Justia Non-Profit Corporations Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Environmental Law
Phoenix Herpetological Society, Inc. v. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Grand Cayman Blue Iguana is protected by the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531, and by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which ban their collection, trade, and export. The Secretary of the Interior may permit “any” otherwise prohibited conduct “to enhance the propagation or survival” of a protected species. The nonprofit Phoenix Herpetological Society applied for permits to export four blue iguanas to a Danish zoo and continue its captive-bred wildlife program at its Arizona facility. For export, the Fish and Wildlife Service must find that “proposed export would not be detrimental to the survival of the species.” The Service also evaluates—under Endangered Species Act criteria—whether a permit “would be likely to reduce the threat of extinction facing the species.” The applicant bears the burden of showing that its specimens were lawfully acquired, including lawful importation of the ancestors of specimens it has bred.The D.C. Circuit affirmed the denial of the permits. The agency determined that exporting the iguanas would not be “detrimental” to the species but that exporting them would not “reduce the threat of extinction” for the species. The court concluded that its reasoning was not inconsistent. The Service appropriately acknowledged the prior permits and explained that inconsistent assertions about the parental stock raised new questions about lawful acquisition. View "Phoenix Herpetological Society, Inc. v. Fish and Wildlife Service" on Justia Law
Sierra Club, et al. v. Jackson, et al.
Appellants, nonprofit environmental organizations, appealed from a judgment of dismissal entered by the district court in an action against the EPA under the citizen suit provision of the Clean Air Act (CAA), 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq., challenging the EPA Administrator's failure to take action to prevent the construction of three proposed pollution-emitting facilities in Kentucky. The court held that the validity of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits issued under the noncompliant State Implementation Plan (SIP), and the possible invalidity of the amended SIP, sufficiently raised a current controversy to save the litigation from mootness. The court also held that the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. 500 et seq., did not provide a cause of action to review the EPA Administrator's failure to act under section 7477 of the CAA because her decision was an agency action "committed to agency discretion by law." Therefore, the EPA Administrator's decision was discretionary and not justiciable and thus, appellants failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Although the district court dismissed the case pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the court affirmed the district court's action because dismissal would otherwise have been proper under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). View "Sierra Club, et al. v. Jackson, et al." on Justia Law