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Weekly Cases Update Volume 43, Issue 25

Whiteman v. Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C.

43 ELR 20205
12-1790 (4th Cir., September 2013)

The Fourth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision dismissing farmer's West Virginia common law trespass claims against a natural gas company. The landowners sought an injunction and damages stemming from on the company's drilling and operation of three natural gas wells on surface property...

Energy (generally), Trespass

Drakes Bay Oyster Co. v. Jewell

43 ELR 20404
13-15227 (9th Cir., September 2013, January 2014)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision denying a commercial oyster farm's motion for a preliminarily injunction challenging the DOI Secretary's discretionary decision to let the farm's permit for farming at Point Reyes National Seashore expire on its own terms. The farm requested an...

National Parks System

Anderson Brothers, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co.

43 ELR 20206
12-35346, -35454 (9th Cir., August 2013)

The Ninth Circuit held that an insurance company breached its duty to defend a trucking equipment company when it refused to provide a defense after the company received letters from EPA notifying it of its potential liability under CERCLA for environmental contamination at the Portland Harbor...

Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Held triggered by

Mann v. National Review, Inc.

43 ELR 20203
2012 CA 008263 (D.C. Sup. Ct., August 2013)

A D.C. court denied a conservative publication's motion for reconsideration of the court's earlier decision denying the publication's motion to dismiss a climate scientist defamation suit against it. There is sufficient evidence in...

Climate Change (generally), Defamation

United States v. Humphries

43 ELR 20210
11-50383 (9th Cir., August 2013)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court's conviction of a chemical company owner for illegally storing hazardous wastes without a permit in violation of RCRA. On appeal, the owner argued that the lower court improperly instructed the jury about the distinction between "storage" and "disposal"...

Knowing storage without a permit, §3008(d)(2)(A)

Land O'Lakes v. Employers Insurance Co. of Wausau

43 ELR 20208
12-1752 (8th Cir., August 2013)

The Eighth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision that insurers had no duty to defend or indemnify an oil refinery in an underlying CERCLA lawsuit filed against it by EPA. EPA sent the refinery a letter in 2001 notifying it that it was a PRP. Because EPA's allegations in the letter arguably...

Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Held not triggered by

Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Bragg

43 ELR 20202
04-11-00018-CV (Tex. Ct. App., August 2013)

A Texas appellate court affirmed a lower court decision that commercial pecan growers suffered a regulatory taking when the Edwards Aquifer Authority—a water reclamation district—denied the growers' request for a water permit for one of their pecan orchards and granted a limited permit for a...

Regulatory takings, Irrigation

California Chamber of Commerce v. California Air Resources Board

43 ELR 20207
34-2012-80001313 (Cal. Super. Ct., August 2013)

A California court issued a tentative decision upholding the California Air Resource Board's (CARB's) authority to sell greenhouse gas allowances at auction under the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32). The court tentatively agreed that the...

Climate Change, Climate Change (generally)

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Marfork Coal Co.

43 ELR 20209
5:12-1464 (S.D. W. Va., August 2013)

A district court held that a coal company discharged excessive amounts of selenium into the waters of West Virginia in violation of the CWA and SMCRA. The environmental group that filed suit against the company has standing, and it satisfied the statutes' 60-day notice requirements for citizen...

"In violation of effluent standard or limitation" construed