NGOs have sued the Federal Government in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. They claim that BOEM violated NEPA, the ESA, and the APA when BOEM decided to move forward with oil and gas Lease Sale 216/222 in the Gulf of Mexico based on a 2012 Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, and without first concluding ongoing reinitiated consultation under the ESA. The Plaintiffs also challenge Lease Sale 218, based solely upon their ESA argument. Finally, the Plaintiffs contend that NMFS has unreasonably delayed completion of the ongoing reinitiated consultation under the ESA, in violation of the APA.
The Industry Intervenor Defendants have filed a summary judgment motion against the claims of the plaintiff NGOs, and a reply to the Plaintiffs’ opposition to their motion. The Intervenors’ reply argues that BOEM fulfilled its NEPA obligations; that BOEM complied with the ESA; that NMFS’ ongoing preparation of a biological opinion complies with the APA; and that the leases should not be vacated under any circumstances.
Click here to read the Industry Intervenor Defendants’ reply.