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Showing posts with the label NEPA

Supreme Court Favors Citizens in Fight Against Trash Dump

The Supreme Court today denied a petition by Kaiser Eagle Mountain Inc. in its quest to operate a landfill near Joshua Tree National Park.  The company filed an appeal to the Supreme Court claiming that the 9th Circuit Court wrongfully ruled in favor of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and concerned citizens Donna and Larry Charpied in 2009.  In that earlier ruling, the 9th Circuit decided that a land swap between the company and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)--which was necessary for the company to operate the landfill--was conducted illegally.  More specifically, the 9th Circuit Court ruled that the BLM broke the National Environmental Policy Act when it constructed the "purpose and needs"statement in its evaluation of the project based on the goals of the company, and not the BLM's own goals.  

Although ruling against the landfill project, the 9th Circuit was also critical of the Charpieds, disagreeing with their claim that BLM's assessment …

Mojave Desert 2020

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One of the goals of the National Environmental Policy Act is to consider the long-term effects on our country's natural resources, and the Environmental Impact Statement process being carried out for multiple utility-scale solar energy projects in the desert should account for the long-term impact of each project under consideration.   Given that the current applications for use of desert habitat in California total over 500,000 acres, the long-term impact on the Mojave Desert as a place to live, visit or enjoy will be considerable even if only a fraction of these are approved.

Consider the case of the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generation System (ISEGS) in the Northeastern portion of the Mojave Desert as an example.  Although the footprint of the site is not all that large (approximately 4,000 acres) considering that ISEGS will actually provide much needed renewable energy, the affect the site has on the Mojave as a whole will be larger.  Some of the effects of the construction and ope…