Sierra Club, et al. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, et al.; Hempstead County Hunting Club, Inc. v. Southwestern Elec. Power Co., et al., No. 10-3452 (8th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
The Sierra Club and several related parties brought this action against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) seeking to set aside a Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., permit (the section 404 permit) the Corps had issued to the Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) which planned to construct a new power plant. SWEPCO subsequently appealed the preliminary injunctions ordered by the district court, arguing that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and that the district court abused its discretion in granting the preliminary injunction. The court held that the district court did not err in concluding that the Sierra Club and Hunting Club had Article III standing. The court also held that plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of success where there was ample evidence in the record to show that plaintiffs were likely to succeed on at least three of their claims; that there was a likelihood of irreparable harm; that the balance of harms weighed in favor of an injunction; and that the public interest that might be injured by a preliminary injunction did not outweigh the public interest that would be served by the injunction. Accordingly, the court affirmed the preliminary injunction.