Jones v. Nat'l Marine Fisheries, No. 11-35954 (9th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Woodlands challenged several aspects of the Corps' Environmental Assessment (EA), and issuance of a "Finding of No Significant Impact" (FONSI) in lieu of preparing a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) concerning ORC's application for a permit to mine valuable mineral sands in Oregon. The court concluded that the Corps complied with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321, because the Corps properly considered the risks of hexavalent chromium generation; concluded that the risk of hexavalent chromium generation did not warrant a full EIS; and declined to consider cumulative impacts of future chromium mining. Further, the Corps' alternative analysis did not violate the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251. The court rejected Woodlands' arguments and affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Corps.