Sierra Club v. United States Corps of Engineers
September 29, 2015, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17114
In a rare win for the industry over environmentalists, the D. C. Court of Appeals held that the Corps of Engineers need not perform an environmental impact statement before approving the location of a pipeline over government land.
The Flanagan South oil pipeline pumps approximately 600,000 barrels of oil 593 miles from Oklahoma to Illinois. Almost all the land is individually owned. The Sierra Club contended that, since some federal approval was needed, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) required an environmental impact statement of the entire pipeline. The court held that NEPA did not apply either to the specific approvals obtained or as to the entire pipeline.