The Federal Court criticized the environmental assessment review panel for failing to obtain and analyze information about existing and proposed forestry and mining activities in the area surrounding the Cheviot Coal Project, stating that the information was readily available and that the panel had a duty to consider the combined impacts of mining and timber harvesting during the environmental assessment process.
The Supreme Court of Chile determined that the list of projects enumerated in the EIA regulations is not exhaustive, that any project that causes negative environmental impacts may be subject to citizen participation procedures, and that Mina Invierno’s project to incorporate blasting methods will cause negative environmental impacts and, therefore, may be subject to citizen participation procedures. Thus, the Supreme Court declared invalid the administrative resolutions that rejected the petitions for citizen participation procedures for the project to incorporate blasting methods and ordered the EIA process for said project to be subject to citizen participation procedures.
Environmental groups challenged an amendment to the provisions of a local planning scheme that was necessary for the expansion of the Hazelwood coal mine in southeastern Australia. The petitioners claimed that the environment effects statement (EES) should have included analysis of the impacts of carbon emissions when the coal is later burned. The terms of reference for the EES stated that “[t]he Panel is not to consider matters related to greenhouse gas emissions from the Hazelwood Power Station - these issues are being addressed through a separate process. ”
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal determined the Panel should have considered concerns about climate impacts from burning the coal after they were raised under the Planning and Environment Act 1987. The Tribunal found that the Panel must “provide a reasonable opportunity to be heard to any party who wishes to make a submission in relation to the environmental impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from the Hazelwood Power Station; and [must] consider those impacts in making its recommendations and report to the planning authority. ” Id. at sec. 1.
Even though the Panel ultimately approved the amendment after considering the GHG emissions from both the mine itself and the later coal combustion, the case is still important for connecting the impacts of GHG emissions from burning coal to the activity of mining the coal.
The Chilean Supreme Court revoked the environmental permits for the construction of Central Castilla, which would have been the largest proposed coal-fired power plant in South America. Project proponents submitted three separate EIAs for the power plant, a transmission line, and a port for coal imports. Applying the precautionary principle, the Supreme Court declared that the projects should be assessed together to determine the actual area of influence and cumulative impacts.
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.
Decision by Secretary of the Interior to withdraw large parcels of land near Grand Canyon National Park to entry for uranium exploration and mining projects was not arbitrary or an abuse of discretion. Court approved the agency’s “cautious and careful approach” because of the risk of severe groundwater contamination from mining activities and threats to sacred and traditional places of tribal people.
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.