Federal Court of Appeals Upholds North Fork Environmental Analysis
January 12, 2018

A series of legal challenges, primarily by competitive gaming interests, against the U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior) is finally nearing an end. The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Interior and North Fork Rancheria in a suit alleging noncompliance with Clean Air Act regulations. Prior lawsuits were focused on alleged deficiencies in the NEPA analysis and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) document. Those allegations were also found to be without merit. AES, under contract to Interior, prepared the EIS for the project, and also conducted the air quality analysis. The Court of Appeals ruling concluded with the following statement:

After reviewing thousands of pages of evidence over the span of seven years, the Interior Department took the tract of land at issue into trust for the North Fork and approved the tribe’s proposed casino. Viewing the same extensive record and affording the appropriate measure of deference to the Department’s supportable judgments, we, like the district court, conclude that this decision was reasonable and consistent with applicable law. We affirm.

Also View: North Fork Rancheria Casino EIS Upheld by Federal Court

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