identify Specific Location For Off-Site Mitigation Under CEQA Because Standards Sufficient

California Native Plant Society v. City of Rancho Cordova, ____ Cal. App. 4th _____ (March 24, 2009, No. C057018) By Elizabeth S. Anderson The California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District determined that the City of Rancho Cordova did not improperly defer mitigation under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") when it adopted … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Tightens Standing Requirements For Recreational Users Challenging Forest Service Actions

Summers v. Earth Island Institute,___U.S. ___(March 3, 2009, Case No. 07-463) By Elizabeth S. Anderson On March 3, 2009, the United States Supreme Court determined that Respondents, a group of organizations dedicated to protecting the environment, did not have standing to challenge certain United States Forest Service (“Service”) regulations respecting salvage timber sales. In reversing … Continue Reading

Army Corps Properly Limited Scope of NEPA Review of Section 404 Permits to Impacts of Filling Jurisdictional Waters

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, No. 07-1355 (4th Cir. 2009) by Robert J. Uram, Aaron Foxworthy, and James Rusk The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed a District Court decision and upheld a decision by the Army Corps of Engineers (the "Corps") to prepare Environmental Assessments and mitigated FONSIs under … Continue Reading

Fish and Game Commission Accepts Petition to List CTS and Adopts Interim Take Rules

By Keith Garner The California Fish and Game Commission (“Commission”), at its February 5, 2009, meeting in Sacramento, accepted for consideration the petition to list the California tiger salamander (“CTS”) under the California Endangered Species Act (“CESA”), and the CTS was declared a candidate species. The Commission had initially rejected the petition, but it had … Continue Reading

California Fish and Game Commission to Consider Candidacy Status of California Tiger Salamander under CESA at February 5 Meeting

By Robert J. Uram and Keith Garner On February 5, 2009, the California Fish and Game Commission will consider whether to accept a petition originally filed by the Center for Biological Diversity on January 30, 2004, to add the California tiger salamander (“CTS”) to the state’s list of endangered species under the California Endangered Species Act (“CESA”).  … Continue Reading

No Judicial Review of CORPS Jurisdictional Determinations Under APA

Fairbanks North Star Borough v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Sept. 12, 2008, 9th Cir. No. 07-35545) ___ F.3d ____   By Stephanie J. Helfrich   In Fairbanks North Star Borough v. USACE, 07-35545, the Ninth Circuit held that an approved jurisdictional determination issued by the Army Corps of Engineers is not a final agency … Continue Reading

Fish and Game Commission Must Accept Petition to List the CTS under California Endangered Species Act

Center for Biological Diversity v. Cal. Fish & Game Comm’n, __ Cal.App. 4th __ (Sept. 2, 2008, Case No. C055059) By Robert Uram and Keith Garner On September 2, 2008, the Third District of the California Court of Appeal decided that the California Fish and Game Commission (“Commission”) erred by rejecting at the threshold a petition to … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit: Four 60-Day Notices Not Enough, Rejects Clean Water Act Challenge

Center for Biological Diversity v. Marina Point Development, (Aug. 6, 2008, 9th Cir. Nos. 06-56193, 07-55243, 07-56574) ___ F.3d ____ By Brenna Moorhead In Center for Biological Diversity v. Marina Point Development, the Ninth Circuit rejected citizen suits against the Marina Point Development Company and others (“Marina Point”).  The Center for Biological Diversity and other … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Holds Headwaters Agreement Incidental Take Permit And Sustained Yield Plan Invalid

Environmental Protection and Information Center v. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (July 17, 2008, S140547) __ Cal.4 ___. By James Rusk The state Incidental Take Permit (the “ITP”) and the Sustained Yield Plan (the “SYP”) approved under the Headwaters Agreement of 1996, which allowed the Pacific Lumber Company (“PLC”) to log old growth … Continue Reading
LexBlog

By scrolling this page, clicking a link or continuing to browse our website, you consent to our use of cookies as described in our Cookie and Advertising Policy. If you do not wish to accept cookies from our website, or would like to stop cookies being stored on your device in the future, you can find out more and adjust your preferences here.

Agree