Environmental Groups Challenge Drilling Project

The Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Inyo, Western Watersheds Project, and the Sierra Club have sued the U.S. Forest Service, alleging that the agency violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it approved the Long Valley Exploration Drilling Project near Mammoth Lakes, California without sufficient public review. The advocacy organizations argue that the Forest Service erred in relegating the drilling project to a cursory “Categorical Exclusion” despite the project’s potential for impact on imperiled Bi-State sage grouse and water supplies that support endangered Owens tui chub and the water supply for the City of Los Angeles. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief.