Description: Challenge to federal and state authorizations for a logging project and biomass power plant on public forestland burned during the Rim Fire in 2013.
Earth Island Institute v. Nash
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/21/2020 Order Download Motion for a preliminary injunction denied. California Federal Court Denied Preliminary Injunction to Stop Logging Project and Biomass Facility in Rim Fire Area. The federal district court for the Eastern District of California denied a motion for a preliminary injunction in a case challenging federal and state reviews and authorizations of a logging project and biomass energy facility on public forestland that burned during the 2013 Rim Fire. The plaintiffs alleged among other things that the defendants the two projects’ cumulative impacts on carbon emissions. Although the court found that the plaintiffs raised “serious questions” as to whether a decision not to review the biomass facility together with the logging project was arbitrary and capricious, the court found that a preliminary injunction was not warranted because the balance of harms did not tilt sharply in the plaintiffs’ favor. 10/01/2019 Reply Download Response-reply filed in opposition to motion to dismiss/change venue and in support of plaintiffs' motion for TRO and preliminary injunction. 09/27/2019 Opposition Download Opposition filed by defendant California Department of Housing and Community Development to motion for TRO and preliminary injunction. 09/27/2019 Response Download Response filed by federal defendants in opposition to plaintiffs' motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. 09/24/2019 Motion Download Memorandum filed in support of plaintiffs' ex parte motion for TRO and preliminary injunction. 09/23/2019 Motion to Dismiss Download Motion filed by federal defendants to dismiss for improper venue or, in the alternative, to transfer to the Eastern District of California. 09/16/2019 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Conservation Groups and Climate Scientist Challenged Logging and Biomass Plant in Northern California. Earth Island Institute, Sequoia Forestkeeper, Greenpeace, and climate scientist James Hansen filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Northern District of California challenging federal and state authorizations for a logging project and biomass power plant on public forestland burned during the Rim Fire in 2013. The complaint alleged that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) improperly used disaster relief funds for logging activities and that HUD, HCD, and U.S. Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act. The plaintiffs contended that environmental impact statements (EISs) from 2014 and 2016 should have been supplemented with new information about the forest’s natural regeneration and that the biomass plant should have been considered in the same EISs as the logging project. The complaint’s allegations included that the EISs failed to analyze the environmental impacts of logging for biomass energy production, including increased greenhouse gas emissions, and that the climate and greenhouse gas effects of logging would be different than what was studied in the EISs due to differences in logging “post-fire large, dead trees” for lumber and removing and burning “trees of all sizes, both live and dead, and including the young, naturally-regenerating forest, for biomass energy production.” The plaintiffs later filed a motion for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction. The federal defendants filed to dismiss the case for improper venue or to transfer the case to the Eastern District of California.