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Weekly Cases Update Volume 42, Issue 8

Turtle Island Restoration Network v. Department of Commerce

ELR 20058
11-15783 (9th Cir., March 2012)

The Ninth Circuit upheld a consent decree vacating a portion of a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regulation increasing the limit on incidental interactions between longline fishing boats and loggerhead turtles and reducing the incidental take limits back to preexisting 2004 levels. The...

Incidental taking, Wildlife (generally)

Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Salazar

ELR 20057
11-35661, -35670 (9th Cir., March 2012)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision denying an environmental group's request to enjoin the implementation of a statute, §1713 of the 2011 Appropriations Act, that orders the Secretary of the Interior to remove a portion of a distinct population of gray wolves from the...

Wolves

Scottsdale Indemnity Co. v. Village of Crestwood

ELR 20063
11-2385 et al. (7th Cir., March 2012)

The Seventh Circuit held that an insurance company has no duty to defend or indemnify a town in underlying lawsuits alleging that it knowingly supplied contaminated drinking water to its residents. In the mid-1908s, town officials learned that one of its water wells was contaminated with...

Held to bar, Groundwater

Shell Oil Co. v. United States

ELR 20059
2010-5161 (Fed. Cir., March 2012)

The Federal Circuit vacated a trial judge's decision requiring the United States to indemnify certain oil companies for environmental cleanup costs under CERCLA. Because the trial judge's wife owned shares in the parent company of two of the defendant oil companies, he decided to sever the...

Recusal

Solutia, Inc. v. McWane, Inc.

ELR 20062
10-15639 (11th Cir., March 2012)

The Eleventh Circuit held that parties subject to a consent decree may not file claims for cost recovery under §107(a) of CERCLA and that their remedies are limited to filing claims for contribution under CERCLA §113(f). If a party subject to a consent decree could simply repackage its §113(...

Contribution protection for settling parties, §113(f)(2), Covered persons, §107(a)

San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority v. United States

ELR 20060
09-17594 (9th Cir., March 2012)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision granting summary judgment in favor of the U.S. government on claims challenging the DOI's accounting of approximately 9,000 acre feet of water released between June 17 and 24, 2004, from two reservoirs within California's Central Valley...

Central Valley Project Improvement Act, Water allocation under federal law

Northwest Environmental Advocates v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20061
3:05-cv-01876-AC, (D. Or., February 2012)

A district court held that EPA violated the CWA when it failed to review Oregon's nonpoint source rules. The nonpoint source provisions create exemptions for many sources of pollution in Oregon's waters, including agriculture, forestry, and grazing. EPA claimed that the regulations at issue...

Water pollution, Nonpoint source discharges