Precedent-Setting Appellate Win Paves the Way for Driftwood’s $25 Billion Liquid Natural Gas Project to Proceed

2 minute read | September.08.2023

  • An Orrick cross-practice team secured a precedent-setting win for our client Driftwood LNG LLC and Driftwood Pipeline LLC in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Court ruled that Driftwood can proceed with its $25 billion liquid natural gas terminal, squarely rejecting a challenge to the project’s environmental permits.
  • Driftwood had already invested more than a $1 billion on its natural gas liquefaction project when Healthy Gulf Network and Sierra Club unexpectedly challenged Driftwood’s Clean Water Act permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers. The groups claimed that the Corps violated federal law in approving the location of the terminal and approving Driftwood’s proposed environmental mitigation plan.
  • Agreeing with our merits briefing, which documented the legal and factual errors in Petitioners’ arguments, the Court of Appeals rejected the challenge in its entirety and delivered a complete victory to Driftwood. The panel ruled that the Corps properly approved the project’s location and endorsed Driftwood’s interpretation of applicable precedent in rejecting the challenge to its environmental mitigation plan. The decision provides a greenlight for Driftwood to press forward with project development.

Litigation Daily recognized the win in its Litigators of the Week feature.

The Orrick team was led by partners Robert Loeb and Lisa Tonery, and included associates Geoffrey Shaw and Lisset Pino.