On August 5, 2012, the Western District of Oklahoma denied Sierra Club’s attempt to seek a temporary injunction to stop commencement of construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline project scheduled to begin August 6, 2012.  In mid-July, Sierra Club challenged the Army Corps of Engineer’s (Corps) Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12) permit as a violation of the CWA, NEPA, and the APA, and contended that the Corps’ issuance of a verification that the project fell within the scope of NWP 12 was improper.  NWP 12 is a general permit authorized by section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) issued to linear construction projects, such as pipelines and other utilities.  In denying the injunction, the Court found that the Corps’ issuance of NWP 12 complied with the CWA, NEPA and the APA and that Sierra Club failed to show that the southern segment of the Keystone project would “have more than a minimal impact on the environment.”   Click here to read the Court’s Order in Sierra Club v. Bostick, 5:12-cv-00742 in the Western District of Oklahoma.

This bill, H.R. 3426, would amend the Clean Water Act to require the closure of (1) any oil storage or processing facility that is within one mile of 100 or more dwellings and has had two or more discharges within a 10 year period, or (2) where the facility is the source of groundwater contamination affecting 100 or more residential units. Closure would still be required where the discharge resulted from an act of God, war or negligence by the federal government. Click here to view a copy of the bill.