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Weekly Cases Update Volume 43, Issue 30

Alt v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

43 ELR 20236
2:12-CV-42 (N.D. W. Va. , October 2013)

A district court held that litter and manure washed from a farmyard into navigable waters due to a precipitation event is an agricultural stormwater discharge and not a point source discharge, rendering it exempt from the CWA's NPDES permit requirement. The case involves a poultry farmer who...

Agriculture, Stormwater discharges, 402(p), Nonpoint source discharges

Northern Laramie Range Alliance v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

43 ELR 20237
12-9567 (10th Cir., October 2013)

The Tenth Circuit held that landowners lacked standing to challenge two wind energy projects in Wyoming. FERC certified the projects under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act, which seeks to promote renewable energy sources by requiring utilities to buy power from small facilities that...

Energy (generally), Held not satisfied

Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin v. Village of Hobart, Wisconsin

43 ELR 20240
12-3419 (7th Cir., October 2013)

The Seventh Circuit held that a town may not assess stormwater management fees on Indian lands located within the town's borders. The town passed an ordinance allowing it to assess fees on all parcels of land in the town, including those owned by the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, to pay for its...

Native American tribes

Daimler Trucks North America LLC v. Environmental Protection Agency

43 ELR 20241
12-1179 (D.C. Cir., October 2013)

The D.C. Circuit dismissed as moot truck engine manufacturers' lawsuit challenging four certificates of conformity EPA issued to another engine manufacturer pursuant to an interim final rule that allowed certificates to be issued to 2012 and 2013 model-year engines even if the engines fail to...

Certificate of conformity, §203(a)(1)

Star Insurance Co. v. Bear Productions

43 ELR 20239
CIV-12-149-RAW (E.D. Okla., October 2013)

A district court held that an insurance company need not indemnify or defend a waste hauler in an underlying class action lawsuit for contamination stemming from their transport and disposal of "produced fluid waste" from oil and gas drilling operations into an open, unlined dump site. The...

Duty to indemnify, Held inapplicable in

United States Virgin Islands Department of Planning & Natural Resources v. St. Croix Renaissance Group, LLLP

43 ELR 20238
07-114 (D.V.I., October 2013)

A district court held that the Virgin Islands may go forward with its suit to recover response costs it incurred responding to the release of hazardous substances at a former alumina facility. Under CERCLA, at least some costs must be incurred prior to the start of litigation in order for a...

Held consistent with, Investigative costs

Hagy v. Equitable Production Co.

43 ELR 20235
12-1926 (4th Cir., October 2013)

The Fourth Circuit, in an unpublished opinion, affirmed a lower court decision dismissing landowner's negligence and trespass claims against natural gas drilling companies for alleged well water contamination. The landowners failed to connect any allegedly wrongful conduct by the companies with...

Negligence, Trespass, Water (generally)