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Weekly Cases Update Volume 42, Issue 2

Pacific Operators Offshore, LLP v. Valladolid

42 ELR 20009
10-507 (U.S., January 2012)

The U.S. Supreme Court held that the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) extends workers compensation coverage to an employee who can establish a substantial nexus between his injury and his employer's extractive operations on the outer continental shelf (OCS). The case arose after the...


Shoshone Indian Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming v. United States

42 ELR 20011
2010-5150 (Fed. Cir., January 2012)

The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a lower court decision dismissing Native American tribes' claim that the government unlawfully converted oil and gas leases on a reservation from one type of lease to another. The lower court dismissed the claims on statute of limitations grounds. The...

Mineral rights, Trespass

Sierra Club v. Jackson

42 ELR 20008
11-1278 (D.D.C., January 2012)

A district court vacated EPA's stay of two rules setting forth emission standards from boilers and commercial and industrial solid waste incineration units. EPA issued the rules on March 21, 2011, and shortly thereafter several parties filed petitions for review challenging the legal sufficiency...

Solid waste combustion, §129

Sierra Club v. California Parks & Recreation

42 ELR 20010
B230095 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. , January 2012)

A California appellate court upheld a lower court decision dismissing a petition to compel the state's parks and recreation department to ban off-highway vehicle recreation on certain leased portions of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreational Area. It is too late to review the 1982...

California Coastal Act of 1976

Chevron Corp. v. Donziger

42 ELR 20007
11 Civ. 0691 (S.D.N.Y., January 2012)

A district court denied a corporation's motion to freeze the assets of Ecuadorian plaintiffs and to prevent them from collecting the proceeds of a multibillion dollar judgment in an underlying case involving environmental contamination in the Amazon rainforest. The corporation filed its...

South America

West Virginia Highlands Conservancy v. Monongahela Power Co.

42 ELR 20014
1:11cv71 (N.D. W. Va., January 2012)
Burford doctrine, District court jurisdiction, Violations

Northern Plains Resource Council, Inc. v. Surface Transportation Board

42 ELR 20012
97-70037 et al (9th Cir., December 2011)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the Surface Transportation Board's approval of a railroad company's applications to build a 130-mile railroad line in Southeastern Montana to haul coal. The Board prepared EISs under NEPA and included numerous mitigation measures in its...

Cumulative impacts

Rocky Mount Farmers Union v. Goldstene

42 ELR 20013
09-2234, 10-163 (E.D. Cal., December 2011)
Air pollution, Auto emission standards, Climate Change (generally)

U.S. Magnesium, LLM v. Environmental Protection Agency

42 ELR 20064
No. 09-1269 (D.C. Cir. , January 2011)

The D.C. Circuit denied a petition challenging a magnesium plant's inclusion on the NPL. EPA uses a hazard ranking system (HRS) to determine whether to place a site on the NPL. Petitioners argued that EPA erred in calculating the HRS score and that if these errors were corrected, the...

Hazard ranking system