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Texas Federal Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Based On Sea Turtle Concerns

On March 13, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction relying primarily on Endangered Species Act (ESA) claims, halting operation of a mooring project on the Lydia Ann Channel near Corpus Christi, Texas. Friends of Lydia Ann Channel U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Lydia Ann Channel … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rules Injury from Future Water Rights Restrictions Too Speculative for Article III Standing

On February 21, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands Water District (collectively, “Water Contractors”) lacked Article III standing to pursue an Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) claim against the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (collectively, the “Federal … Continue Reading

President Trump Announces Supreme Court Nominee

On January 31, 2017, President Trump announced Judge Neil M. Gorsuch as his nominee to fill the ninth seat of the United States Supreme Court, left vacant since Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing in February 2016.  Judge Gorsuch currently sits as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  President George … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Denies U.S. Forest Service’s Petition for Review in Canadian Lynx Case

On October 11, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the U.S. Forest Service’s (“Forest Service”) petition for writ of certiorari to review the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Cottonwood Environmental Law Center v. Forest Service, 789 F.3d 1075 (9th Cir. 2015).  The key issues in the case related to standing, the justiciability of … Continue Reading

National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Propose Listing One Hawaiian Species and Four Marine Species

On September 19, 2016, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published proposed rules to list two species of dolphin and two species of guitarfish under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  NMFS proposes to list the Maui’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) as endangered under the ESA and the South Island Hector’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori hectori), the common … Continue Reading

August 4th Endangered Species Act Rulemakings

On August 4, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule confirming its 2011 revision to the designation of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus).  The Service listed the marbled murrelet as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1992.  In 1996, the Service designated 3,887,800 acres across Washington, Oregon, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Declines to Give Chevron Deference to Agency Regulation that Departed from Prior Agency Practice

On June 20, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-2 opinion in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro et al., holding that the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor Department) was not entitled to receive Chevron deference with respect to its 2011 regulation addressing overtime exemptions in the auto industry.  No. 15-415, slip op. (June 20, … Continue Reading

Long Awaited Eagle Rule Revamp Out for Public Comment

On May 6, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) published its proposed revisions to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (“BGEPA”) permit program.  The stated intention of these proposed revisions is to improve upon the 2009 regulations establishing a permit program under BGEPA.  In 2012, the Service issued an advance notice of … Continue Reading

Court Holds that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is Not Obligated to Ensure Migratory Bird Treaty Act or Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act Compliance When Granting Right-of-Way to Industrial-Scale Wind Farm

On March 29, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) in a lawsuit involving the grant of a lease to Tule Wind, LLC for construction of the second phase of an industrial-scale wind energy facility. The Protect Our Communities … Continue Reading
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