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Weekly Cases Update Volume 43, Issue 15

Styrene Information & Research Center, Inc. v. Sebelius

ELR 20108
11-1079 (D.D.C., May 2013)

A district court upheld the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS') decision to list styrene in its Twelfth Report on Carcinogens, which identifies agents, substances, mixtures, and exposure circumstances that are known or reasonably anticipated to cause cancer in humans....

Toxic Substances (generally)

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

ELR 20107
12-1999 (4th Cir., May 2013)

The Fourth Circuit upheld the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to issue a CWA §404 fill permit to a surface mine in West Virginia. Environmental groups challenged the permit on two grounds. First, they argued that the Corps made "a material factual error" and "misapprehended" the baseline...

Corps of Engineers permits

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

ELR 20105
12-1106 (D.C. Cir., May 2013)

The D.C. Circuit denied petitions for review challenging NRC's issuance of a combined license to construct and operate two new units at the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Georgia as well as its approval of an amended design for a nuclear power plant reactor on which the Vogtle application relied...

Nuclear power facilities, Safety of nuclear power plant operations

Comer v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc.

ELR 20109
12-60291 (5th Cir., May 2013)

The Fifth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision that the doctrine of res judicata bars 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 to bar suit

Bowman v. Monsanto Co.

ELR 20104
11-796 (U.S., May 2013)

The U.S. Supreme Court held that patent exhaustion does not permit a farmer to reproduce patented seeds through planting and harvesting without the patent holder’s permission. A seed manufacturer invented and patented Roundup Ready soybean seeds, which contain a genetic alteration that allows...


Duke Energy Progress, Inc. v. Alcan Aluminum Corp.

ELR 20110
5-08-CV-460, -463 (E.D.N.C., May 2013)

A district court denied an electric company's motion for reconsideration of a previous ruling that genuine issues of material fact preclude a finding of summary judgment in a contribution case concerning the Ward Transformer Superfund site. The court had issued two orders concerning the site—one...


SCOPE v. Santa Clara, City of

ELR 20106
BS132487 (Cal. Super. Ct., April 2013)

A California court ordered a city to set aside its approval of a development project until it complies with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The environmental impact report for the project failed to summarize documents incorporated by reference in violation of CEQA guidelines....

Environmental impact reports (EIRs)