The Ninth Circuit held that EPA violated the CAA when it approved California SIPs concerning NAAQS for ozone and fine particulate matter in the San Joaquin Valley. The SIPs relied on state-adopted mobile emissions standards to achieve their emission reduction goals. But the SIPs approved by EPA did not include those standards, which is in violation of the Act.
Settling CERCLA Defendants Enter Proposed DOJ Consent Decree
A settling CERCLA defendant responsible for violations at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Superfund site near Marion, Illinois, must pay an additional $78,617 in U.S. response costs, and settling federal agencies--the Department of the Army and DOI--must pay $1,677,549 in response costs.
A district court held that a PRP established the divisibility defense and, therefore, is not jointly and severally liable for cleanup costs at the Lower Fox River Superfund site in Wisconsin. On remand from the Seventh Circuit, the district court was ordered to reconsider the PRP's divisibility defense. Notably, the appellate court directed the district court to view the "harm" in terms of its actual toxicity rather than in terms of the remedy or costs that harm may have triggered. Here, the PRP demonstrated that the harm is theoretically capable of being divided and that there is a reasonable way of apportioning the damages.
The May 2015 issue of ELR's News & Analysis features articles on constitutional challenges to state energy policies, recent litigation surrounding the Northern Rocky Mountain population of gray wolves, the use of settlement confidentiality clauses in claims related to hydraulic fracturing, Chinese enviromental law developments for the year 2014, and an analysis of "wind rights" in Texas. The May issue also presents two pieces that examine the relationship between humans and our environment, as well as the transcript to a recent ELI seminar on TSCA reform.