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Weekly Cases Update Volume 45, Issue 35

United States v. Dico

ELR 20237
14-2762 (8th Cir., December 2015)

The Tenth Circuit reversed in part and affirmed in part a lower court decision holding the seller of contaminated yet commercially viable buildings liable as an arranger under CERCLA. Due to hazardous substance contamination, the buildings were under an EPA order regulating their use. The prior...


White Earth Nation v. Kerry

ELR 20236
14-4726 (D. Minn., December 2015)

A district court dismissed a lawsuit filed against the State Department in connection with two upgrade projects for a major oil sands pipeline that crosses the U.S-Canada border. One project would replace an existing pipeline segment, and the second would construct an interconnection between two...

Energy (generally)

Western Exploration LLC v. U.S. Department of the Interior

ELR 20235
3:15-cv-00491 (D. Nev., December 2015)

A district court denied a motion to preliminarily enjoin BLM and the U.S. Forest Service from implementing certain amendments to their resource management plans that were made to better protect the greater sage-grouse and its habitat. The amended resource management plans govern 67 million acres...

BLM lands, National forests, Wildlife (generally)

Animal Legal Defense Fund v. United States Department of Agriculture

ELR 20232
13-55868 (9th Cir., December 2015)

The Ninth Circuit, in an unpublished opinion, reversed and remanded a lower court decision dismissing an animal rights group's lawsuit concerning foie gras produced from the livers of force-fed poultry. The group had petitioned USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to ban such foie...

Judicial review, §§701-706, Rulemaking

Valbruna Slater Steel Corp. v. Joslyn Manufacturing Co.

ELR 20238
1:10-cv-044 (N.D. Ind., December 2015)

A district court held that the prior owner of a contaminated site is jointly and severally liable for the current owner's response costs under CERCLA §107(a). The prior owner argued that the current owner has not incurred costs that are necessary or consistent with the NCP. But there is ample...

Held consistent with

North Coast Rivers Alliance v. Kawamura

ELR 20233
C072067, C072617 (Cal. Ct. App. 3d, December 2015)

A California appellate court, in an unpublished opinion, held that the California Department of Food and Agriculture's environmental impact report (EIR) for a seven-year program to control the light brown apple moth, an invasive pest, violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The...

Environmental Assessment/Impact Statement, Environmental impact reports (EIRs), Invasive Species

Cahaba Riverkeeper v. United States Environmental Protection Agency,

ELR 20234
14-13508 (11th Cir., November 2015)

The Eleventh Circuit denied environmental groups' lawsuit challenging EPA's interim decision not to revoke Alabama's NPDES permitting authority. Alleging 26 program deficiencies, the groups petitioned EPA to begin proceedings to withdraw Alabama's authority to administer the NPDES program. EPA...

State programs, §402(b)