Happy Earth Day - 2014
Third U.S. National Climate Assessment Released

Environmental & Energy Cert. Petition Watch

Bandza_Alexander_COLORBy: Alexander J. Bandza


As part of the “Environmental & Energy Cert. Petition Watch” project, in the past week, the following EHS-related petitions have been filed, denied, or granted. For a full list of EHS-related cert. petitions submitted from August 2013 through the present (as of Apr. 20, 2014), click here.


Drakes Bay Oyster Co. v. Jewell, No. 13-1244

Lower Court: 9th Cir.

Subject(s): Administrative Procedure Act; National Environmental Policy Act

Question(s) Presented: (1.) Whether federal courts lack jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedure Act to review an agency action that is arbitrary and capricious or an abuse of discretion when the statute authorizing the action does not impose specific requirements governing the exercise of discretion. (2.) Whether federal agencies can evade review of their actions under the National Environmental Policy Act by designating their actions as "conservation efforts", when the record shows that the action will cause significant adverse environmental effects. (3.) Whether an agency commits prejudicial error when it makes materially false statements in an environmental impact statement, and then asserts that it would have made the same decision even if the false statements had been corrected.

Utility Air Regulatory Group v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 13-1235

Lower Court: D.C. Cir.

Subject: Clean Air Act

Question(s) Presented: (1.) Whether the lower court's refusal to require EPA to justify the revised 2008 NAAQS as being "not lower or higher than is necessary" can stand in light of that decision's conflict with Whitman. (2.) Whether the lower court's agreement with EPA that the 1997 findings were irrelevant to the 2008 revision can stand in light of EPA's obligation under this Court's decision in FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., 556 U.S. 502 (2009), to justify changed findings that underlie changed regulation.


In re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) Products Liability Litigation, No. 13-842

Lower Court: 2d. Cir.   

Subject: Clean Air Act  

Question(s) Presented: (1.) Whether a claim is ripe when it is predicated on a plaintiffs potential future injury and mere good faith intent to take steps in 15 to 20 years that could, depending on a chain of uncertain events, cause the plaintiff to suffer an actual injury some day in the future. (2.) Whether the federal oxygenate mandate in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 7545 (2000), preempts a state-law tort award that imposes retroactive liability on a manufacturer for using the safest, feasible means available at the time for complying with that mandate.    

Simmons v. Sabine River Authority, No.  13-815

Lower Court: 5th Cir.     

Subject: Federal Power Act       

Question(s) Presented: Whether the Federal Power Act preempts Petitioners' property damage tort and takings claims caused by the operation of the licensee of a FERC-licensed dam project, where the provisions of the FPA have explicitly saved and reserved such claims to the property owners.