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Weekly Cases Update Volume 42, Issue 9

Mingo Logan Coal Co. v. Environmental Protection Agency

42 ELR 20071
10-0541 (D.D.C., March 2012)

A district court held that EPA exceeded its authority under CWA §404(c) when it invalidated an existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineer permit authorizing a mining company to discharge fill material from its mountaintop coal mine into two nearby streams. Specifically, EPA withdrew the...

EPA veto, §404(c)

Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency

42 ELR 20064
10-1062 (U.S., March 2012)

The U.S. Supreme Court held that property owners may bring a civil action under the APA to challenge EPA's issuance of a CWA §309 compliance order that directs them to restore their property immediately pursuant to an EPA work plan. The APA provides for judicial review of final agency action for...


No Wetlands Landfill Expansion v. County of Marin

42 ELR 20065
A131651 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. , March 2012)

A California appellate court reversed a lower court decision directing a county board to hear an administrative appeal of an environmental impact report (EIR) and permit for a landfill expansion project. A local environmental enforcement agency issued the permit after considering and...

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Environmental Assessment/Impact Statement

Comer v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc.

42 ELR 20067
1:11CV220 (S.D. Miss., March 2012)

A district court held that the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel bar individuals' trespass, nuisance, and negligence claims against numerous oil, coal, electric, and chemical companies for damages stemming from Hurricane Katrina. The individuals asserted that the companies'...

Climate Change (generally), Held estopped, Held to bar suit

Applewood Properties, LLC v. New South Properties, LLC

42 ELR 20070
COA11-353-2 (N.C. Ct. App., March 2012)

A North Carolina appellate court held that the state's Sedimentation Pollution Control Act (SPCA) does not apply if there was no deposition of sediment to water. The owner of a golf course claimed that a construction company was liable under the SPCA for damages stemming from land-disturbing...

Sedimentation Pollution Control Act

Sequoia Forestkeeper v. Tidwell

42 ELR 20066
11-679 (E.D. Cal., March 2012)

A district court invalidated two U.S. Forest Service regulations exempting from public notice, comment, and administrative appeal requirements land and resource management plan decisions that are categorically excluded from NEPA review. The regulations violate the Forest Service Decisionmaking...

Appeals Reform Act (ARA)

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Co. v. Harleysville Insurance Co.

42 ELR 20068
43A04-1109-PL-507 (Ind. Ct. App. , March 2012)

An Indiana appellate court reversed and remanded a lower court decision that an insurer need not defend and indemnify a service station owner in underlying state administrative proceedings concerning the environmental remediation of the site. The insurer argued that because the loss occurred...

Duty to defend, Duty to indemnify, Insurance

American Alternative Insurance Co. v. Moon Nurseries, Inc.

42 ELR 20069
ELH-11-02267 (D. Md., March 2012)

A district court dismissed an insurance company's CERCLA claim against a tree nursery to recover response costs incurred by firefighters responding to a fire. The fire involved chlorine, a hazardous substance, and the company asserted that its insureds--two fire companies—"removed" and "...

Held not included