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Weekly Cases Update Volume 41, Issue 3

Precon Development Corp. v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

ELR 20071
No. 09-2239 (4th Cir., January 2011)

The Fourth Circuit reversed and remanded a lower court decision upholding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' conclusion that it had jurisdiction over wetlands on a developer's property. The Corps permissibly defined the scope of its review area as including 448 acres of similarly situated...

Corps of Engineers jurisdiction, Dredge and fill permits

In re Chaney Enterprises Ltd.

ELR 20070
No. 10-151440 (Md. Cir., January 2011)

A Maryland court remanded certain provisions in a general discharge permit for mining operations and concrete plants. Petitioners—the owners of mining companies and concrete manufacturing plants throughout the state of Maryland—correctly argued that the wet weather total suspended solids numeric...

Maryland, Navigable waters

Carlson v. Ameren Corp.

ELR 20074
No. 10-01230 (C.D. Ill., January 2011)

A district court held that the owners of contaminated property may be held liable under RCRA for obstructing the former owner's ability to clean up the site. After purchasing the property from a power company, the owners filed suit against the power company under RCRA. The company then...

Cause of action

Mays v. Tennessee Valley Authority

ELR 20075
No. 3:09-cv-06 (E.D. Tenn., January 2011)

A district court recommended that individuals' request for class certification in a case against TVA for a coal ash spill in Tennessee be denied. On December 22, 2008, one of the coal ash containment dikes at the TVA's Swan Pond facility failed. As a result, approximately 5.4 million cubic yards...

Common questions, FRCP 23(b)(3)

Hulbert v. Port of Everett

ELR 20073
No. 64102-6-I (Wash. Ct. App, January 2011)

A Washington appellate court held that the former owners of contaminated property may be held liable under the state's Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). Fifteen years after the former owner sold the property to a port, the port notified the former owners that they were potentially liable...

Hazardous Substances, Washington

Alaska Community Action on Toxics v. Aurora Energy Services LLC

ELR 20072
No. 3:09-cv-00255 (D. Alaska, January 2011)

A district court held that environmental groups may go forward with their claims that coal-contaminated dust, slurry, water, and snow is being discharged from a coal loading facility into a bay in violation of the CWA. Although the facility has an NPDES permit, the groups argued that the...


Lands Council v. McNair

ELR 20057
Nos. 09-35729, -35753 (9th Cir., December 2010)

The Ninth Circuit held that BLM and the U.S. Forest Service did not violate the CWA, NEPA, or the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) in approving a proposed mine expansion project in the Caribou National Forest. After evaluating the data, the agencies determined that remediation...

Idaho national forests, Idaho Panhandle National Forest, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)