U.S. District Court Judge M. James Lorenz has issued a ruling in a case challenging the U.S. Department of Energy’s approval of a Presidential Permit issued for Sempra Energy’s cross-border transmission line. The line would connect Sempra’s Energia Sierra Juarez Wind project in northern Baja, Mexico with SDG&E’s $435 million ECO substation now under construction.
“We secured a ruling that presidential permits are subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), National Enviornmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other federal environmental laws,” said Donna Tisdale, a plaintiff in the case along with the Protect Our Communities Foundation et all. In addition, she noted, “We are entitled to amend our complaint to address the potential liability under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Eagle Act,of operators who construct and operate wind turbine facilities that will directly kill or take migratory birds and eagles.”
Plaintiffs had sought injunctive and declaratory relief against defendants for violating multiple environmental statutes in connection with issuance of the presidential permit. Judge Lorenz granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss in part, but denied it in part, finding “it is clear that this Court has been tasked tdo review agency actions such as the issuance of a Presidential permit by an agency,” among other points.
View the full decision here.
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