EarthReports, Inc. v. FERC, No. 15-1127 (D.C. Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Petitioners seek review of the Commissions' conditional authorization of the conversion of the Cove Point liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) facility from an import maritime terminal to a mixed-use, import and export terminal. For the reasons set forth in Sierra Club v. FERC (Freeport), the court concluded that the Commission was not required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., to consider indirect effects of increased natural gas exports through the Cove Point facility, including climate impacts. In regard to petitioners’ remaining challenges to the Commission’s NEPA analysis of the impacts of ballast water on water quality, maritime traffic on the North Atlantic right whale, and the Cove Point facility’s operations on public safety, the court concluded that petitioners fail to show that the Commission did not adequately address these concerns. Accordingly, the court denied the petition for review.