GULF RESTORATION NETWORK v. JEWELL et al
ORDER granting 69 Motion to Clarify; granting 76 Motion for Leave to File Surreply, as further set out. Signed by Senior Judge Charles R. Butler, Jr on 5/23/2016. copies to parties. (sdb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
GULF RESTORATION NETWORK,
SALLY JEWELL, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 15-00191-CB-C
The Federal Defendants have filed a motion for clarification of the scope of the Court’s
injunction. (Doc. 69.) The clarification the Federal Defendants seek is whether a portion of the
funds subject to the Court’s injunction may be used for administrative and indirect costs
associated with conducting required alternatives analysis. In response, Plaintiff “has no
objection to the requested clarification” as long as the Court also requires “[t]he $58.5 million
[to] be transferred by a date certain to the appropriate NRD fund, managed by the Department of
the Interior [and] all processes contemplated by the [Deepwater Horizon] Consent Decree will be
applicable to the funds.” (Pl.’s Rsp. 4, Doc. 73.) In other words, Plaintiff does not disagree that
the subject funds may be used for expenses related to the alternatives analysis but conditions its
agreement on obtaining additional relief from this Court. That response sparked a reply brief
from the Federal Defendants, Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a surreply, and the Federal
Defendants’ opposition to Plaintiff’s motion. (Docs. 75, 76 & 77.)
The Federal Defendants’ motion to clarify is GRANTED. The injunction entered in this
action on February 16, 2016 does not prohibit the Defendants from using a portion of the funds
at issue for reasonable administrative and indirect costs associated with conducting an
Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a surreply is GRANTED. However, even after
considering the arguments put forth by Plaintiff in the surreply, the Court declines to impose the
conditions Plaintiff requests. Plaintiff’s argument, simply put, is that the failure to remove these
funds from the control of the State Trustee “may have the practical effect of predetermining the
outcome of any further analysis of alternatives.” (Pl.’s Rsp. 3, Doc. 73.) The location of the
funds, however, should not affect the Defendants’ duty or ability to conduct a proper
OPA/NEPA alternatives analysis, i.e. one that “provid[es] a clear and meaningful analysis of
[reasonable restoration] alternatives.” (Summ. J. Ord. at 16, Doc. 64.) 1
DONE and ORDERED this the 23rd day of May, 2016.
s/Charles R. Butler,Jr.
Senior United States District Judge
Although the Record of Decision (ROD) technically was not vacated, implicit in the
Court’s order is a determination that the project stipulation and ROD are unlawful insofar as they
relate to Gulf State Lodge and Conference Center (a/k/a Alabama Convention Center) project
because the approval of the project was based on an improper alternatives analysis.
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