Jun 022015

Afternoon update:

A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit (technically, a petition for review) in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's approval of Shell's exploration plan for the Chukchi Sea (Alaska Wilderness League v. Jewell). Scroll down for the petition. Here is the press release.

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FWS and NMFS will have to take another look at a Habitat Conservation Plan after a court found that the services did not comply with the law when they issued Incidental Take Permits (Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center v. NOAA, 13-3717-NC, N.D. Cal.).

Here's the conclusion of the order from U.S. District Judge Nathanael Cousins, who had previously issued an opinion

Based on the discussion above, the Court VACATES the northern-spotted-owl incidental take permit issued by FWS, the coho-salmon incidental take permit issued by NMFS, the coho-salmon biological opinion issued by NMFS, the coho-salmon incidental take statement issued by NMFS, and the Final Environmental Impact Statement issued by both FWS and NMFS. The Court finds that the seriousness of the Services’ errors significantly outweighs the asserted disruptive consequences that would result from vacatur. This case is therefore REMANDED to the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service for further proceedings consistent with this Order.

The Court, however, DENIES KS Wild’s motion to vacate the records of decision. The Court also DENIES KS Wild’s request for an injunction against the Services and Fruit Growers; in particular, KS Wild has not satisfied the irreparable-harm requirement. Finally, the Court DISMISSES KS Wild’s third claim because of its failure to brief the issue at summary judgment.