Description: Lawsuit brought by steel mill owner to challenge the reauthorization and reissuance of Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP-12) as well as the approval of a natural gas pipeline under NWP-12.
Optimus Steel, LLC v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 11/20/2020 Stipulation Download Stipulation of dismissal with prejudice filed. Steel Mill Owner Dropped Suit Challenging Pipeline over Property. A steel mill owner agreed to dismiss with prejudice its claims that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act when it reauthorized and reissued Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP-12) and approved a gas pipeline over the plaintiff’s property under NWP-12. The complaint’s allegations included that the Corps failed to analyze NWP-12’s climate change impacts. In October, the federal district court for the Eastern District of Texas denied the plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction. 10/04/2020 Order Download Application for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order denied. Federal Court Denied Preliminary Injunction in Steel Mill Owner’s Pipeline Challenge. The federal district court for the Eastern District of Texas denied a steel mill owner’s motion for a preliminary injunction barring construction of a gas pipeline that will cross the plaintiff’s property. The owner asserted that the U.S. Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act by reauthorizing and reissuing Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP-12) and by approving the pipeline under NWP-12. The court found that the steel mill owner was unlikely to succeed on the merits because it did not have standing under NEPA or the Endangered Species Act and its Clean Water Act claim failed. (The steel mill owner’s allegations in support of its NEPA claim included that the Corps failed to adequately analyze NWP-12’s climate change impacts including potential increased lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.) The court also found that the plaintiff did not show irreparable harm or that the balance of equities or public interest weighed in its favor. 09/10/2020 Complaint Download Complaint filed.