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Weekly Cases Update Volume 42, Issue 18

Southern Union Co. v. United States

ELR 20134
11-94 (U.S., June 2012)

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned an $18 million fine imposed against a pipeline operator for storing liquid mercury at one of its facilities without a permit in violation of RCRA. In Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, the Court held that the Sixth Amendment's jury-trial...

Criminal penalty provisions, §3008(d)

Pacific Rivers Counsel v. United States Forest Service

ELR 20128
08-17565 (9th Cir., June 2012)

The Ninth Circuit reversed in part and affirmed in part a lower court decision that U.S. Forest Service complied with NEPA and the APA when it amended the Sierra Nevada forest plan in 2004. In stark contrast to the 2001 EIS, which contained a 64-page detailed analysis of the environmental...

Discussion of, held inadequate, Sierra Nevada National Forest, Cal.

Association of Irritated Residents v. California Air Resources Board

ELR 20127
A132165 (Cal. App. 1st Dist., June 2012)

A California appellate court held that the California Air Resources Board's (CARB's) climate change scoping plan, designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, complies with the state's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The Global Solutions Warming Act requires CARB...

Climate Change

State v. AT&T Mobility, LLC

ELR 20125
A11-1725 (Minn. Ct. App., June 2012)

A Minnesota appellate court reversed a lower court decision permanently enjoining the construction of a 450-foot wireless-communications tower outside of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), a 1.1 million-acre wilderness area composed of federal and state lands in northeastern...

Wilderness areas

Friends of Back Bay v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

ELR 20129
11-1184 (4th Cir., June 2012)

The Fourth Circuit held that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer violated NEPA when it issued a CWA §404 permit allowing a developer to build a mooring facility and boat ramp 3,000 feet from the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Corps' EA, issued...

Held required for, Permit issuance

Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak

ELR 20126
11-246 (U.S., June 2012)

The U.S. Supreme Court held that a property owner may proceed with his APA suit against the United States claiming that the Secretary of the Interior lacked authority under §465 of the Indian Reorganization Act to take title to land in trust for a Native American tribe seeking to open a...

Indian Reorganization Act, Quiet Title Act (QTA)

BCCA Appeal Group v. United State Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20131
10-60459 (5th Cir., June 2012)

The Fifth Circuit upheld EPA's decision to disapprove certain revisions to Texas' SIP. EPA disapproved the revisions concerning the state's "qualified facilities program" because it did not meet the minor new source review (NSR) SIP nor did it meet the NSR SIP requirement for a substitute...

Approval and revision, §110(a)

United States v. 32.42 Acres of Land

ELR 20130
10-56568 (9th Cir., June 2012)

The Ninth Circuit held that the United States can extinguish California's public trust rights when exercising its federal power of eminent domain. The case involves 32.42 acres of land that the U.S. Navy has continuously leased from the state since 1949. The parcel is subject to California's...

Condemnation, Public trust doctrine

Sheep Mountain Alliance v. Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment

ELR 20136
2011CV861 (Colo. Dist. Ct., June 2012)

A Colorado court invalidated a state license to construct and operate a uranium mill in Montrose County, Colorado. The state's environmental agency violated the APA because it failed to provide an environmental group with the opportunity to request a formal, adjudicatory hearing. The court...

Adjudications, §554, Notice requirements, §552

Thrun v. Cuomo

ELR 20132
4358-11 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., June 2012)

A New York court dismissed individuals' lawsuit challenging the legality of New York's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional cap-and-trade plan for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The individuals claimed they had standing because, as electric utility...

Air pollution, Climate Change (generally)