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United States District Court for the District of Columbia
September 30, 2018, Decided
Case No. 16-cv-2409 (TSC)
[*2] MEMORANDUM OPINION
This case concerns a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ("BOEM") plan to lease a nautical area off the coast of New York to Defendant-Intervenor Statoil Wind US, LLC ("Statoil"), for development of a wind energy facility. Plaintiffs1 , including the Fisheries Survival Fund, claim that in issuing the lease, BOEM violated the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"), the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act ("OCSLA"), and the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA"). Plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction, which this court denied. Memorandum Opinion, ECF No. 26. Now before the court are Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 39, Defendant-Intervenor's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 40, and Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 42. For the reasons stated herein, Plaintiffs' motion will be DENIED, Defendants' motion will be GRANTED, and Defendant-Intervenor's motion will be DENIED as moot.
A. Statutory & Regulatory Framework
As amended by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109-58, 119 Stat. 594 (2005), OCSLA authorizes BOEM to issue leases, easements, or rights-of-way for offshore renewable energy projects. 43 U.S.C. § 1337(p)(1)(C). In exercising this authority, BOEM [*3] is required to consult with the U.S. Coast Guard and other relevant federal agencies, and must consider several factors that include, inter alia, safety, protection of the environment, prevention of waste, conservation of natural resources, national security interests, and—critically—"the location of . . . a lease. . . for an area of the outer Continental Shelf" and "any other use of the sea or seabed, including use for a fishery, a sealane, a potential site of a deepwater port, or navigation." Id. § 1337(p)(4)(A)-(L) & (J)(i)-(ii).
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168532 *; 48 ELR 20174; 86 ERC (BNA) 2829
FISHERIES SURVIVAL FUND, et al., Plaintiffs, v. SALLY JEWELL, et al., Defendants.
Subsequent History: Reconsideration denied by Fisheries Survival Fund v. Bernhardt, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25920 (D.D.C., Feb. 14, 2020)
Affirmed by Fisheries Survival Fund v. Garden State Seafood Ass'n, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 15157 (D.C. Cir., May 20, 2021)
Prior History: Fisheries Survival Fund v. Jewell, 236 F. Supp. 3d 332, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21505, 2017 WL 629246 (D.D.C., Feb. 15, 2017)
lease, wind, notice, site, environmental, Plaintiffs', resources, energy, particularized, ripe, site assessment, regulations, issuance, prepare, farm, conditions, sixty-day, summary judgment motion, legal interest, irretrievable, courts, lessee, environmental impact, compliance, connected, imminent, human environment, natural resources, lease sale, authorize