Groups May Challenge Delisting of Historic Battlefield Site
The D.C. Circuit held that environmental groups have standing to challenge DOI's decision to remove the Blair Mountain Battlefield--the site of a large 1921 coal miner uprising in West Virginia--from the National Register of Historic Places. A lower court ruled the groups lacked standing, but the appellate court disagreed. Coal companies have permits that encompass the Battlefield and have expectations to mine in the Battlefield under those permits. Because delisting would remove certain protections for the site, the groups' members asserted a concrete and particularized injury that is both actual and imminent. They also satisfied the causation and redressibility prongs of standing.
Settling CWA Defendant to Pay $1.4 Million Under Proposed DOJ Consent Decree
Under a proposed consent decree, a settling CWA defendant that discharged crude oil into navigable waters of the United States from the North Line pipeline near Torbert, Louisiana, must pay a $1,427,120 civil penalty and must complete cleanup and follow-up work already being undertaken.
RCRA Does Not Extend to Emissions Made Directly to Air
The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of environmental groups' RCRA citizen suit against a railroad company seeking to enjoin the emission of particulate matter found in diesel exhaust from the company's railyards. The railyard's emission of diesel particulate matter does not constitute the “disposal” of solid waste within the meaning of RCRA. A “disposal” occurs only where the solid waste is first placed “into or on any land or water.” and is thereafter “emitted into the air.” But here, the solid waste at issue was first emitted into the air.
The September issue of ELR's News & Analysis looks at the CWA's definition of "addition", historic preservation easements for religious properties, and recent court decisions on climate change law. The issue also discusses how to measure environmental enforcement success, EPA's "all appropriate inquiries" rule, and EPA's penalty policy. The transcript to a recent ELI seminar on crude oil transport is also included.