Law 360 has included Kaplan Kirsch and Rockwell’s win in Eagle County, Colorado v. U.S. Surface Transportation Board as one of the publication’s Biggest Environmental Law Cases of 2023.
The Firm successfully represented Eagle County, Colorado in challenging the federal Surface Transportation Board’s approval of an 88-mile rail line intended to transport billions of gallons of crude oil out of Utah’s Uinta Basin. The Board’s approval of the $1.5 billion dollar rail project would have allowed the addition of up to 18 miles of trains hauling oil each day on an existing line through the Rocky Mountains within feet of the Colorado River.
In a definitive and detailed legal opinion, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Board failed to adequately consider the project’s “significant potential for environmental harm” in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act.