Judge Vacates Enviro Exemptions For Oil Drillers

Law360, New York (August 12, 2011, 10:36 PM EDT) -- A federal judge in Wyoming on Friday vacated rules issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior restricting exemptions in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that allow oil developers to bypass environmental impact studies.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal said that the DOI's May 2010 modifications to the act should have gone through the standard federal rulemaking process of public notice and comment.

"The 2010 instructions were a complete 'about-face' by the federal respondents compared to their past practices," Judge Freudenthal said. "Also, the 2010...
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