Wednesday, November 28, 2012
We today filed a lawsuit with the Center for Biological Diversity challenging the Fish and Wildlife Service’s delay in improving conditions for the Mexican Wolf – a species teetering on the brink of extinction in the Southwest. Although the species was reintroduced in the late 1990s after being exterminated largely by the livestock industry, the FWS has failed to implement important measures to assure the survival and recovery of the species. As a result, only about 58 wolves remain in the wild – far below the 102 the FWS said were needed by 2006 to ensure the species’ recovery. In addition to severely restricting the areas in which the wolves may disperse, the agency removes wolves caught preying on livestock – most recently resulting in the separation of a female from her five newborn pups who are not expected to survive the winter without her. The lawsuit, which was filed in the federal district court in D.C., seeks a court order requiring the agency to finish a rule-making it started over six years ago to address the Center’s request for stronger measures to ensure the wolf’s recovery.
In our ongoing litigation before the district court that in 2006 found tobacco companies responsible for massive consumer fraud under RICO, the court yesterday issued a comprehensive ruling on the “corrective statements” remedy, pursuant to which the companies must publish statements in newspapers, on TV, and in other media explaining the truth about smoking, addiction and other topics, and explaining that they had previously “deliberately deceived” the public about these matters. We represent the American Cancer Society, Tobacco-Free Kids, and other groups that intervened in support of this and other remedies, and the court’s ruling today largely adopts the statements our clients initially proposed. The Court’s ruling is here.
On behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), we filed a petition last week before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) seeking the waiver of an NRC regulation that would otherwise preclude NRDC from challenging the relicensing of the Limerick nuclear power plant outside Philadelphia. NRDC seeks to insure that the NRC fully considers the best ways to mitigate against the impacts of severe accidents at the plant, and obtaining the waiver would be an initial step in that process.
Monday, November 12, 2012
On behalf of HSUS, Defenders of Wildlife, and IFAW, on Friday we filed two briefs in the D.C. Circuit defending the Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) denial of U.S. sport-hunters' applications to import polar bear "trophies" from Canada. Once the polar bear was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 2008, the FWS stopped granting these permits, but sport-hunters filed several lawsuits claiming imports should continue despite the ongoing destruction of the species' sea-ice habitat due to climate change. The district court upheld the import ban, and the sport-hunters have appealed. The appeals will be decided next year.
Friday, November 9, 2012
After our firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of several D.C. residents and the animal protection organization In Defense of Animals, the National Park Service has agreed to drop its plans to begin killing white-tailed deer in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. this December. Under an agreement reached with the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that was filed on October 25, 2012, the parties have asked the Court to rule on the matter by March 15, 2013, before which the Park Service has agreed not to kill any of the 157 deer that were otherwise slated for death by gunfire or arrows. The Court has set oral argument in the matter for March 4, 2013 at 3:00pm.
Monday, November 5, 2012
On behalf of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Associations and other groups, we have filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in a Clean Water Act case addressing whether logging roads that discharge polluted stormwater into rivers, streams, and other water bodies must obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Permits under the Clean Water Act. Our amicus brief explains that the runoff from logging roads impairs the habitat of salmon and other species and harms downstream businesses that depend on healthy ecosystems. A copy of the amicus brief can be found here.