Description: Challenge to dam project in Boulder County in Colorado.
Save the Colorado v. Spellmon
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 09/30/2022 Opinion Download Dismissal of case reversed. Tenth Circuit Said District Court Erred in Dismissing Challenge to Dam Permit. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a federal district court erred when it concluded that the Federal Power Act vested the courts of appeals with exclusive jurisdiction over a challenge to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit that was required for modification of a dam project licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The environmental groups challenging the Corps permit contended, among other things, that the Corps violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to fully consider the impacts of climate change. The Tenth Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal of the case and remanded for further proceedings. 01/13/2022 Reply Download Reply brief filed by appellants. 11/15/2021 Motion Download Board of County Commissioners of Boulder County filed unopposed motion to withdraw amicus brief in support of petitioners-appellants. 11/10/2021 Brief Download Answering brief filed by federal appellees. 08/20/2021 Amicus Brief Download Brief filed by amicus curiae Boulder County in support of petitioners-appellants and reversal. 08/13/2021 Brief Download Opening brief filed by appellants.
Save the Colorado v. Semonite
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 03/31/2021 Order Download Motions to dismiss granted. Federal Court Dismissed Challenge to Colorado Dam Project Authorizations for Lack of Jurisdiction. The federal district court for the District of Colorado agreed with federal respondents that the Federal Power Act (FPA) required that petitioners’ challenges to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) actions authorizing a dam project in Colorado be brought in a federal court of appeal. The district court noted that the FPA vests federal courts of appeal with exclusive jurisdiction to review not only the licensing orders of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) but also “all issues inhering in the controversy” related to a FERC order. In this case, the court found that the Corps, FERC, and FWS decisions were “inextricably intertwined.” The court therefore dismissed the case—which alleged, among other things, that the federal agencies failed to take into account climate change impacts and future climate change models—for lack of jurisdiction. 10/23/2020 Reply Download Reply filed by respondent-intervenor Denver Water in support of motion to dismiss. 10/23/2020 Reply Download Reply filed by federal respondents in support of motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. 09/25/2020 Opposition Download Opposition filed by petitioners to motions to dismiss. 08/17/2020 Memorandum Download Memorandum filed by respondent-intervenor in support of motion to dismiss. 08/17/2020 Memorandum Download Memorandum filed by federal respondents in support of motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. 08/13/2020 Petition Download Supplemental petition for review of agency action filed. 02/05/2020 Motion Download Joint motion filed by the plaintiffs to vacate the current case management plan and briefing schedule and set a deadline for a superseding case management plan. 12/19/2018 Petition for Review Download Petition for review of agency action filed. Environmental groups filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' authorization of the construction and operation of the tallest dam in Colorado history. They asserted that the Corps violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act by, among other things, failing to take into account climate change impacts and future climate change models. The groups contended that the Corps violated NEPA by failing to "independently establish" that the project would achieve its stated purpose "in light of consensus-based projects of climate change." Under the Endangered Species Act, the groups asserted that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had relied on outdated population estimates to quantify the take of cutthroat trout, including by failing to account for recent evidence of climate change.