Description: Challenge to federal government leasing of public land for oil and gas development.
Center for Biological Diversity v. Bureau of Land Management
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 10/16/2014 Not Available Download Joint status report filed. BLM and the Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club filed a joint status report in which BLM indicated that it had completed the public scoping process for its environmental impact review, published a Scoping Summary Report, funded a review of scientific and technical information on well stimulation technologies by the California Council on Science and Technology, and awarded a contract for preparation of the Resource Management Plan Amendment and environmental impact statement. BLM said that it anticipated that it will take two years to complete the review process and tentatively scheduled issuance of the record of decision for October 2016. 03/31/2013 Order Download Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment granted in part. The court granted plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment as to their National Environmental Policy Act claims, finding that the potential use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques in future well development had a “reasonably close causal relationship” to the action at issue even though single well development had been the norm in the past, and that BLM was unreasonable in categorically refusing to consider projections of drilling that included fracking operations. Rather than determining a remedy, the court ordered the parties to meet and confer and submit an appropriate judgment. The court denied plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment as to the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 claims. 12/08/2011 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Several environmental groups filed a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s leasing of nearly 2,600 acres of public land in California to oil and gas developers, alleging that BLM failed to fully analyze the environmental impacts of high-pressure hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking.” In June 2011, BLM issued a final environmental assessment finding no significant environmental impact for the lease sale. The lawsuit alleges that the agency ignored or downplayed the impacts of the lease sale on endangered or sensitive species in the area and failed to address the impacts of fracking on water quality and other resources.