Description: Challenge to U.S Army Corps of Engineers approval of Keystone XL pipeline project under the reissued Nationwide Permit 12 for pipeline and utility projects.
Northern Plains Resource Council v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 01/29/2020 Reply Download Plaintiffs filed reply in support of motion for partial summary judgment and opposition to defendants' cross-motions for partial summary judgment. 01/24/2020 Amicus Brief Download Brief filed by amici curiae Edison Electric Institute, Utility Water Act Group, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. 01/14/2020 Status Report Download Amended status report filed by TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP and TC Energy Corporation. 01/08/2020 Order Download Plaintiffs' motion to supplement the administrative record granted. Montana Federal Court Agreed to Consider Keystone XL-Specific Documents and 2012 Biological Opinion in Challenge to Authorization Under Nationwide Permit. The federal district court for the District of Montana granted plaintiffs’ motion to supplement the administrative record in a lawsuit challenging U.S Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project under the reissued Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12) for pipeline and utility projects. The plaintiffs assert, among other arguments, that the environmental review for NWP 12 failed consider climate impacts. The court noted that the administrative record currently documented the Corps’ decision to reissue NWP 12 in 2017. The court said it would consider eight additional documents concerning applications and authorizations specifically for the Keystone XL pipeline under the reissued NWP 12 “for the limited purpose of understanding whether the Corps considered all relevant factors and complied with the [Administrative Procedure Act]’s requirement that an agency’s decision be neither arbitrary or capricious.” The court also agreed to consider a 2012 biological opinion for a prior version of NWP 12 for the limited purpose of considering whether the Corps failed to conduct programmatic consultation in connection with reissuance of NWP 12 in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The court said it would not use any of the documents “to judge the wisdom of the Corps’ actions or to question the Corps’ scientific analyses or conclusions.” 12/03/2019 Amicus Motion Download Motion for leave to file amicus brief in support of defendants and defendant-intervenors filed by Edison Electric Institute and Utility Water Act Group. 11/22/2019 Memorandum Download Memorandum filed by plaintiffs in support of motion to supplement the administrative record. 11/22/2019 Memorandum Download Memorandum filed by plaintiffs in support of motion for partial summary judgment. 11/22/2019 Motion for Summary Judgment Download Motion for partial summary judgment filed by plaintiffs. Plaintiffs Moved for Summary Judgment. The plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment on their claims that reissuance of Nationwide Permit 12 and its application to Keystone XL violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Under NEPA, the plaintiffs argued that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to evaluate the indirect and cumulative effects of lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions caused by projects authorized under Nationwide Permit 12. Under the Endangered Species Act, the plaintiffs asserted that programmatic consultation was required because reissuance of Nationwide Permit 12 was clearly an agency “action” that “may affect” and “is likely to adversely affect” listed species and critical habitat due in part to the permit’s authorization of activities that cause indirect impacts associated with climate change. 11/07/2019 Order Download Motions to intervene granted. Montana and Trade Groups Allowed to Intervene in Challenge to Nationwide Permit that Authorized Keystone XL. The federal district court for the District of Montana allowed the State of Montana and five trade groups to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reissuance of Nationwide Permit 12 and the Corps’ application of Nationwide Permit 12 to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline. The court found that Montana and the trade groups were not entitled to intervention as of right but allowed them to intervene permissively on a limited basis since their defenses shared a common issue of law or fact—their “significant interest” in defending the legality of Nationwide Permit 12’s streamlined process for pipelines and other utility projects. 10/29/2019 Opposition Download Opposition filed by plaintiffs to motion to intervene by American Gas Association et al. 10/15/2019 Motion to Intervene Download Motion to intervene filed by American Gas Association, American Petroleum Institute, Association of Oil Pipe Lines, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. 07/16/2019 Motion to Intervene Download Unopposed motion filed by TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP and TC Energy Corporation to intervene in support of defendants. 07/01/2019 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Groups Challenged Corps of Engineers Approval for Keystone XL Pipeline. On July 1, 2019, environmental and conservation groups filed a lawsuit in the District of Montana challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project using Nationwide Permit 12, a general permit issued for pipelines and other utility projects.