A federal court in Oklahoma has rejected a motion filed by environmental groups to block segments of TransCanada’s Keystone XL oil pipeline. Sierra Club, Inc. v. Bostick, No. 12-742 (W.D. Okla. 8/5/12). Plaintiffs sought to enjoin the start of construction, scheduled for August 6, 2012, “arguing that permitting the commencement of construction will result in irreparable injury.” They also argued that approvals granted by three district offices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) were improper.
The court disagreed, finding that plaintiffs had not established a likelihood of success on the merits, and denied their request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. The court concluded that the Corps took the required “hard look” at the environmental consequences of its decision to allow the project to proceed under a general permit that covers construction of pipelines that are expected to have minimal environmental impacts. The court also ruled that the Corps was not required by the National Environmental Policy Act to complete a full environmental impact statement and did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in conducting its cumulative impact analysis and making a finding of no significant impact.