The federal court judge in the South Carolina Atlantic IHA litigation set a summary judgment briefing schedule, which could have decided the case on the merits. The Federal Defendants, which include the National Marine Fisheries Service, provided voluminous additions to the record before the court in the case, and indicated that they would provide additional documents that the Government does not consider to be part of the administrative record sometime within three weeks of July 2, 2019.The Environmental Plaintiffs then filed motions asking the court to suspend all deadlines in the briefing schedule and order the Federal Defendants to provide information about their supplementing the record.
The court initially granted the Environmental Plaintiffs’ motion, then modified its decision in response to the Federal Defendants and Industry Intervenors-Defendants’ opposition filings. The court has now ordered:
“1) the current deadline for motions to supplement the administrative record is suspended; 2) within three (3) business days of the date of this Order, the Federal Defendants must inform the Court by what date they will provide the staff-level communications between NMFS and BOEM to the Environmental Plaintiffs; 3) by July 22, 2019, Federal defendants are ordered to file an additional certification and index listing all documents the Federal Defendants state constitutes the complete administrative record, including whatever other deadlines in the case must be adjusted.”