Hillside Environmental Loss, et al v. United States Army Corps, et al


This case concerned the construction of a new Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) rail/truck terminal outside Kansas City, Kansas. Because the preferred site contained streams and wetlands protected under federal law, several groups (collectively, “Hillsdale”) brought challenges to a dredge and fill permit issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) under the Clean Water Act. The district court denied Hillsdale’s motion for an injunction and granted summary judgment for the Corps and BNSF. On appeal, Hillsdale requested that the Tenth Circuit set aside the Corps’s decision to grant the permit because the Corps inadequately considered alternatives to the selected site under the Clean Water Act and violated the National Environmental Policy Act by preparing an inadequate environmental assessment and failing to prepare a full environmental impact statement. Upon review, the Tenth Circuit concluded the Corps’s decision was supported by the record, and was not an arbitrary and capricious exercise of its approval powers under federal law.

US Court of Appeals No.11-3210

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