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Weekly Cases Update Volume 42, Issue 35

Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States

ELR 20247
11-597 (U.S., December 2012)

The U.S. Supreme Court held that government-induced flooding that is temporary in duration may constitute a takings and is not automatically exempt from Takings Clause inspection. The case arose after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers extended flooding from a dam into the Dave Donaldson Black...

Temporary takings

Michigan v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

ELR 20254
10 C 4457 (N.D. Ill., December 2012)

A district court dismissed a lawsuit brought by five states seeking an order requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create physical barriers in the waterways connecting Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River Basin in order to prevent bighead and silver carp from migrating into the Great...

Invasive Species

Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Ass'n of Governments

ELR 20251
2011-00101593. (Cal. Super. Ct., December 2012)

A California court held that the environmental impact report (EIR) San Diego prepared for its regional transport plan and accompanying sustainable communities strategy violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) because it failed to adequately address greenhouse gas emissions. The...

Climate Change (generally), Environmental impact reports (EIRs)

Building Industry Ass'n of the Bay Area v. United States Department of Commerce

ELR 20255
C 11-4118 PJH (N.D. Cal., November 2012)

A district court held that NOAA Fisheries adequately considered economic impacts when it designated 8.6 million acres in California, Oregon, and Washington as critical habitat for the green sturgeon, a threatened species. Developers argued that the agency was required to balance the economic...

Critical habitat designation

Surfrider Foundation v. California Regional Water Quality Control Board

ELR 20248
D060382 (Cal. Ct. App. 4th Dist., November 2012)

A California appellate court upheld a regional water board's approval of a NPDES permit to build a desalination facility on the coast of Carlsbad, California. An environmental group argued that the board improperly required the facility to restore wetlands in lieu of implementing site, design...

State programs, §402(b)

Pacific Palisades Bowl Mobile Estates, LLC v. Los Angeles

ELR 20249
S187243 (Cal., November 2012)

The California Supreme Court held that all subdivisions, including the conversion of a mobile home park from tenant occupancy to resident ownership, are "developments" for purposes of the California Coastal Act. Nor does the Subdivision Map Act exempt such conversions from the need to comply...

California Coastal Act of 1976, Shoreline use

In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon"

ELR 20253
2179 (E.D. La., November 2012)

A district court dismissed claims against the manufacturer of the chemical dispersant used in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Cleanup responders and coastal residents filed suit against the manufacturer, claiming they suffered a variety of exposure-...

Liability

Hillside Environmental Loss Prevention, Inc. v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

ELR 20250
11-3210 (10th Cir., November 2012)

The Tenth Circuit upheld a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge and fill permit allowing a railroad company to build a terminal on land outside Kansas City, Kansas, that contains streams and wetlands. Environmental groups argued the Corps inadequately considered alternatives to the selected site...

Permit issuance

Asarco, LLC v. Hecla Mining Co.

ELR 20256
CV-12-0381-LRS (E.D. Wash., November 2012)

A district court held that a refinery that settled in bankruptcy court its liability for response costs incurred at a Superfund site may seek contribution from a mining company. The mining company argued that the settlement agreement for which the refinery seeks contribution only resolves the...

Claims not barred

United States v. Orr Water Ditch Co.

ELR 20252
3-73-cv-00023 (D. Nev., November 2012)

A district court upheld a Nevada water engineer ruling allowing a city to change the manner and place of use of surface water rights. A Native American tribe filed a petition challenging the decision, arguing that the ruling was against the public interest because the groundwater underlying the...

Property rights/entitlements