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Weekly Cases Update Volume 46, Issue 4

Tronox, Inc. v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

46 ELR 20027
14-cv-5495 (S.D.N.Y., February 2016)

A district court held that a 2014 settlement agreement between a spinoff company, the U.S. government, an energy company, and its parent bars over 4,300 individuals from bringing Pennsylvania tort claims arising from the operation of a wood treatment plant formerly owned and operated by the...

Settlements, §122

Schoene v. McElroy Coal Co.

46 ELR 20028
5:13-cv-95 (N.D.W. Va., January 2016)

A district court denied mining companies' motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss property owners' lawsuit against them for alleged subsidence damage. The coal companies, who lease the coal interests under the owners' property, engage in a mining technique known as "longwall mining," a...

Property rights

Regions Bank v. BP P.L.C.

46 ELR 20029
1141170 (Ala., January 2016)

The Supreme Court of Alabama reversed and remanded a lower court decision dismissing a coastal property owner's lawsuit against an oil company for alleged trespassing and property damage stemming from the company's response actions following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. After...

Settlement agreements

Presidio Historical Ass'n v. Presidio Trust

46 ELR 20025
13-16554 (9th Cir., January 2016)

The Ninth Circuit upheld a proposed management plan for the Presidio, a former military base in San Franciso that is now a National Park and a National Historic Landmark, that provides for the construction of a 70,000 square foot lodge. The Presidio is managed by the Presidio Trust, a wholly...

Effects of federal action on historic sites, §106, National Parks System

Friends of Animals v. Clay

46 ELR 20024
14-4071-cv (2d Cir., January 2016)

The Second Circuit upheld a "depredation permit" FWS issued to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey authorizing the emergency "take" of migratory birds that threaten to interfere with aircraft at the John F. Kennedy International Airport. FWS issued the permit under 50 C.F.R. §21.41,...

FWS migratory bird depredation permit

National Mining Ass'n v. Secretary

46 ELR 20022
14-11942, -12163 (11th Cir., January 2016)

The Eleventh Circuit denied the coal mining industry's petitions for review of a Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) regulation aimed at reducing black lung disease and other respiratory illnesses in miners. The petitioners challenged MSHA's authority to issue the rule under the Federal...

Health and safety standards

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Ass'n

46 ELR 20021
14-840 (U.S., January 2016)

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld FERC's "demand-response" rule under which operators of wholesale electricity markets, in specified circumstances, must pay the same price to providers for conserving energy as to generators for producing it. During peak periods, electricity rates increase...

Energy (generally), Federal Power Act (FPA)

WildEarth Guardians v. Office of Surface Mining

46 ELR 20026
14-13, -103 (D. Wyo., January 2016)

A district court held that OSM violated NEPA when it approved a mining plan amendment that would expand a coal mine in Montana, and ordered the agency to prepare an updated EA within 240 days. Specifically, the court held that OSM violated NEPA's public participation and notice provisions when...

Discussion of, held inadequate, Mining, Public notice requirements, §1506.6

Western Watersheds Project v. Michael

46 ELR 20023
15-CV-0I69-SWS (D. Wyo., December 2015)

A district court held that environmental and animal rights groups may challenge the constitutionality of two trespass statutes passed by the Wyoming legislature in 2015. Under the statutes—one imposing criminal liability and the other imposing civil—a person will be held liable if he or she: (1...

Equal protection, Free speech, Wyoming