Feb 102015

Environmental groups file motion in 9th Cir. seeking stay of EPA approval

EPA should have consulted with the Fish and Wildlife Service before approving a new herbicide for use in the Midwest, environmental groups and a food safety group argue in a motion filed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (NRDC v. EPA, 14-73353).

News release (Earthjustice, Feb. 9)

The request for stay pending review was filed by the Center for Food Safety, National Family Farm Coalition, Pesticide Action Network North America, Beyond Pesticides, Environmental Working Group, and Center for Biological Diversity, and is supported by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which filed its own petition for review.

The herbicide, called Enlist Duo,"is specifically designed and registered to be used on 'Enlist' crops, which are new varieties of corn and soy that have been genetically engineered by Dow [AgroSciences] to withstand both 2,4-D and glyphosate," the petition says. "The technology is marketed as a chemical means to rid fields planted with Enlist corn and soy of unwanted weeds, without damaging the crop itself."

The groups argue that they are likely to win their case because EPA did not consult under the Endangered Species Act's Section 7 about the effects of Enlist Duo on the whooping crane and Indiana bat.

“EPA admits that its approval of a toxic pesticide cocktail including 2,4-D for widespread use may affect endangered species, including the whooping crane, one of the most endangered animals on earth,” said Earthjustice Managing Attorney Paul Achitoff. “We ask only that the court decide whether EPA has violated the law, as we believe it has before putting these imperiled birds at further risk.”

The challenge was filed in the Ninth Circuit in October.


Dow opposition to original motion for stay (1/23/15)

Dow AgroSciences news release (pre-motion) Company "announced quality standards for glyphosate trait stacking with Enlist. The company said it will allow Enlist to be stacked with advanced glyphosate traits only. It will not allow stacking with the first generation of the Roundup Ready® trait."

Jun 152012

The law firm that has been threatening to sue over a planned wind farm in Pennsylvania has gotten its wish: The energy company that wanted to build the project has withdrawn it.

In a blog post June 13, Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal said that Gamesa decided not to move forward "after years of controversy," no doubt engendered in part by the numerous notice letters sent by MG&C on behalf of its environmental clients.

Here's the item in full from the law firm's Wildlife and Environment Blog:

Indiana bat

Company Pulls The Plug On Industrial Wind Farm In Critical Indiana Bat Habitat

by Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal

After years of controversy, energy company Gamesa has withdrawn its plans to build an industrial wind power facility near Shaffer Mountain, Pennsylvania.  The project would have been placed in an important migratory corridor for Golden eagles and in the midst of a maternity colony of critically endangered Indiana bats.  This would have been the first time that a wind project – which according to leading experts would have killed and harmed Indiana bats due to turbine collisions and a pressurizing condition called barotrauma – would be sited in such a sensitive location for an endangered species.  On behalf of several conservation organizations and community members, we submitted multiple notice letters and comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers detailing various violations of the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and National Environmental Policy Act, which inevitably influenced the company’s decision to withdraw from this project in lieu of more sustainable project locations elsewhere that will better allow for clean, renewable energy without sacrificing our nation’s important natural resources.

More WE-Blog (and other) links

Thinning project doesn't survive court challenge related to lynx habitat

The Split Creek project, which would involve the precommercial thinning of about 7,000 acres of lodgepole pine in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, cannot proceed because of NEPA and ESA violations, a federal judge ruled June 6 (Native Ecosystems Council v. U.S. Forest Service, 11-212-CWD, D. Idaho).

U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale said the Forest Service should have prepared an Environmental Impact Statement when it issued a revised map in 2005 that eliminated eight Lynx Analysis Units in the forest, lifting restrictions on thinning for about 400,000 acres.

Canada lynx

The Forest Service issued an EA on the project, but Dale said the significance of the project warranted preparation of an EIS. In addition, the service illegally "tiered" the project under NEPA by relying on the 2005 revised map, which itself had not been analyzed under NEPA. Finally, the service should have consulted with the Fish and Wildlife Service over whether the revision of the 2005 map -- and with it, the elimination of nearly 400,000 acres of land within the LAUs -- would jeopardize lynx or their critical habitat.

Alliance for the Wild Rockies, a co-plaintiff in the case, issued a press release June 7. (Excerpt: "Mike Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies said, "In essence, the Court stopped the project because the Forest Service simply changed a map in 2005 to eliminate protective restrictions for lynx on 400,000 acres of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest without following the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The agency then claimed that it wasn't lynx habitat and authorized tree cutting on 7,000 acres of lodgepole pine located within the Island Park and Madison-Pitchstone Plateaus Subsections of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.")

Here's the shovelnose sturgeon decision. More on this decision in a bit.

Can you tell them apart?