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Weekly Cases Update Volume 45, Issue 4

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Fola Coal Co.

ELR 20026
2:13-5006 (S.D. W. Va., January 2015)

A district court held a West Virginia coal mine liable under the CWA for discharging excessive amounts of ionic pollution, measured as conductivity and sulfates, into the waters of West Virginia in violation of its NPDES permits. Environmental groups established, by a preponderance of the...


Sierra Club v. ICG Hazard, LLC

ELR 20022
13-5086 (6th Cir., January 2015)

The Sixth Circuit held that the CWA's permit shield protects a surface coal mining company from liability for selenium discharges. The company, which operates under a state-issued general NPDES permit, discharged selenium into surrounding water. Although the permit did not specify effluent...


Power Fuels, LLC v. Federal Mine Safety & Health Review Comm'n

ELR 20024
14-1450 (4th Cir., January 2015)

The Fourth Circuit held that a Virginia facility that stores and blends coal for a nearby power plant is subject to the Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA's) jurisdiction under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. The Mine Act covers operators of a "coal or other mine,"...

Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (FMSHA)

American Farm Bureau Federation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20023
13-1751 (D. Minn., January 2015)

A district court held that livestock farm groups lack standing to bar EPA from releasing their members' personal information—including the physical address and other operational details about the farms—in response to environmental groups' FOIA requests for information about concentrated animal...

Agriculture, Exemption No. 6

Morristown Assocs. v. Grant Oil Co.

ELR 20025
A-38 (N.J., January 2015)

The New Jersey Supreme Court held that the general six-year statute of limitations for injury to real property does not apply to private claims for contribution made pursuant to the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act). The case arose after a commercial property owner sought...

Hazardous, New Jersey Spill Act

Black Mesa Water Coalition v. Jewell

ELR 20021
12-16980 (9th Cir., January 2015)

The Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court decision denying environmental groups' request for attorneys fees after they successfully challenged OSM's grant of a coal mining permit revision. Below, the groups' lawsuit was consolidated with other actions challenging the permit revision, which was...

Attorneys fees

Hawai'i Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui

ELR 20027
12-00198 (D. Haw., January 2015)

A district court held that a Hawaiian county violated the CWA by discharging effluent without a NPDES permit at two of four injection wells at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility. At issue was whether the discharges were from a point source. The county argued that when a single point...

Held included, Violations

Commonwealth v. Spangler

ELR 20028
1917 C.D. 2013 (Pa. Commw. Ct., January 2015)

A Pennsylvania court affirmed a lower court order granting the Pennsylvania Department of the Environment's (PaDEP's) petition to investigate, remediate, and clean up contamination on private property under the Pennsylvania Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA). The property became contaminated...

Hazardous, Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act

Oxford Mining Co. v. Nally

ELR 20020
13AP-883 (Ohio Ct. App., January 2015)

An Ohio appellate court held that the state environmental review board erred in affirming portions of Ohio EPA's CWA §401 water quality certification that prohibited a coal mining company from impacting certain wetlands. The mining company, which has a permit to mine approximately 1,100 acres of...

Delineation, State certification, §401