The Environment Court of New Zealand overturned the resource consent granted to a mining company to develop an open-cast coal mine on the ground that the project would pose unacceptable impacts to biodiversity.
The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission refused an application to expand the Glendell coal mine on the grounds that the mine would cause significant and irreversible impacts on heritage by its impacts to a colonial homestead complex. The Commission also found that the proposal would harm Aboriginal cultural values.
The U.S. District Court remanded the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the proposed expansion of a coal mine because the agency quantified the project’s socioeconomic benefits in terms of jobs, royalties, tax revenue and positive downstream economic impacts, but did not quantify the costs of GHG emissions.
The National Green Tribunal ordered coal mining and energy companies to implement a series of measures to reduce environmental pollution and health impacts associated with their facilities operating in the Tamnar and Charghoda coal blocks in the state of Chhattisgarh. The Tribunal declared that no expansion of mining or industrial activities in the area could be approved until a thorough environmental carrying capacity study is completed.
The Constitutional Court found a Wayúu indigenous community’s rights to health and a healthy environment being affected by coal mining operations, ordered the Cerrejón mining company to implement several preventative, mitigation, and corrective measures, and ordered government authorities to implement effective regulatory and enforcement measures, while ensuring the Wayúu community’s participation rights.
The court set aside permissions for a mining project in a protected area and remitted the application for permission for reconsideration in light of “all relevant consideration” and the following specific considerations: (1) compliance with the national administrative law statute; (2) the interests of local communities and the environmental principles of the national environmental management statute; (3) previously required authorizations must be final (i.e., after statutory appeals are resolved) before permissions may be granted; and, (4) a management plan for the protected area must be approved and the contents of said plan must be taken into consideration.
A Russian district court nullified the authorization for a coal mining project because the government failed to adequately show a governmental need to expropriate the agricultural lands at issue for the purpose of coal mining activities to be carried out by a private company ("Stroypozhservice"). The district court decision may be appealed.
The court found deficiencies in the Resource Management Plans at issue that must be remedied, including failure to consider the indirect effects of downstream combustion of resources extracted from the planning areas, failure to quantify properly the magnitude of methane pollution by arbitrarily using outdated science, and failure to consider any alternative with less coal available for leasing.
Although the initial coal-mining operations were authorized in 1983, which makes them and subsequent modifications (including the proposed modification to expand operations by diverting Arroyo Bruno) exempt from the current legal framework requiring and governing environmental impact assessment (in accordance with the transitional legal framework contemplated in Law 99 of 1993), the Constitutional Court determined that the impacts of the stream-diversion project have not been sufficiently assessed to guarantee the affected communities’ rights to water, food, and health. The Court concluded that there are several uncertainties regarding the social and environmental impacts of the stream-diversion project and the potential threats they pose to the affected communities’ rights to water, food security, and health due to the authorities’ failure to adequately identify or estimate relevant variables before authorizing the stream-diversion project. Thus, the Court upheld a lower court’s injunction suspending activities related to the stream-diversion project until the following orders are complied with by a judicially created Inter-Institutional Workgroup composed of governmental and non-governmental actors: (1) ensure the participation in said Workgroup of civil society and academic actors that intervened in the judicial proceedings; (2) identify and assess the uncertainties related to the stream-diversion project in order to establish the measures that should be adopted; (3) within a month of notification of this sentence, develop a detailed schedule of the activities to be carried out, as well as the specific actor responsible for carrying out each activity, in order to identify and assess the uncertainties related to the stream-diversion project; (4) in case the Workgroup determines the stream-diversion project is environmentally viable, incorporate the conclusions resulting from its technical study of uncertainties into Cerrejón’s Integral Management Plan so that Cerrejón adopts measures to prevent, mitigate, control, compensate, and correct environmental and social impacts.