Description: Challenge to authorization of oil and gas leasing in the Wayne National Forest.
Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Forest Service
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 03/08/2021 Opinion and Order Download Court remanded 2016 environmental assessment, finding of no significant impact, and consent to lease without vacatur and enjoined certain activities. Ohio Federal Court Remanded Environmental Assessment for Additional Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing Impacts in Wayne National Forest. A year after finding that the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to take a hard look at the impacts of hydraulic fracturing in the Wayne National Forest, the federal district court for the Southern District of Ohio remanded without vacatur the environmental assessment, finding of no significant impact, and consent to lease for additional analysis of surface area disturbance, cumulative impacts on the Indiana Bat and Little Muskingum River, and air quality impacts. The complaint alleged failure to consider climate change effects on the forest and protected species, but the court’s decisions did not address those issues. 03/13/2020 Opinion and Order Download Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and defendants' and intervenors' motions for summary judgment granted in part and denied in part. 05/02/2017 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Groups Charged That Oil and Gas Leasing Authorizations in Ohio Did Not Comply with NEPA. Four environmental organizations filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Southern District of Ohio alleging that the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when they authorized oil and gas leasing in the Wayne National Forest. The plaintiffs contended that the agencies relied on outdated analyses that did not take into account significant new information about climate change and other issues. In particular, they alleged that the documents upon which the agencies relied did not consider climate change effects on the forest or on species protected under the Endangered Species Act.