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Weekly Cases Update Volume 42, Issue 4

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

42 ELR 20031
2179 (E.D. La., January 2012)

A district court held that BP must indemnify Halliburton Energy Services for third-party compensatory claims related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster under its drilling contract. Specifically, BP is required to indemnify Halliburton for third-party compensatory claims that arise from...

Sierra Club v. United States Department of Agriculture

42 ELR 20028
07-1860 (D.D.C., January 2012)

A district court held that the USDA's Rural Utilities Service violated NEPA by failing to prepare an EIS in connection with its involvement in the expansion of a coal-fired generating plant in Holcomb, Kansas. Because the Service provided approvals and financial support to the project, the...

Held required for

United States v. Ameren Missouri

42 ELR 20023
4:11 CV 77 (E.D. Mo., January 2012)

A district court partially dismissed EPA's lawsuit against an energy company for violating the CAA when it allegedly undertook major modifications at a coal-fired power plant in Festus, Missouri. EPA alleged that the company violated the Missouri SIP, the terms of its Title V permit, and the...

Prevention of significant deterioration (PSD)

Chevron Corp. v. Naranjo

42 ELR 20026
11-150 (2d Cir., January 2012)

The Second Circuit vacated a preliminary injunction enjoining residents from the Lago Agrio region of the Ecuadorian Amazon from enforcing a multibillion dollar judgment awarded by an Ecuadorian court against an oil company for environmental pollution. Below, the court ruled that absent a...

Governance

Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation v. County of El Dorado

42 ELR 20027
C064875 (Cal. App. 3d Dist., January 2012)

A California appellate court reversed a lower court decision upholding a county's adoption of an oak woodland management plan and mitigation fee program without preparing an environmental impact report (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The county issued a negative...

Environmental impact reports (EIRs)

In re United States

42 ELR 20021
992 (Fed. Cir., January 2012)

The Federal Circuit, in a case involving an electronics manufacturer's challenge to excise taxes on the use of ozone depleting chemicals (ODCs), reversed a lower court decision ordering the IRS to disclose to the manufacturer its excise tax audits of other companies. After paying the excise...

Ozone-depleting substances

Sierra Club v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

42 ELR 20024
10-71457, -71458 (9th Cir., January 2012)

The Ninth Circuit held that EPA's approval of the 2004 SIP for the San Joaquin Valley nonattainment area for the one-hour ozone NAAQS was arbitrary and capricious. Although it approved the SIP in 2010, EPA's approval was based on data current only as of 2004. By approving the 2004 SIP...

Approval and revision, §110(a)

Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC v. Shumlin

42 ELR 20029
11-cv-99 (D. Vt., January 2012)

A district court issued a permanent injunction barring the state of Vermont from bringing an enforcement action, or taking other action, to compel the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to shut down after its license expires on March 21, 2012, if it fails to obtain legislative approval to...

Held preempted

Oil Re-Refining Co. v. Pacific Recycling, Inc.

42 ELR 20025
11-6042 (D. Or., January 2012)

A district court dismissed a property owner's CERCLA claim for costs incurred responding to PCB contamination allegedly caused by an oil recycling company. The owner alleged that the company spilled PCBs on the site. But the $800,000 in costs purportedly incurred are not related to the...

Held inconsistent with, Response costs

Tilot Oil, LLC v. BP Products North America, Inc.,

42 ELR 20022
09-CV-210 (E.D. Wis., January 2012)

A district court dismissed a property owner's RCRA claim against an oil company for benzene contamination present in the basement of one of his buildings. The evidence fails to establish that there may be an imminent and substantial danger to human health or the environment. The owner does...

Claims barred