The Aransas Project v. Shaw, et al., No. 13-40317 (5th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
TAP filed suit against TCEQ under the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., seeking an injunction prohibiting TCEQ from issuing new permits to withdraw water from rivers that feed the estuary where whooping cranes make their winter homes. The district court granted the injunction, which also required TCEQ to seek an incidental-take permit (ITP) from the FWS. Because the deaths of the whooping cranes are too remote from TCEQ's permitting withdrawal of water from the San Antonio and Guadalupe Rivers, the state defendants could not be held liable for a take or for causing a take under the Act. The court concluded that the district court misapplied proximate cause analysis and, even if proximate cause had been proven, the injunction was an abuse of discretion. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment of the district court.