Associated Press – May 14
Plains All American Pipeline, owner of a pipeline that dumped thousands of barrels of crude oil on Southern California beaches in 2015, has agreed to pay $230 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by fishermen and land owners. The spill crippled local oil business because the pipeline was used to transport crude to refineries from seven offshore oil rigs, which have been idle since the spill. The company has already paid for the cleanup, which in 2017 was estimated at $335 million. Under the latest settlement, the company will pay an additional $184 million to fish harvesters and processors and $46 million to coastal landowners. The settlement is subject to public comment and Federal Court approval.
KCBX – May 18
ExxonMobil filed a lawsuit against Santa Barbara County last week after the board of supervisors rejected the company’s proposal to truck oil along the 101 and 166 freeways. Exxon’s plan proposed nearly 25,000 truck trips a year to transport oil from its Santa Ynez unit to refineries on both highways to restart three offshore drilling rigs that were shut down in 2015 after the Plains All American Pipeline spill .
The Hill – May 13
Last Friday, seventeen state attorneys general announced a lawsuit against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allowing California to set its own vehicle emissions standards. The lawsuit alleges that EPA Administrator Michael Regan violated the US Constitution’s “equal sovereignty doctrine” by granting California an exemption from the Clean Air Act, which the state has used to impose stricter emission limits than the national limit. In 2019, the Trump administration revoked California’s waiver previously granted in 2013. This week, California and a coalition of other states filed a movement to intervene in this trial.
E&E News – May 17
A federal judge on Monday overturned a 2020 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) ruling that a distinct sage-grouse subpopulation found along the Nevada-California border does not warrant protection under federal law. on endangered species. Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the FWS failed to use the best available science to retract a nearly decade-old decision to list the bi-state population of grouse as an “endangered” species.
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