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Sierra Club v. Antwerp

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
661 F.3d 1147 (2011)


Facts

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) (defendant) issued a permit authorizing the discharge of fill material into wetlands in Florida, enabling the construction of a large mall. This project was known as the Cypress Creek Town Center (CCTC). Several environmental groups, including the Sierra Club (plaintiff), sued, alleging that the permit violated the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. The Clean Water Act prohibits the issuance of a discharge permit “if there is a practicable alternative to the proposed discharge that would have less adverse effect on the aquatic ecosystem.” The Sierra Club claimed that there were practicable alternatives to the project that would have a less adverse effect on the environment. The Sierra Club also argued that the project would jeopardize the endangered wood stork and indigo snake species. The lower court granted summary judgment for the Corps.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Williams, C.J.)

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