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Weekly Cases Update Volume 41, Issue 6

United States v. Exxon Corp.

41 ELR 20046
3:91-cv-00082 (D. Alaska, February 2012)

A district court denied an oil company's motion to enforce a 1991 consent decree entered into in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The decree expressly released the company from cleanup obligations following the decree's entry. But it also...

Settlement agreements

Texas v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

41 ELR 20100
No. 10-60961 (5th Cir., February 2011)

The Fifth Circuit granted EPA's request to transfer to the D.C. Circuit Texas' petition for review of the Agency's call for revisions to the state's SIP because its prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) provisions fail to control greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases have not always...

Approval and revision, §110(a), Venue

Klamath Irrigation District v. United States

41 ELR 20094
No. 2007-5115 (Fed. Cir., February 2011)

The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a lower court decision dismissing breach of contract, takings, and Klamath River Basin Compact claims brought against the U.S. government by agricultural landowners and water, drainage, and irrigation districts in Oregon and California. The...

Property rights/entitlements, Water allocation under federal law, Water allocation under state law

Ensco Offshore Co. v. Salazar

41 ELR 20092
No. 10-1941 (E.D. La. , February 2011)

A district court ordered the Bureau of Ocean Exploration Management, Regulation, and Enforcement to act on five pending deepwater drilling permit applications within 30 days. The permit applicant met all the necessary requirements for a preliminary injunction. The Outer Continental Shelf...

Interior, Department of the, Oceans

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

41 ELR 20093
No. 08-75058 (9th Cir., February 2011)

The Ninth Circuit, in a case concerning the NRC's approval of a proposed interim spent fuel storage installation at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, held that the NRC's refusal to grant a nonprofit group access to sensitive information in a closed adjudicatory hearing was not arbitrary,...

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Nuclear Waste

Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

41 ELR 20099
No. 5:10 CV 673 (N.D. Ohio , February 2011)

A district court held that an aerospace and technology company is not entitled to insurance coverage by "operation of law" for certain environmental liabilities under CERCLA on policies issued by an insurance company to the prior owner of the contaminated site at issue. The company's...

Duty to indemnify, Indemnification

Veltri v. New York State Office of the Comptroller

41 ELR 20096
No. 509741 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. , February 2011)

A New York appellate court held that a property owner who had no knowledge of a UST on his property when he purchased it and did nothing to contribute to the contamination is nevertheless strictly liable as a discharger and not entitled to reimbursement from the New York Environmental...

New York

Goodspeed Airport LLC v. East Haddam Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Comm'n

41 ELR 20095
No. 10-516-cv (2d Cir., February 2011)

The Second Circuit held that the Connecticut Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act (IWWA) and the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), as well as municipal regulations that impose permit requirements for cutting trees on protected wetlands, are not preempted by the Federal...

Connecticut Environmental Protection Act, Relationship to federal laws

Spears v. Chrysler

41 ELR 20098
No. 3:08CV331 (S.D. Ohio, February 2011)

A district court held that residents' state law tort claims against the former owners of an industrial site should not be dismissed under the "primary jurisdiction" doctrine. The residents filed suit against the former owners for allegedly contaminating their property and persons with...

Ohio, Tort Law

500 Associates, Inc. v. Vermont American Corp.

41 ELR 20097
No. 3:96CV-847-S (W.D. Ky., February 2011)

A district court dismissed a CERCLA §107 claim brought by a group of real estate developers who purchased contaminated property from a manufacturing company in 1986. Prior to purchasing the property, the group hired an environmental consultant who performed a cursory environmental audit...

Response costs