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Weekly Cases Update Volume 43, Issue 4

Multistar Industries, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Transportation

ELR 20030
12-73138, -73485 (9th Cir., February 2013)

The Ninth Circuit upheld DOT's decision ordering a hazardous waste motor carrier to cease operations following an unsatisfactory safety rating. The carrier argued that the unsatisfactory safety rating on which the cessation order was based was premised on the misapplication of certain safety...

Transportation

Center for Biological Diversity v. Salazar

ELR 20025
11-17843 (9th Cir., February 2013)

The Ninth Circuit held that BLM complied with NEPA and FLPMA when it allowed a uranium mine to resume operations, after a 17-year hiatus, under a plan of operations the agency approved in 1988. Environmental groups argued that the 1988 plan of operations became ineffective after the mine closed...

Mining, Resource development

Restore v. Beauregard Water Works District No. 3

ELR 20027
2:12CV2602 (W.D. La., February 2013)

A district court held that an environmental group may go forward with its citizens suit action against a water district for ongoing SDWA violations concerning, among other things, the sampling, monitoring, and reporting of dangerous contaminants. The water district filed a motion to dismiss,...

Citizen suits

American Tradition Institute Environmental Law Center v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20029
1:12-cv-1066 (E.D. Va., January 2013)

A district court dismissed a nonprofit group's lawsuit seeking to halt EPA studies that expose humans to fine particulate matter. The challenged EPA conduct does not constitute final agency action. EPA's alleged failure to comply with an agency rule does not constitute "agency action". And even...

"Final agency action" construed, Air quality

State v. Louisiana Land & Exploration

ELR 20028
2012-C -0884 (La., January 2013)

The Louisiana Supreme Court held that a school district may seek remediation damages in excess of those required by state law from oil companies who engaged in oil exploration and production operations on school land. The district sought two types of damages: damages required under state law...

Hazardous, Tort law

American Petroleum Institute v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20026
12-1139 (D.C. Cir., January 2013)

The D.C. Circuit vacated EPA's 2012 projection of cellulosic biofuel production under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program. As part of the RFS program, CAA §211(o)(7)(D)(i) requires EPA to determine the "projected volume of cellulosic biofuel production" for each calendar year based on an...

Fuels regulation, §211

Citizens Climate Lobby v. California Air Resources Board

ELR 20024
CGC-12-5195544 (Cal. Super. Ct., January 2013)

A California court rejected a challenge to the emissions offset component of California's greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade program promulgated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) under the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Under the program, all offsets must be additional, meaning...

Climate Change, Climate Change (generally)