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Weekly Cases Update Volume 41, Issue 22

Gates v. Rohm & Haas Co.

41 ELR 20278
No. 10-2108 (3d Cir., August 2011)

The Third Circuit affirmed a lower court decision refusing to certify residents' class action for medical monitoring and property damage in a suit against chemical companies for allegedly dumping a carcinogen at an industrial complex near their homes. The residents failed to show the...

Common questions, FRCP 23(b)(3)

Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Salazar

41 ELR 20252
Nos. CV 11-70-M-DWM, -71-M-DWM (D. Mont., August 2011)

A district court upheld the constitutionality of an appropriations rider that reinstated an FWS rule that removed ESA protections for the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf in all areas outside of Wyoming. The court previously held that the rule violated the ESA because it protected a listed...

Constitutional Law, Gray wolf

Defenders of Wildlife v. Salazar

41 ELR 20248
No. 10-5144 (D.C. Cir., August 2011)

The D.C. Circuit upheld a lower court decision dismissing an environmental group's action challenging FWS' and the National Park Service's plan for managing elk and bison populations in the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park. Part of this plan includes ending the longstanding...

Grand Teton National Park, Mont., Bison

National Wildlife Federation v. National Marine Fisheries Service

41 ELR 20247
No. 01-00640 (D. Or., August 2011)

A district court held that NOAA Fisheries' 2008/2010 biological opinion (BiOp) for the Federal Columbia River Power System is arbitrary and capricious under the ESA. In the BiOp it issued to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, NOAA Fisheries concluded that...

Biological opinion, §7(b)

Hinds Investments, LP v. Angioloi

41 ELR 20243
Nos. 10-15607, -15951 (9th Cir., August 2011)

The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a shopping center owner's citizen suit action under RCRA against manufacturers of dry cleaning equipment. The owner argued that the manufacturers contributed to the release of hazardous waste into the environment by virtue of their machinery, which...

Arrangers, Imminent and substantial endangerment, §7002(a)(1)(B)

Sierra Club v. U.S. Defense Energy Support Center,

41 ELR 20253
No. 01-11-cv-41 (E.D. Va., July 2011)

A district court held that environmental groups lacked standing to challenge contracts a Department of Defense agency entered into to purchase fuel derived from Canadian oil sands recovered crude oil (COSRC). The groups argued that the contracts violated the Energy Independence and Security...

"Injury-in-fact" test, Energy (generally)

Citizens for Balanced Use v. Montana Wilderness Ass'n

41 ELR 20246
No. 10-35823 (9th Cir., July 2011)

The Ninth Circuit held that environmental groups may intervene in a citizen suit against the U.S. Forest Service concerning restricted motorized and mechanized vehicle use in a section of the Gallatin National Forest. In the underlying action, the citizens group argued that the Forest Service's...

Gallatin National Forest, Intervention, FRCP 24

Team Enterprises, LLC v. Western Investment Real Estate Trust

41 ELR 20245
No. 10-16916 (9th Cir., July 2011)

The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a dry cleaner's CERCLA and tort law claims against the manufacturer of dry cleaning equipment. The dry cleaner failed to present evidence giving rise to a genuine dispute as to any material fact with respect to its CERCLA claim. A person may be...


Anacostia Riverkeeper v. Jackson

41 ELR 20251
No. 09-cv-97 (D.D.C., July 2011)

A district court held that EPA's approval of a sediments and total suspended solids (TSS) TMDL for the Anacostia River in Maryland and Washington, D.C., was arbitrary and capricious. When developing a TMDL for a particular pollutant, the CWA and its implementing regulations require the state—in...

Total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), §303(d)

Horne v. United States Department of Agriculture

41 ELR 20244
No. 10-15270 (9th Cir., July 2011)

The Ninth Circuit held that a reserve program for raisins authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 does not constitute a taking in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The USDA imposed civil penalties against two raisin farmers for failing to comply with various...

Agriculture, Department of, Permanent physical takings