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Weekly Cases Update Volume 43, Issue 21

In re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation

43 ELR 20171
10-4135-cv (L), 10-4329-cv (XAP) (2d Cir., July 2013)

The Second Circuit affirmed a lower court decision finding oil companies liable for contaminating New York City wells with methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and awarding a $104.69 million judgment in favor of the city. A jury had found the companies liable under New York tort law for...

Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE)

Texas v. Environmental Protection Agency

43 ELR 20170
10-1425, 11-1037 (D.C. Cir., July 2013)

The D.C. Circuit denied states' and industry groups' petitions challenging EPA rules establishing CAA permitting requirements in states that do not have implementation plans for greenhouse gases. The rules were designed to ensure that a permitting authority was available to issue the required...

Climate Change (generally), State implementation plans (SIPs)

Mississippi v. Environmental Protection Agency

43 ELR 20158
No. 08-1200 (D.C. Cir., July 2013, December 2013)

The D.C. Circuit remanded for reconsideration EPA's revisions to the secondary, welfare-based NAAQS for ozone, but denied petitions challenging revisions to the primary, health-based ozone NAAQS. Primary standards set limits to protect public health, including the health of "sensitive"...

Review and revision, §109(d)

Alaska v. Freezer Longline Coalition

43 ELR 20159
12-35201 et al. (9th Cir., July 2013)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision rejecting claims that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violated the ESA when it placed commercial fishing restrictions on sub-regions of the Pacific Ocean inhabited by the endangered western distinct population segment of Stellar sea...

Jeopardize species/habitat, Steller sea lions

National Ass'n of Manufacturers v. Securities and Exchange Commission

43 ELR 20167
13-cv-635 (D.D.C., July 2013)

A district court upheld an SEC rule imposing certain disclosure requirements for companies that use "conflict minerals" originating in and around the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Manufacturing groups argued that the rule's requirement that companies publish their conflict minerals...

Africa, Human Rights

Wildearth Guardians v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

43 ELR 20165
11-9559 (10th Cir., July 2013)

The Tenth Circuit affirmed an EPA order denying an environmental group's petition to object to a CAA Title V operating permit for a coal-fired power station in Colorado. In its petition for an objection, the group argued that the permit needed to include a plan to bring the power station into...

Operating permits,§§501-507, Preconstruction requirements, §165

California Sportfishing Protection Alliance v. Chico Scrap Metal, LLC

43 ELR 20161
11-16959 (9th Cir., July 2013)

The Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court decision dismissing a conservation group's CWA citizen suit alleging that a scrap metal company violated California's general NPDES permit for industrial stormwater at three of its scrap recycling facilities. The lower court dismissed the case, holding...

Held not preempted

Beaverhead County Commissioners v. United States Forest Service

43 ELR 20164
1O-68-BU-SEH (D. Mont., July 2013)

A district court held that the U.S. Forest Service complied with NEPA when it promulgated the land and resource management plan (LRMP) for the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in Montana. The forest, the state's largest, covers 3.35 million acres and stretches over eight counties in...

Beaverhead National Forest, Mont., National forests

Mann v. National Review, Inc.

43 ELR 20169
2012 CA 008263 (D.C. Sup. Ct., July 2013)

A D.C. court held that a climate scientist may go forward with his defamation suit against a conservative publication and think tank. The publication and think tank had commented that the scientist engaged in "data manipulation," was the man behind the "fraudulent climate-change 'hockey stick'...

Defamation

Dominion Transmission, Inc. v. Summers

43 ELR 20162
13-1019 (D.C. Cir., July 2013)

The D.C. Circuit ordered the Maryland Department of Environment to act on a natural gas company's application to construct a natural gas compressor station in the state. The company applied for and received a certificate of public convenience and necessity from FERC. But before it can begin...

Air pollution, Energy (generally)