- Law firms
- Lack of violated NEPA environmental impact statement
- Insufficient study of alternatives for waters that tribes consider sacred
- The expansion project concerns the country’s “largest export terminal” by volume
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(Reuters) – Indigenous tribes and environmental groups sued the Army Corps of Engineers in Corpus Christi, Texas, in federal court for issuing a permit to Moda Midstream, alleging it issued the permit for the expansion of the marine oil export terminal without studying the effects of the project on seagrass and wetlands.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Indigenous Peoples of the Coast Bend and others accused the Corps of violating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) with a CWA permit that would allow Moda to dredge about 3.9 million cubic meters. of material out of Corpus Christi Bay.
“One of my main concerns as a fisherman and bird watcher is that MODA’s expansion will destroy many acres of vital seagrass,” said Patrick Nye, chairman of the plaintiff group Ingleside on the Bay Coastal Watch Association in a statement. if green comment then
The Corps did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Steven Davidson, a spokesperson for Moda, said: “We are satisfied that the nearly one-and-a-half-year application review process has been complete and that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit has been properly delivered. “
The Houston-based company had planned to expand its Ingleside oil terminal, which connects Permian and Eagle Ford’s crude oil production to international markets, as early as 2017.
Construction on the project has not started, Davidson said.
The complaint says the expansion of the “largest export terminal in the United States by volume” would add five berths for tankers and barges, effectively doubling the capacity of its vessels.
The plaintiffs, represented by Lauren Ice of Perales, Allmon & Ice, argue that the Corps violated NEPA because, although its environmental review of the project notes that seagrass and wetlands will be affected, it does not study this impact with the type of detailed reporting on NEPA’s mandates for major federal actions, known as environmental impact statements.
The Corps concluded that the project is not major federal action because it improves an existing site, according to the complaint.
Moda said the expansion would impact nearly 10 acres of seagrass and estuarine wetlands. Estuarine wetlands are a type of wetland located at the junction of fresh and salt water.
The plaintiffs also accuse the Corps of not studying enough alternatives to the project.
The current expansion project would be built on land and near waters that tribal plaintiffs consider sacred, including in an area where tens of thousands of Native American artifacts like pottery shards have been found, according to the complaint.
The case is Indigenous Peoples of the Coastal Bend et al v. US Army Corps of Engineers et al, US District Court for the Southern District of Texas, No. 2: 21-cv-00161.
For Indigenous Peoples of the Coastal Curve et al: Lauren Ice de Perales, Allmon & Ice
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