Court Amends Scheduling Order in Alaska Oil and Gas Seismic Cook Inlet Case to Accommodate Likely New ESA Citizen Suit Claim involving Consultation for Beluga Whale

On February 15, 2020, the parties filed a stipulated motion to revise the court’s scheduling order in the case Cook Inlet v. Ross (District Alaska).

Cook Inletkeeper and Center for Biological Diversity have sued Federal Defendants Wilbur Ross and James Balsiger, in their official capacities, and the National Marine Fisheries Service (“NMFS”) in Alaska federal district court. Hilcorp Alaska, LLC and the State of Alaska have intervened in the case, which currently involves the plaintiffs’ challenge to an oil and gas seismic take permit for Cook Inlet, Alaska, that NMFS issued under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act.  The Plaintiffs claim risk to Cook Inlet beluga whales.