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Weekly Cases Update Volume 43, Issue 20

Center for Biological Diversity v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20157
11-1101 (D.C. Cir., July 2013)

The D.C. Circuit vacated an EPA rule that deferred regulation of biogenic carbon dioxide—non-fossil-fuel carbon dioxide sources such as ethanol—for three years. Although the "Deferral Rule" is a temporary regulation, it functions, in effect, as a permanent exemption from the PSD permitting...

Climate Change (generally)

Waldburger v. CTS Corp

ELR 20150
12-1290 (4th Cir., July 2013)

The Fourth Circuit held that the discovery rule set forth in CERCLA §309 preempts North Carolina's 10-year limitation on the accrual of real property claims. The case arose after landowners filed a nuisance action against a corporation for allegedly contaminating their well water with...

Hazardous wastes & substances, Held preempted

United States v. Midwest Generation, LLC

ELR 20153
12-1026, -1051 (7th Cir., July 2013)

The Seventh Circuit held that the statute of limitations bars EPA's and Illinois' CAA suit against a power company for failing to obtain preconstruction permits and to use best available control technology (BACT) at five coal-fired power plants that were modified prior to it acquiring them in...

Preconstruction requirements, §165

Borough of Harvey Cedars v. Karan

ELR 20149
A-120-11 (N.J., July 2013)

The Supreme Court of New Jersey reversed and remanded a lower court decision awarding $375,000 in damages to beachfront property owners whose oceanfront view was obstructed by a dune built to serve as a barrier from powerful storms and ocean surges. A city used its power of eminent domain to...

Condemnation, Constitutional law, Eminent domain, Public use

John v. Alaska Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund

ELR 20151
09-36122 et al (9th Cir., July 2013)

The Ninth Circuit upheld rules DOI and USDA issued in 1999 that implement part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) concerning subsistence fishing and hunting rights. In Alaska v. Babbitt, 72 F.3d 698 (9th Cir. 1995) (Katie John I), the court held...

Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

Cormier v. District of Columbia Water & Sewer Authority

ELR 20155
11-cv-1290, 12-cv-537 (D.C., July 2013)

The District of Columbia's highest court upheld the dismissal of a property owner's lawsuit against the D.C. sewer and water authority for pinhole leaks in his apartment buildings' pipes. The trial record provides ample support for the court's determination that the authority's actions or...


United States v. Ritz

ELR 20152
11-3320 (7th Cir., July 2013)

The Seventh Circuit upheld a lower court decision that a campground operated as a "public water system" under the SDWA. The court found that the campground had failed to conduct the requisite water sampling, monitoring and reporting to consumers and awarded a $29,754 civil penalty to the...

Held included

Strudley v. Antero Resources Corp.

ELR 20154
12CA1251 (Colo. Ct. App., July 2013)

A Colorado appellate court held that under state law, a trial court may not order plaintiffs in a toxic tort case to present prima facie evidence supporting their claims after initial disclosures, but before full discovery begins, or risk having their case dismissed. The case arose after...

Toxic torts

American Petroleum Institute v. Securities & Exchange Commission

ELR 20146
12-1668 (D.D.C., July 2013)

A district court vacated an SEC rule that requires certain companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments in connection with the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals. The rule was promulgated in response to §13(q) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer...

Securities and Exchange Commission

Asarco LLC v. Union Pacific Railroad Co.

ELR 20156
8:12CV416 (D. Neb., July 2013)

A district court held that a settlement agreement bars a mining corporation from seeking contribution from a railroad company under CERCLA for environmental liability related to the Omaha Lead Superfund site in Omaha, Nebraska. Both parties owned the site at different times between 1871 and 1997...

Claims barred, Settlements, §122