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Weekly Cases Update Volume 48, Issue 13

Greenpeace v. Department of Homeland Security

48 ELR 20074
17-479 (D.D.C., May 2018)

A district court held that that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) need not disclose information about certain chemical facilities per an environmental group's FOIA request. The group sought information regarding previously high-risk facilities that have reduced their chemical...

Exemption No. 7, Right-To-Know

Beyond Pesticides v. Monsanto Co.

48 ELR 20073
17-941 (D.D.C., April 2018)

A district court denied a pesticide manufacturer's motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the label on one of its weed-killing products is false and misleading. The product's label states that it targets an enzyme "found in plants but not in people or pets." But an anti-pesticide group...

Labeling requirements

California Dep't of Toxic Substances Control v. Westside Delivery, LLC

48 ELR 20072
16-56558 (9th Cir., April 2018)

The Ninth Circuit held that a property owner who purchased the site at a tax sale is not entitled to CERCLA's third-party defense to liability for cleanup costs. The purchaser had a "contractual relationship" with the prior owner by virtue of the tax sale. Given the breadth of CERCLA's...

Covered persons, §107(a), Defenses

Arch Coal, Inc. v. Acosta

48 ELR 20070
17-5074 (D.C. Cir., April 2018)

The D.C. Circuit held that a mining company must exhaust its administrative remedies before it can challenge potential claims filed against it under the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA). The BLBA grants coal miners the right to monthly benefits payments from a former employer in the event they...

Judicial review, Mining

In re Exxon Mobil Corp.

48 ELR 20071
96-297222-18 (Dist. Ct. Tex., April 2018)

A Texas court, ruling on a petition for pre-suit discovery, held that it would have jurisdiction over a major oil corporation's potential lawsuit against several California cities that have filed suit against it relating to climate change. The company's potential claims would allege, among other...

Climate Change (generally), State court jurisdiction, Texas

State v. Klapstein

48 ELR 20069
A17-1649 et al. (Minn. Ct. App., April 2018)

A Minnesota appeals court upheld a lower court decision allowing protestors who face felony charges for shutting down a petroleum pipeline to assert the "necessity" defense. The protestors claimed their actions were necessary to prevent environmental harm caused by the use of fossil fuels,...

Criminal Law