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New Jersey v. Corps of Eng'rs

Citation: 40 ELR 20135
No. Nos. 09-5591, -5889, (D.N.J., 04/26/2010)

A district court denied the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's motion to transfer to the U.S. District Court of Delaware various claims filed against it by environmental groups and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection arising out of the Corps' plan to deepen 102 miles of the Delaware River along the New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania borders. The Corps sought transfer on the grounds that a similar case had already been filed in the District of Delaware. But the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's case could not have been properly brought in the District of Delaware and, therefore, transfer of this action would not be proper. Additionally, the local interests in this case weigh heavily against transfer to the District of Delaware. Plaintiffs allege violations of NEPA, CAA, CWA, and CZMA that if proven would directly impact New Jersey residents who have an interest in having a New Jersey court decide the issues. The project contemplates disposing of millions of cubic yards of river sediment within New Jersey. Disposal of this sediment in New Jersey has the potential to negatively impact the soil, air, and water quality within the state. Further, the claims brought by Plaintiffs arose in New Jersey because the claims involve issues raised by the dredging of the Delaware River between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Therefore, the Corps failed to show that adjudicating these cases in Delaware would not only be proper but also more convenient than adjudicating the cases in New Jersey.

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