Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe et al v. U.S. Department of the Interior et al

Filing 62

SCHEDULING ORDER re ECF No. 61 Stipulated Proposed Order : BLM will lodge the Administrative Record for the ESA Claims with the Court and provide an electronic copy to the Parties by August 5, 2022. (See pdf order for additional and subsequent deadlines.) Signed by Magistrate Judge Craig S. Denney on 8/2/2022. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - DRM)

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Case 3:21-cv-00512-RCJ-CSD Document 62 Filed 08/02/22 Page 1 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Timothy A. Lukas, Esq. (Nevada Bar No. 4678) Sarah C. Bordelon, Esq. (Nevada Bar No. 14683) Erica K. Nannini, Esq. (Nevada Bar No. 13922) Holland & Hart LLP 5441 Kietzke Lane, Suite 200 Reno, NV 89511 Telephone: (775) 327-3011 Fax: (775) 786-6179 tlukas@hollandhart.com scbordelon@hollandhart.com eknannini@hollandhart.com 10 HOLLAND & HART LLP 5441 KIETZKE LANE, SUITE 200 RENO, NV 89511-2094 11 12 13 14 15 26 27 28 Laura R. Jacobsen, Esq. (Nevada Bar No. 13699) Ormat Technologies, Inc. 6140 Plumas Street Reno, NV 89519 Tel: 775-356-9029 Fax: 775-356-9039 ljacobsen@ormat.com Attorneys for Defendant Ormat Nevada Inc. IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NEVADA THE FALLON PAIUTE-SHOSHONE TRIBE 16 and the CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, 17 Plaintiffs, 18 v. 19 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, 20 BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, JAKE 21 VIALPANDO in his official capacity as Field Manager of the Bureau of Land Management 22 Stillwater Field Office, and ORMAT NEVADA INC., 23 Defendants. 24 25 Hadassah M. Reimer, Esq. (Wyo. Bar No. 6-3825) Admitted Pro Hac Vice Holland & Hart LLP P.O. Box 68 Jackson, WY 83001 Tel: 307-734-4517 Fax: 307-739-9544 hmreimer@hollandhart.com Case No. 3:21-cv-00512-RCJ-CSD PARTIES’ JOINT STIPULATION ON SCHEDULING ORDER HOLLAND & HART LLP 5441 KIETZKE LANE, SUITE 200 RENO, NV 89511-2094 Case 3:21-cv-00512-RCJ-CSD Document 62 Filed 08/02/22 Page 2 of 7 1 Plaintiffs Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe (“FPST”) and the Center for Biological Diversity 2 (“CBD”), Federal Defendants U.S. Department of the Interior, et al. (“Federal Defendants”), and 3 Defendant Ormat Nevada, Inc. (“Ormat”) (together, the “Parties”) have conferred and hereby 4 jointly submit the following stipulation and scheduling proposal for the Court’s consideration. 5 Plaintiffs filed this case on December 15, 2021, alleging that the Bureau of Land 6 Management’s (“BLM”) approval of the Dixie Meadows Geothermal Utilization Project (the 7 “Project”) violated the Administrative Procedure Act, National Environmental Policy Act, 8 Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. ECF 9 No. 1. Plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction to stop Project construction (ECF No. 10 13), and this Court granted the motion, but only for a period of 90 days (ECF No. 41). The 11 Parties’ cross-appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed this Court’s 12 decision. FPST v. DOI, Nos. 22-15092, 15093 (9th Cir. Aug. 1, 2022) (slip opinion). 13 On April 7, 2022, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) exercised its emergency 14 listing authority under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) to list the Dixie Valley toad as 15 endangered for a period of 240 days, triggering ESA Section 7 consultation obligations between 16 BLM and the FWS for the Project. BLM and the FWS have begun informal consultation and are 17 working toward completing formal consultation. Federal Defendants lodged the Administrative 18 Record on April 29, 2022. On July 6, 2022, Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint 19 adding ESA claims under Section 7 regarding the project’s alleged impacts to the Dixie Valley 20 toad and BLM’s consultation with FWS, and under Section 9 regarding BLM’s and Ormat’s 21 alleged “take” of Dixie Valley toad during Project construction and operation (together, the 22 “ESA Claims”). Ormat states that it is currently working collaboratively with BLM and FWS 23 through the Section 7 consultation process, including discussion and identification of potential 24 additional mitigation measures. In coordination with BLM and FWS and in an effort to support 25 the Section 7 consultation process, Ormat has determined that it will temporarily pause 26 construction of the Phase I power plant either until the FWS issues a Biological Opinion for the 27 Project thereby concluding the Section 7 consultation process, or until December 31, 2022, 28 whichever is sooner. 1 Case 3:21-cv-00512-RCJ-CSD Document 62 Filed 08/02/22 Page 3 of 7 1 In light of these developments, the Parties have agreed as follows: 2 1. 3 4 construction of the power plant facilities at the Dixie Meadows site. 2. Plaintiffs will not file any motion for preliminary injunction or temporary 5 restraining order regarding the Project unless they receive notice that Ormat 6 intends to reinitiate construction. 7 3. 8 9 HOLLAND & HART LLP 5441 KIETZKE LANE, SUITE 200 RENO, NV 89511-2094 Ormat will provide notice to the Parties at least 30 days prior to reinitiating BLM will lodge the Administrative Record for the ESA Claims with the Court and provide an electronic copy to the Parties by August 5, 2022. 4. Plaintiffs and Ormat will have 14 days from the lodging of the Administrative 10 Record on August 5, 2022 to: (1) identify and communicate to Federal 11 Defendants any issues regarding completeness of the Administrative Record 12 and/or any requests for the admission of extra-record evidence; and (2) provide 13 Federal Defendants with copies of any materials they seek to include in the 14 Administrative Record or admit as extra-record evidence. 15 5. Federal Defendants will respond to any issues raised by Plaintiffs or Ormat 16 regarding the contents of the Administrative Record and the admission of extra 17 record evidence no later than September 2, 2022. The Parties thereafter will 18 attempt in good faith to resolve any issues that are raised. Any subsequent 19 motions regarding the Administrative Record will be due on September 9, 2022. 20 6. If Plaintiffs or Ormat file any motions regarding the Administrative Record, the 21 Parties shall meet and confer for the purposes of agreeing upon a schedule for 22 resolving those motions and briefing the Parties’ cross-motions for summary 23 judgment. If no motions regarding the Administrative Record are filed, Plaintiffs’ 24 opening summary judgment brief will be due on September 9, 2022, and will be 25 limited to 60 pages. 26 7. If no Administrative Record motions are filed, the Federal Defendants’ and 27 Ormat’s combined responses to Plaintiffs’ motions for summary judgment and 28 opening briefs in support of their cross-motions for summary judgment will be 2 Case 3:21-cv-00512-RCJ-CSD Document 62 Filed 08/02/22 Page 4 of 7 7 1 due on October 7, 2022. Federal Defendants and Ormat shall each file a brief in 2 support of their cross-motions for summary judgment and responding to 3 Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment. Federal Defendants’ brief and Ormat’s 4 brief shall each be limited to 45 pages. 5 8. 6 reply in support of their summary judgment motion and in response to Federal 7 Defendants’ and Ormat’s cross-motions for summary judgment, which will be 8 due on October 28, 2022. Plaintiffs’ brief shall be limited to 60 pages. 9 HOLLAND & HART LLP 5441 KIETZKE LANE, SUITE 200 RENO, NV 89511-2094 If no Administrative Record motions are filed, Plaintiffs shall file a combined 9. If no Administrative Record motions are filed, Federal Defendants’ and Ormat’s 10 replies in support of their cross-motions for summary judgment will each be due 11 on December 2, 2022, and each will be limited to 45 pages. 12 10. Plaintiffs do not waive any claims under the ESA or Religious Freedom 13 Restoration Act (“RFRA”) which may not be resolved on summary judgment due 14 to unresolved issues of material fact. Plaintiffs take the position that because the 15 ESA and RFRA each provide their own cause of action, claims under these 16 statutes are not limited in scope by the APA and thus may not be limited to the 17 administrative record compiled by the agency. Federal Defendants’ take the 18 position that ESA Claims are record-review claims governed by both the scope 19 and standard of the APA that do not present any unresolved issues of material 20 fact. Further, Federal Defendants and Ormat take the position that summary 21 judgment and the briefing schedule set forth above can resolve all claims in 22 Plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint.1 . 23 24 25 26 27 1 Federal Defendants also take the position that because Plaintiffs’ APA claims challenge a final agency action, those claims in this case should be decided primarily based on the Administrative Record compiled by Federal Defendants. However, should the Court find that the introduction of extra-record evidence is appropriate, the Parties do not waive their right to seek discovery regarding the RFRA and ESA claims. 28 3 Case 3:21-cv-00512-RCJ-CSD Document 62 Filed 08/02/22 Page 5 of 7 1 In light of the Parties’ commitment to the expedited briefing schedule outlined herein, 2 and Ormat’s intention to suspend construction until either completion of the Section 7 3 consultation process or the end of the year, the Parties respectfully request expedited review by 4 the Court, with a decision on the merits before the end of 2022. 5 6 RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED this 1st day of August, 2022. 7 8 9 10 HOLLAND & HART LLP 5441 KIETZKE LANE, SUITE 200 RENO, NV 89511-2094 11 12 13 14 15 By: Timothy A. Lukas, Esq. (Nevada Bar No. 4678) Sarah C. Bordelon, Esq. (Nevada Bar No. 14683) Erica K. Nannini, Esq. (Nevada Bar No. 13922) Holland & Hart LLP 5441 Kietzke Lane, Suite 200 Reno, NV 89511 Telephone: (775) 327-3011 Fax: (775) 786-6179 tlukas@hollandhart.com scbordelon@hollandhart.com eknannini@hollandhart.com 16 /s/ Hadassah Reimer Hadassah M. Reimer, Esq. (Wyo. Bar No. 6-3825) Holland & Hart LLP P.O. Box 68 Jackson, WY 83001 Tel: 307-734-4517 Fax: 307-739-9544 hmreimer@hollandhart.com 17 18 19 20 21 22 Laura R. Jacobsen, Esq. (Nevada Bar No. 13699) Ormat Technologies, Inc. 6140 Plumas Street Reno, NV 89519 Tel: 775-356-9029 Fax: 775-356-9039 ljacobsen@ormat.com 23 24 25 26 27 Attorneys for Defendant-Intervenor Ormat Nevada Inc. 28 4 Case 3:21-cv-00512-RCJ-CSD Document 62 Filed 08/02/22 Page 6 of 7 1 Gordon H. De Paoli Woodburn and Wedge PO Box 2311 Reno, NV 89505 Phone: 775-688-3000 Fax: 775-688-3088 Email: gdepaoli@woodburnandwedge.com 2 3 4 5 /s/ Wyatt Golding Wyatt Golding Ziontz Chestnut 2101 4th Avenue Suite 1230 Seattle, WA 98121 Phone: 206-448-1230 Email: wgolding@ziontzchestnut.com 6 7 8 9 10 /s/ Scott Lake Scott Lake Center for Biological Diversity P. O. Box 6205 Reno, NV 89513 Phone 802-299-7495 Email: slake@biologicaldiversity.org HOLLAND & HART LLP 5441 KIETZKE LANE, SUITE 200 RENO, NV 89511-2094 11 12 13 14 Attorneys for Plaintiffs/Appellees - Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and Center for Biological Diversity 15 16 17 Sara E. Costello U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division PO Box 7611 Washington, D.C. 20044-7611 Phone: 202-305-0484 Email: sara.costello2@usdoj.gov 18 19 20 21 /s/ Esosa Rachael Aimufua Esosa Rachael Aimufua U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division Natural Resources Section 150 M. Street, NE, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20002 Phone: 202-532-3818 Email: esosa.aimufua@usdoj.gov 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5 Case 3:21-cv-00512-RCJ-CSD Document 62 Filed 08/02/22 Page 7 of 7 1 Kamela A. Caschette U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division Wildlife and Marine Resources Section 150 M. Street, NE, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20002 Phone: 202-305-0340 Email: kamela.caschette@usdoj.gov 2 3 4 5 6 Holly A. Vance U.S. Attorney’s Office 400 S. Virginia Street, Suite 900 Reno, NV 89501 Phone: 775-784-5438 Email: Holly.A.Vance@usdoj.gov 7 8 9 10 Attorneys for Defendants/Appellants - U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, and Jake Vialpando in his official capacity as Field Manager of the Bureau of Land Management Stillwater Field Office HOLLAND & HART LLP 5441 KIETZKE LANE, SUITE 200 RENO, NV 89511-2094 11 12 13 14 15 16 IT IS SO ORDERED. 17 DATED: August 2, 2022. 18 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6

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