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Weekly Cases Update Volume 44, Issue 7

Kansas v. Nebraska

44 ELR 20040
126 (U.S., February 2015)

The U.S. Supreme Court adopted a Special Master's determination that Nebraska "knowingly failed" to comply with its obligations under a 2002 settlement agreement that resolved an underlying water allocation dispute between Nebraska and Kansas. The settlement established mechanisms to accurately...

Water allocation under federal law, Water allocation under state law

In re Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases

44 ELR 20043
1:09-cv-00407 et al. (E.D. Cal., March 2014)

A district court extended FWS' deadline to complete its biological opinion (BiOp) for the threatened delta smelt, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's deadline to complete its related analysis under NEPA, and NMFS' deadline to complete its BiOp and a related NEPA analysis for endangered salmonid...

Biological opinion, §7(b)

Chevron Corp. v. Donziger

44 ELR 20044
11 Civ. 0691 (S.D.N.Y., March 2014)

A district court held that a multibillion dollar judgment granted by an Ecuadorian court for environmental pollution in the Amazon was procured by fraud and therefore enjoined the attorney and two of his Ecuadorian clients from seeking to enforce that judgment in the United States. Upon...

South America

Sierra Club v. Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co.

44 ELR 20046
13-CV-356-JHP (E.D. Okla., March 2014)

A district court granted in part and denied in part motions to dismiss an environmental group's citizen suit against a utility company for alleged CAA violations at a coal-fired power plant in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The group alleged that the company failed to obtain a prevention of significant...

Citizen suits, §304, Permits

In re Deepwater Horizon

44 ELR 20042
13-30315 (5th Cir., March 2014)

The Fifth Circuit held that a settlement agreement providing a mechanism for presenting and processing claims for business losses caused by the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster does not require those submitting claims for certain business losses to provide evidence that the claim...

Settlement agreements

Sierra Club v. Dominion Cove Point LNG, L.P.

44 ELR 20037
2429 (Md. Ct. Spec. App., February 2014)

A Maryland appellate court held that a liquid natural gas (LNG) shipping terminal may export natural gas from its facility on the Chesapeake Bay. In 2005, the terminal entered into an agreement with an environmental group that set forth activities that would be authorized or restricted at the...

Energy (generally)

PT Air Watchers v. State

44 ELR 20039
88208-8 (Wash., February 2014)

The Washington Supreme Court upheld the state environmental agency's determination that an EIS was not necessary for a proposed biomass cogeneration project at a kraft pulp and paper mill. An environmental group argued that by not preparing an EIS, the agency failed to adequately consider the...

Environmental Assessment/Impact Statement, Greenhouse gases

In re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation

44 ELR 20045
1:00-1898 (S.D.N.Y., February 2014)

A district court held that a natural resource damages (NRD) settlement agreement between New Jersey and an oil company for methyl tertiary butyl ether groundwater contamination bars the state from seeking product liability claims against the company. The agreement settled all claims for NRD at...

Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), Contamination

APL Co. v. Kemira Water Solutions, Inc.

44 ELR 20047
11 Civ. 1686 (S.D.N.Y., February 2014)

A district court held that a water treatment company who purchased ferrous chloride crystals is jointly and severally liable for cleanup costs incurred after the bags in which the crystals were originally packaged leaked during their transport from Taiwan to California. The court previously...

Joint and several liability

In re Deepwater Horizon

44 ELR 20041
12-30012 (5th Cir., February 2014)

The Fifth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision dismissing a lawsuit filed by 11 Louisiana parishes in which they sought penalties under the Louisiana Wildlife Protection Statute for the pollution-related loss of aquatic life and wildlife following the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon...

Oil Pollution Act (OPA), Oil spill, Held preempted