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Weekly Cases Update Volume 45, Issue 30

Quinault Indian Nation v. Imperium Terminal Services, LLC

45 ELR 20198
45887-0-II (Wash. Ct. App., October 2015)

A Washington appellate court upheld an administrative board decision invalidating the Department of Ecology's and a city's threshold determinations for two crude oil terminal development projects under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), but denied environmental groups' claim that...

Environmental Assessment/Impact Statement, Land use

Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Apex Oil Co.

45 ELR 20203
15-00341 (D. Md., October 2015)

A district court granted in part motions to dismiss an oil company's OPA, Pipeline Safety Act, and Maryland state-law claims against the alleged owners and operators of an underground pipeline in southeast Baltimore. The company filed suit to recover damages it incurred due to a pipeline leak....

Oil Pollution Act (OPA), Contamination

Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

45 ELR 20201
2:13-CV-02136 (N.D. Ala., October 2015)

A district court upheld the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to issue a general nationwide permit—NWP 21—authorizing discharges from certain coal mining activities into navigable waters. Despite environmental groups' arguments to the contrary, the Corps' issuance of NWP 21 was neither...

Nationwide permit

Yadkin Riverkeeper, Inc. v. Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC

45 ELR 20199
1:14-cv-753 (M.D.N.C., October 2015)

A district court denied motions to dismiss environmental groups' CWA citizen suit against an energy company for alleged NPDES permit violations at a retired coal-fired power plant. The groups alleged that the company unlawfully discharged pollutants through engineered seeps, non-engineered seeps...

Violations

United States v. NCR Corp.

45 ELR 20202
10-C-910 (E.D. Wis., October 2015)

A district court granted a motion to reconsider its prior decision that a PRP established the divisibility defense and, therefore, should not be jointly and severally liable for cleanup costs at the Lower Fox River Superfund site in...

Divisibility of harm

Pennsylvania General Energy Co. v. Grant Township

45 ELR 20196
14-209 (W.D. Pa., October 2015)

A district court struck down portions of a town ordinance, deemed a "Community Bill of Rights," that sought to ban the disposal of waste materials from oil and gas extraction within its borders. The town is a "second class township" under state law. As such, it is subject to Pennsylvania's...

Hydraulic Fracturing

Cerny v. Marathon Oil Corp.

45 ELR 20200
04-14-00650 (Tex. App. Ct., October 2015)

A Texas appellate court upheld a lower court decision dismissing a family's nuisance and negligence claims against two oil companies for alleged health and property damage stemming from hydraulic fracturing operations near their home. To overcome the defendant companies' no-evidence summary...

Causation, proof of, Hydraulic Fracturing

Foster v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

45 ELR 20197
2:14-cv-16744 (S.D. W. Va., September 2015)

A district court denied in part and granted in part EPA's motion to dismiss property owners' lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of an EPA compliance order under CWA §309. EPA determined that, in the course of developing the property, the owners discharged dredge and fill materials into...

Due process, Enforcement