Week Ahead in Energy and Environment: Aug. 2, 2021 – Reuters

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(Reuters) – Here are some upcoming events of interest to the energy and environmental law community. Unless otherwise noted, all times are local, and court appearances are virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, Aug. 2

Deadline for disbarred American lawyer Steven Donziger and private lawyers serving as prosecutors for the United States in his criminal contempt case to file a briefing schedule for submissions related to his sentencing. The Harvard Law School graduate who spent more than two decades trying to prove Chevron Corp polluted Ecuador’s rainforest was found guilty earlier this month by a U.S. judge of six counts of criminal contempt.

The case is United States v. Donziger, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:19-cr-00561. For the United States: Rita Glavin of Glavin and Brian Maloney of Seward & Kissel. For Donziger: Martin Garbus of Offit Kurman and Ronald Kuby.

Wednesday, Aug. 4

9:30 a.m. – The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in this consolidated bid by the Department of the Interior, the Alaskan native villages of King Cove and Belkofski and the state of Alaska to reverse a lower court ruling that vacated DOI’s attempt to swap portions of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in western Alaska with unprotected land to make space for a road that would run through the refuge so as to connect King Cove to neighboring Cold Bay, which has an airport. Road advocates argued the seafood industry would benefit by gaining a route to ferry fish to the airport. But U.S. District Senior Judge John Sedwick ruled last year that the DOI’s exchange in 2019 of the land was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act and violated the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the statute that created the refuge.

The case is Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges v. Bernhardt, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Nos. 20-35721, 20-35727, 20-35728. For Friends of Alaska Nat’l, et al: Bridget Psarianos of Trustees for Alaska. For David Bernhardt, et al: Michael Gray with the U.S. Department of Justice. For King Cove and Belkofski: Steven Silver of Hoffman Silver Gilman & Blasco. For state of Alaska: Sean Lynch with the Department of Law of the State of Alaska.

Friday, Aug. 6

Deadline for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to file an answer to a complaint in Savannah, Georgia federal court by conservation group One Hundred Miles. The group alleges the Corps has violated the National Environmental Policy Act with a decision to conduct spring and summer maintenance dredging in the Brunswick Harbor, in southern Georgia, without first conducting an adequate environmental review. It claims that the departure from conducting the maintenance only in winter months will result in the killing of imperiled sea turtle species.

The case is One Hundred Miles v. The United States Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, No. 4:21-cv-00134. For One Hundred Miles: Megan Hinkle Huynh of the Southern Environmental Law Center. For The United States Army Corps of Engineers et al: Kristofor Swanson with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Know of an event that could be included in Energy & Environmental Law? Contact Sebastien Malo at sebastien.malo@thomsonreuters.com

Sebastien Malo reporters on environmental, climate and energy litigation. Reach him at sebastien.malo@thomsonreuters.com

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