Monday, October 1, 2012

Court dismisses NEPA claims against DRBC

On September 24th, the District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted DRBC and Federal Defendants’ motion to dismiss three consolidated complaints for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Three suits were brought by the State of New York and various environmental groups claiming that a NEPA analysis is required with DRBC’s draft regulations that would allow natural gas development in the Delaware River Basin. Defendants moved to dismiss all three complaints arguing that Defendants are protected by sovereign immunity, that Plaintiffs lack standing, that Plaintiffs’ claims are not ripe for review, that NEPA does not apply, that there is no final action under APA, that DRBC is not a federal agency, and that NEPA can only be enforced under the APA. The Court concluded that the complaints should be dismissed for lack of standing and in the alternative for lack of ripeness because DRBC has not yet issued final regulations permitting natural gas development. The Court did not rule on the merits of all the questions presented by both parties and denied all other motions as moot.
Written by Anna Leonenko, Research Fellow
Penn State Law, Agricultural Law Center
October 1, 2012

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