Flint, Michigan, Class Action Lawsuit Dismissed on Jurisdictional Grounds
A district court held it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over a class action lawsuit that stems from the water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan. The plaintiffs alleged that the city violated their constitutional rights and state law by providing contaminated water and requiring them to pay for it. But the plaintiffs' constitutional claims under §1983 are precluded by the SDWA.
DOI Issues Blowout Prevention Regulations for Offshore Oil and Gas Operations
DOI's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement finalized new regulations that consolidate equipment and operational requirements pertaining to offshore oil and gas drilling, completions, workovers, and decommissioning, with particular emphasis on blowout preventer and well-control requirements, to address and implement recommendations resulting from investigations into the Deepwater Horizon incident.
Federal Power Act Preempts Maryland Program to Encourage In-State Power Generation
The U.S. Supreme Court held that the Federal Power Act preempts a Maryland program intended to encourage in-state power generation. The program requires electric utilities to enter into a 20-year pricing contract with a power generation development company at a specified rate. Under the contract, the company will sell its capacity to a regional transmission organization through an auction, but if the company doesn't clear a certain price at auction, the utilities will cover the difference. But the "contract for differences" disregards the interstate wholesale rate FERC requires.
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court's review of Hawkes v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the April 2016 issue of ELR's News & Analysis features an article that examines whether a wetlands jurisdictional determination is reviewable under the APA. Also included are two pieces on climate change: one offering insight into the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and a second discussing how climate change resilience should be integrated into HUD’s Disaster Recovery Program. The issue also features the fifth in a series of five articles detailing how federal courts have interpreted each element of the CWA offense.