Description: Challenge to BLM's repeal of key provisions of the 2016 Waste Prevention Rule for oil and gas development on public and tribal lands.
California v. Zinke
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 09/20/2018 Motion to Intervene Download Motion to intervene filed. Trade Groups Sought to Intervene to Defend Repeal. The Western Energy Alliance and Independent Petroleum Association of America moved to intervene. They argued that they were entitled to intervene as of right because they had legally protectable interests that the named defendants could not adequately protect. Alternatively, they argued for permissive intervention. 09/18/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. States Challenged BLM’s Repeal of Key Provisions of Waste Prevention Rule. On the same day that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a final rule repealing key requirements of the Waste Prevention Rule, California and New Mexico filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Northern District of California challenging the repeal. The states alleged causes of action under the Administrative Procedure Act, the Mineral Leasing Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). They asserted that BLM failed to offer a reasoned explanation for reversing its previous determination that the Waste Prevention Rule was necessary to fulfill its statutory mandates and alleged in particular that the “interim domestic social cost of methane” metric used by BLM to justify the repeal was arbitrary and not based on best available science. The states also asserted that “perfunctory” conclusion that the repeal would not have significant environmental impacts violated NEPA. The states alleged that the repeal would likely result in a number of significant adverse impacts, including climate change harms.
Sierra Club v. Zinke
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 09/28/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. After the final rule repealing key provisions of the Waste Prevention Rule was published in the Federal Register, a number of environmental groups led by Sierra Club filed a lawsuit challenging the repeal. The groups asserted claims under the Mineral Leasing Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, NEPA, and the Administrative Procedure Act. Their complaint alleged that BLM’s use of an interim social cost of methane excluded significant domestic and global impacts. The groups contend that an environmental impact statement is required because “extensive record evidence” shows the repeal will have “significant negative public health and climate impacts, and there is a high degree of controversy and uncertainty surrounding the use of the social cost of methane.”