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Quoting a Dr. Seuss book, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Thursday issued its opinion in Cowpasture River Preservation Association v. United States Forest Service, No. 18-1144 (4th Cir. Dec. 13, 2018). The Court held that the US Forest Service (the “Forest Service”) violated the National Forest Management Act (“NFMA”) and the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), as well as lacked statutory authority under the Mineral Leasing Act (“MLA”) to grant a pipeline right of way across the Appalachian National Scenic Train (the “Appalachian Trail”), failing to “speak for the trees” as Seuss’s Lorax directs. Read More »

The Delaware River Basin Commission (“DRBC”) was created with the approval of Congress in 1961 through the Delaware River Basin Compact, an agreement between the New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the federal government for planning, conservation, utilization, development, management and control of the water resources of the Delaware River Basin (the “Basin”).  In June, 2010, the DRBC placed  a moratorium on natural gas development in the Basin, which includes areas within the Marcellus Shale formation, pending the adoption of regulations governing such development.  Draft regulations were published for comment in 2010, and revised draft regulations were published in November, 2011.  However, they have not yet been adopted by the DRBC, leaving the moratorium in place. Read More »