A U.S. court vacated a decision granting a right-of-way for a proposed natural gas pipeline that would have crossed a portion of a U.S. national park. The National Park Service failed to provide any explanation justifying its determination that pipeline construction and use would be consistent with the conservation and preservation purposes of the national park.
The High Court of Kenya remanded the environmental license issued for a port project for reconsideration and directed the project proponent to pay Kshs. 1.7 billion in compensation to affected fishing communities who will be impacted by the project. During the reconsideration process, decisionmakers must evaluate the external costs of the port project on the environment and local communities.
The Supreme Court determined several Colombian authorities responsible for the deforestation in the Amazon and ordered those authorities to develop plans and implement measures to stop the emissions of GHGs and other harmful impacts caused by deforestation in order to protect fundamental rights of Colombians, especially those of children and future generations.
An environmental organization has constitutional right to intervene in public utility proceeding concerning a power purchase agreement. The right to a clean and healthful environment guaranteed by the Hawaiian constitution is a property right that is protected by due process and the utility commission must consider impacts to that right in determining whether to approve a power purchase agreement.
In the context of reviewing a planning decision allowing expansion of Dublin’s airport, the High Court of Ireland declared that Ireland’s constitution protects the personal right to an environment that is consistent with the human dignity and well-being of citizens at large.
The Court of Appeal for Ontario set aside an order directing Ecuadorian plaintiffs to provide substantial security for costs on appeal, recognizing “the unique factual circumstances of this case compel the conclusion that the interests of justice require that no order for security for costs be made.”
A U.S. court blocked the proposed expansion of an underground coal mine because the environmental assessment (EA) lacked sufficient analysis of the indirect and cumulative impacts of coal transportation and coal combustion. The EA also improperly emphasized the benefits of additional coal mining to the local economy while ignoring the costs of anticipated greenhouse gas emissions from burning the coal.
A utility company violated the Clean Water Act when it disposed of coal ash into unlined ponds, which leaked contaminants via groundwater to an adjacent river. The court directed the utility company to excavate the coal ash and move it to a dry lined disposal location.
A court summarily dismissed a defamation action brought against a community member who posted concerns on Facebook about potential contamination from a nearby gravel pit. The community member’s statements were valid expressions related to a matter of public interest.
The State of Washington has violated Tribes' off-reservation fishing rights by building and maintaining culverts under State roads that harm fish habitat and reduce the production of fish. Because (1) currently there is not enough harvestable salmon available to ensure the Tribes a moderate living, (2) the State’s culverts block roughly a thousand miles of streams suitable for salmon habitat, and (3) replacing or modifying those culverts (structures built to allow streams to flow under roads) to allow fish passage would produce several hundred thousand additional mature salmon each year, the State was ordered to identify all state-owned barrier culverts and ensure those culverts allow fish passage (by differentiated deadlines depending on several ecological and economic considerations).
The National Green Tribunal suspended the environmental clearance for a proposed hydroelectric dam until a study is completed to determine the impact of the project on endangered Black-necked cranes and its habitat.
Zambian community members are permitted to pursue claims in English court against a UK mining company and its Zambian subsidiary for environmental harm arising out of copper mining operations in Zambia.
The National Green Tribunal fined a pulp and paper mill for discharging pollution into a tributary of the Gola River. Although there are other facilities that contribute to the pollution problem, the pulp and paper mill was still held liable.
Declaring "we need to move to climate change justice," the Lahore High Court Green Bench ordered the government of Pakistan to implement the National Climate Change Policy and convened a Climate Change Commission to oversee and report to the Court on progress.
A Canadian court has jurisdiction to recognize and enforce a foreign judgment holding an oil company financially responsible for environmental pollution caused by oil development activities in Ecuador.
The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs acted arbitrarily when it froze an environmental organization’s bank account and blocked access to funds received from foreign sources without any proof that the organization had violated the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) unlawfully denied access to information including names of experts who commented on an EFSA guidance document regarding authorization applications for pesticides. The court found the disclosure of personal data was necessary to dispel a climate of secrecy to ensure democratic participation in public decision-making.
The Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines ruled that a service contract for oil exploration, development, and production issued by the government of the Philippines in the protected area of the Tañon Strait was unconstitutional.
Ministry of Environment and Forests acted illegally when it provided an opportunity for project developers to obtain post facto environmental clearance for activities conducted without prior environmental review and authorization.
The Dutch government must reduce CO2 emissions by a minimum of 25% (compared to 1990) by 2020 to fulfil its obligation to protect and improve the living environment against the immiment danger caused by climate change.
The Government of Belize violated Maya community members’ constitutional right to protection of the law by failing to ensure that the existing land law system recognized and protected Maya land rights.
Applying the precautionary principle, the Supreme Court of the Philippines permanently banned field trials of genetically-modified crops, including Bt talong (eggplant), until a new administrative order on biosafety is adopted.
Costa Rican environment and energy ministry was justified in terminating a petroleum exploration contract when the oil company proposed exploration activities that would cause unacceptable environmental impact. Oil company violated contract obligations when it failed to obtain approval of its environmental impact assessment for exploratory drilling.
Tribunal quashed the environmental clearance issued for a coal-fired power plant for failure to prepare an adequate cumulative impact assessment. “Rapid” assessment submitted by power company did not provide a comprehensive view of the impacts.
Owner of motor speedway held liable to nearby landowner for committing a nuisance. Although speedway owner obtained planning consent and the landowners moved into their house after the speedway had been operating for more than 20 years, neither of these factors constituted a defense. Court reinstated injunction limiting the amount of noise emitted from the speedway.
Court nullified 99-year agricultural lease awarded to oil palm developer. The Minister for Lands failed to obtain proper consent from customary landowners and neglected to conduct adequate consultation prior to issuing the lease.
The government of Kenya has an affirmative duty to publicly disclose a power purchase agreement with Ethiopia and information describing the possible social and environmental impacts of hydropower facilities in Ethiopia that would divert water flowing into Lake Turkana. The State must also ensure Lake Turkana is sustainably managed utilized and conserved, and exercise the necessary precautions in preventing environmental harm that may arise from any power purchase agreements with Ethiopia.
A Mexican municipality violated the National Water Act when it built a breakwater on Lake Chapala without obtaining a concession from the National Water Commission. The Commission initiated action against the Municipality and ordered the breakwater’s demolition. The Constitutional Court upheld the demolition order.
Court of Appeal quashed certificate issued by the Attorney General attempting to override a decision by the Upper Tribunal directing release of information under the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information rules.
The supersession clause in the statewide Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law does not preempt the authority vested in municipalities to regulate oil and gas production activities, including hydrofracking, within municipal boundaries.
A U.S. energy regulatory agency violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it issued a certificate authorizing a natural gas company to upgrade part of a pipeline. The agency improperly segmented its environmental review of the project by failing to consider the cumulative and connected impacts of other related pipeline projects in the vicinity.
National Green Tribunal overturned an environmental clearance issued for a coal-fired power plant proposed by India’s largest thermal power producer. The Tribunal found that environmental information had been concealed and misrepresented, and the EIA and public participation processes were faulty.
Environment minister improperly rejected advice from an expert committee recommending that large-scale coal mining proposal in a forest area not proceed. Although the committee’s advice is not binding on the Minister, it nevertheless cannot be ignored without credible scientific basis.
The Supreme Court of Canada declared that the Tsilhqot’in Nation established title to 1,750 square kilometres of land including areas that are used for hunting, fishing, trapping, foraging and other cultural purposes or practices. The Court declared Aboriginal title holders have the “right to the benefits associated with the land – to use it, enjoy it and profit from its economic development” such that “the Crown does not retain a beneficial interest in Aboriginal title land.”
Upholding Land and Environment Court decision declaring that an open-cut coal mine should not be allowed to expand because the economic benefits of continued mining do not outweigh the impacts to nearby residents and loss of biodiversity.