Description: Challenge to amendments to the National Environmental Policy Act regulations.
Alaska Community Action on Toxics v. Council on Environmental Quality
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/24/2022 Order Download Stay of case extended by 120 days. 06/23/2022 Status Report Download Joint status report and unopposed motion to extend stay of case by 120 days filed. 10/29/2021 Order Stay extended 120 days and status report due February 24, 2022. 10/28/2021 Status Report Download Joint status report and unopposed motion to extend stay of case by 120 days filed. 09/17/2021 Order Download Motions to dismiss denied without prejudice with permission to renew by notice when stay is lifted. 08/06/2021 Order Download Stay of case extended by 90 days and status conference scheduled for November 4, 2021. 08/05/2021 Status Report Download Joint status report filed by the parties. 04/09/2021 Order Download Case stayed until May 28, 2021 and status conference scheduled for June 3, 2021 (subsequently continued to June 10), with a joint status report due at least one week in advance. 04/08/2021 Status Report Download Parties filed joint status report and stipulation to extend stay of case by 45 days. 02/12/2021 Order Download Case stayed for 60 days. 02/11/2021 Stipulation Download Joint stipulation filed to stay case for 60 days. 10/06/2020 Complaint Download First amended complaint. 07/29/2020 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Challenge to Amended NEPA Regulations Raised Climate Change Concerns. Environmental groups filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the District of Alaska challenging the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ’s) amendments to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. The plaintiffs asserted that CEQ should have prepared an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the existing regulations to evaluate the amendments’ impacts, including environmental justice impacts and impacts on efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to evaluate how a changing climate affects proposed projects. The Alaska plaintiffs also asserted that CEQ failed to comply with NEPA and/or the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to review environmental justice impacts, by violating standards that apply to agency decision-making, by promulgating rules that are contrary to the plain language and purpose of NEPA, and by invalidly attempting to amend statutory thresholds for judicial review.
California v. Council on Environmental Quality
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 02/12/2021 Order Download Case stayed for 60 days. 02/11/2021 Stipulation Download Joint stipulation filed to stay case for 60 days. 08/28/2020 Complaint Download Complaint filed. California Led State, Territorial, and Local Governments in Fourth Lawsuit Challenging Amended NEPA Regulations. On August 28, 2020, California and 20 other states, along with Guam, the District of Columbia, Harris County in Texas, and New York City, filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of California challenging the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ’s) amendments to the NEPA regulations. Like the three other previously filed challenges, the states’ complaint asserted that amendments arbitrarily and unlawfully made changes that limit review of climate change impacts, including by narrowing the scope of effects required to be considered, imposing strict causation requirements, and directing agencies not to consider cumulative and indirect effects. The plaintiffs asserted that the final rule was contrary to NEPA’s language and exceeded CEQ’s statutory authority; that the final rule was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with law; and that CEQ violated NEPA by not preparing an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement to consider the final rule’s impacts. In addition, the plaintiffs asserted that CEQ violated the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to provide an opportunity to comment on the Regulatory Impact Analysis and by failing to respond adequately to comments on the proposed rule.