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The cases listed below appear in the most recent issue of ELR's Weekly Update. For cases previously reported, please refer to the Weekly Cases archives.

Current Weekly Cases Update

Volume 46, Issue 14

Friends of Thayer Lake LLC v. Brown

46 ELR 20086
No. 55 (N.Y., May 2016)

New York's highest court held that material questions of fact prevent it from ruling on whether a narrow waterway within a remote area of the Adirondack Mountains is navigable-in-fact and therefore open to public use. At issue in the case is the "Mud Pond Waterway," a two-mile-long system of...

Land use, Navigability-in-fact

St. Bernard Parish Government v. United States

46 ELR 20087
No. 05-1119 L (Fed. Cl., May 2016)

The Court of Federal Claims held that residents and businesses in New Orleans' Ninth Ward and the neighboring St. Bernard Parish may file class-action lawsuits against the government for flood damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. A year ago, the court...

Class actions, FRCP 23, Temporary takings

City of Fort Collins v. Colorado Oil & Gas Ass'n

46 ELR 20090
No. 15SC668 (Colo., May 2016)

The Supreme Court of Colorado held that state law preempts a city's five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and waste disposal within city limits. Although the Colorado Constitution recognizes the sovereignty of "home rule cities," allowing home rule cities to regulate matters of local...

Colorado, Hydraulic Fracturing

City of Longmont v. Colorado Oil & Gas Ass'n,

46 ELR 20089
No. 15SC667 (Colo., May 2016)

The Supreme Court of Colorado held that state law preempts a city's ban on hydraulic fracturing and waste disposal within city limits. The Colorado Constitution recognizes the sovereignty of "home rule cities," meaning that in matters of local concern, a home-rule ordinance supersedes a...

Colorado, Hydraulic Fracturing

Freeman v. United States Department of Interior

46 ELR 20091
No. 15-5140 (D.C. Cir., April 2016)

The D.C. Circuit, in an unpublished opinion, upheld an Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) decision invalidating an individual's mining claims on federal land in Oregon. DOI made those determinations so that the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which was considering takings claims by the...

Taking of private property, Mining Claims Act

Noble Energy, Inc. v. Jewell

46 ELR 20092
No. 15-5202 (D.C. Cir., April 2016)

The D.C. Circuit, in an unpublished opinion, upheld a lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) after it ordered an energy company to permanently plug and abandon one of its natural gas wells off the coast of California. The...

Energy (generally), Minerals Management Service

BCCA Appeal Group, Inc. v. City of Houston

46 ELR 20093
No. 13-0768 (Tex., April 2016)

The Supreme Court of Texas held that the Texas Clean Air Act and the Act’s enforcement mechanisms in the Texas Water Code preempt a Houston air-quality ordinance. The Houston ordinance’s enforcement provisions are inconsistent with the statutory enforcement requirements. The ordinance allows...

Air pollution, Air quality

National Wildlife Federation v. National Marine Fisheries Service

46 ELR 20088
No. 3:01-cv-00640 (D. Or.)

A district court, in a 149-page opinion, held that the government violated the ESA and NEPA when it approved its 2014 biological opinion (BiOp) for the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) and its impact on salmon and steelhead. The FCRPS consists of hydroelectric dams, powerhouses, and...

Hydroelectric plants, Biological opinion, §7(b)