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Weekly Cases Update Volume 43, Issue 9

Yount v. Salazar

ELR 20063
11-8171 et al. (D. Ariz., March 2013)

A district court held that FLPMA §204(c), which allows Congress to block DOI withdrawals of new mining claims in excess of 5,000 acres through a resolution of both houses, is unconstitutional. In 2012, DOI withdrew more than one million acres of federal land from mining location and entry in...

Withdrawals, §204

Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center

ELR 20062
11-338 (U.S., March 2013)

The U.S. Supreme Court held that stormwater runoff from logging roads that is collected by and then discharged from a system of ditches, culverts, and channels is not a point source discharge for which an NPDES permit is required. An environmental group filed suit claiming that the Oregon...

EPA rules and regulations, Held not included

County of Sonoma v. Federal Housing Finance Agency

ELR 20061
12-16986 (9th Cir., March 2013)

The Ninth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit challenging a Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) directive that prevents Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae from buying mortgages on properties encumbered by liens made under property-assessed clean energy (PACE) programs, which finance environmental improvements...

Energy (generally)

Asarco LLC v. NL Industries, Inc.

ELR 20065
11-00138 (W.D. Mo., March 2013)

A district court stayed a bankrupt mining company's contribution claims against various defendants for response costs and natural resource damages incurred in connection with the Tri-States Mining District until the amount of total liabilities are determined. The Tri-States area, where lead and...

Procedure

Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. United States Food & Drug Administration

ELR 20067
11-422 (2d Cir., March 2013)

The Second Circuit held that an environmental group has standing to bring an action to compel FDA to finalize its regulation of triclosan, but not triclocarban, both of which are used in over-the-counter antiseptic antimicrobial soap. As to triclosan, standing may be based on exposure to a...

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

Chubb Custom Insurance Co. v. Space Systems/Loral, Inc.

ELR 20059
11-16272 (9th Cir., March 2013)

The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of an insurance company's subrogation suit for recovery of insurance payments made to its insured for environmental response costs the insured incurred cleaning up pollutants released on its property. The company claimed that the defendants should be held...

Claims against the Superfund, §112, Insurers

Paolino v. JF Realty

ELR 20064
12-2031 (1st Cir., March 2013)

The First Circuit held that a lower court erred in dismissing a landowner's CWA citizen suit for lack of proper pre-suit notice. The landowner filed suit against the neighboring property owner—an automobile salvage and recycling business—for discharging pollutants into U.S. waters without a...

Notice held adequate

Ed Niemi Oil Co. v. Exxon Mobil Corp.

ELR 20066
3:11-cv-00214 (D. Or., March 2013)

A district court held that genuine issues of material fact preclude a grant of summary judgment in a petroleum distributor's contribution claim against an oil company for costs incurred cleaning up hazardous substance contamination at a gas station and bulk petroleum storage plant formerly...

Contribution, Summary judgment, FRCP 56

Ecological Rights Foundation v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

ELR 20060
10-0121 (N.D. Cal., March 2013)

A district court dismissed CWA claims brought by an environmental group seeking to compel an electric company to obtain NPDES permits for its facilities. The group alleged that activities conducted at the facilities and the materials stored there contaminate stormwater discharged from the sites...

Basis for suit