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Survey Article


In 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that the intervenors lacked standing to challenge on appeal a consent decree entered into by the main parties and approved by the district court in a Clean Water Act case. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, in a Clean Air Act case, excluded on Daubert grounds testimony of the government's experts purporting to establish that repair and replacement projects at several power plants in Alabama had in fact been major modifications to the plants that resulted in increased air pollutant emissions, which would have required the plants' operators to obtain pre-construction permits prior to undertaking the projects. Finally, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, in one of what will surely be many lawsuits arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and spill, dismissed as moot parts of an environmental group's complaint challenging a federal agency's continued sale of leases for deepwater oil and gas drilling in the Gulf based on inadequate environmental safeguards, but let stand a portion of the case related to ongoing sales and approval of leases following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in reliance on an Environmental Impact Statement prepared in 2007.