Environmental expert witness advises on conservation groups’ allegations of coal mining leases violating NEPA and APA

Kristin Casler

Written by
— Updated on October 18, 2017

environmental expert witness - coal miningAn environmental engineering expert witness advises on conservation groups allegations that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s authorization of coal mine leases violates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The leases at issue encompass approximately 1.8 billion tons of coal on 8,500 acres of land in the northwest United States.

The plaintiffs seek declaration that the leases are unlawful and that the BLM’s approval be set aside. The plaintiffs assert that the NEPA was violated by failing to properly and fully analyze and disclose the potential environmental consequences of these actions; and the APA was violated by taking actions and making findings and conclusions that are arbitrary, capricious, abusive of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.

 

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do the leases violate the NEPA?
  • 2. How will the leases impact the environment and climate change?

Expert Witness Response

The final environmental impact statement prepared by the DOI in support of the coal lease applications seriously misrepresents scientific understanding and the stated policies of this administration. It contains several sweeping mischaracterizations of the state of scientific understanding and the position of the U.S. Government on addressing the problem of climate change.

Emissions from and associated with combustion of coal, petroleum and natural gas cause climate change and consequent environmental and societal impacts. Emissions that will result from mining, transporting, and combustion of the coal to be extracted from the proposed leases will lead to significant emissions to the atmosphere of warmth-inducing substances, the emissions of which the U.S. Government has pledged to reduce. On-going and prospective climate change is already affecting those living in the U.S. and around the world, and climate change impacts will intensify significantly in the decades ahead.

Based on my experience and review of the scientific literature, I find EPA’s summary of climate change’s many impacts to be generally comprehensive and credible. The potential emissions from granting permission to extract coal from these leases would add significantly to U.S. and global emissions, making addressing of the problem of global climate change more and more difficult.

The expert is a leader in global climate change and has served in various research and advisory capacities for private and government agencies.

Contact this expert witness

Find an Emissions Expert Witness Near You

What State is your case in?

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY