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Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC, No. 09-1134

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By FindLaw Staff on December 29, 2010 7:29 PM

Environmental Challenge to Utility Licensing Impact on Trout Fishery

In Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC, No. 09-1134, a petition for review of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's decision declining to impose conditions on a utility's annual licenses so as to preserve the Klamath River's trout fishery, the court denied the petition where 1) the Commission quite plainly articulated and applied a standard in rejecting the Tribe's claims; and 2) the Commission's determination that the utility was not causing "unanticipated, serious impacts" had sufficient factual support in the record.

As the court wrote:  "One of the modern U.S. government's major regulatory tasks is to reconcile competing demands on the Nation's natural resources. This case involves one small episode in that larger story. The dispute concerns water resources in the Pacific Northwest, where a hydroelectric plant provides power to some citizens but interferes with the food needs and recreational desires of others."

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