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Weekly Cases Update Volume 44, Issue 22

Belle Co. v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

ELR 20175
13-30262 (5th Cir., July 2014)

The Fifth Circuit upheld a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' jurisdictional determination (JD) that a proposed landfill site contains wetlands subject to regulation under the CWA. The lower court ruled that the JD is not a “final agency action”...

Wetlands determination, Judicial review, §509

Sierra Club v. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

ELR 20177
5253 (S,C,, July 2014)

The South Carolina Supreme Court held that the operator of a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility failed to comply with state groundwater protection regulations and must therefore submit a written plan for compliance or face potential revocation of its operating license. The operator...

South Carolina, Groundwater

American Meat Institute v. United States Department of Agriculture

ELR 20173
13-5281 (D.C. Cir., July 2014)

The D.C. Circuit upheld USDA regulations mandating the disclosure of country-of-origin information about meat products. A group of trade associations representing livestock producers, feedlot operators, and meat packers claimed that the rule violated their First Amendment rights because the...

Agriculture, Free speech

Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Brazell

ELR 20176
3:12-cv-00466 (D. Idaho, July 2014)

A district court denied environmental groups' motion for an injunction and stay of an earlier decision that allows logging operations in the Nez Perce National Forest to proceed. The court previously held that the...

Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

Sierra Club v. McCarthy

ELR 20172
01-1537 (D.D.C., July 2014)

A district court held that EPA failed to set emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants under CAA §112(c)(6) in violation of prior court orders. In 2006 and 2011, the court ordered EPA to take action by a date certain to ensure its compliance with §112(c)(6), in a manner reviewable by the...

Hazardous air pollutants, §112

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

ELR 20174
12-2106, -3607 (2d Cir., July 2014)

The Second Circuit reversed a lower court decision that FDA was required to hold hearings to determine whether to withdraw approval for the use of penicillin and tetracyclines in animal feed. Looking at the text of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the context, the regulations, and the...

Agriculture, Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA)

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Alex Energy, Inc.

ELR 20178
2:13-20571 (S.D. W. Va., July 2014)

A district court held that a mining company allowed excessive amounts of selenium to be discharged from one of its surface coal mine operations in violation of the CWA and SMCRA. The company's state permit does not explicitly impose selenium limitations, but it does incorporate by reference...

Surface mining, Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), State standards, §303(a)

Little v. Louisville Gas & Electric Co.

ELR 20171
3:13-CV-01214 (W.D. Ky., July 2014)

A district court held that a group of residents may go forward with their state tort law claims against a Kentucky power plant. The residents alleged that the plant emits dust and coal ash into the air and onto their homes and properties several times a month. According to the residents, not...

Held not preempted

Georgia River Network v. Turner

ELR 20170
A14A0215 et al. (Ga. Ct. App., July 2014)

A Georgia appellate court held that the 25-foot buffer requirement set forth in Georgia’s Erosion and Sedimentation Act applies to all state waters and wetlands, not just those with vegetation wrested by normal stream flow or wave action. The case arose after environmental groups challenged a...

Wetlands, Wetlands