The Military and the Environment in the United States: Exemptions, Injunctions, and Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council
Review of European Community & International Environmental Law, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 100-103, April 2009
4 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2008 Last revised: 3 Feb 2013
Date Written: May 22, 2009
This short piece reviews the background of and the U.S. Supreme Court's November 2008 decision in Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, which challenged the Navy's use of its mid-frequency active sonar (MFAS) in fourteen military training exercises off the coast of southern California. It concludes that despite possible readings of the case that would generally limit the availability of injunctions in environmental cases, especially cases under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the case is best read as the latest articulation of the Supreme Court's belief that military readiness activities are "special" when it comes to forced compliance with the federal environmental laws.
Keywords: Winter v. NRDC, sonar, Navy, military, NEPA, National Environmental Policy Act, injunction, public interest
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