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Weekly Cases Update Volume 48, Issue 6

California v. Bureau of Land Management

48 ELR 20029
17-cv-07186, -07187 (N.D. Cal., February 2018)

A district court enjoined BLM from suspending or delaying the requirements of its waste prevention rule, which was issued to reduce emissions of natural gas from venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and gas production activities on onshore federal land. The rule went into effect on January 17...

Energy (generally), Resource development

Montana v. Wyoming

48 ELR 20028
137 (U.S., February 2018)

The U.S. Supreme Court, in an unsigned judgment and decree, ordered Wyoming to pay Montana $20,340 in damages, plus $67,270.87 in costs, for reducing the amount of water available in the Tongue River in violation of the Yellowstone River Compact. The Compact protects pre-1950 appropriative...

Montana, Wyoming, Irrigation, Water allocation under federal law, Water allocation under state law

Delaware Riverkeeper Network v. Sunoco Pipeline L.P.

48 ELR 20026
952 C.D. 2017 (Commw. Ct. Pa., February 2018)

A Pennsylvania court affirmed a lower court decision dismissing residents' and an environmental group's lawsuit challenging the construction of a natural gas pipeline through a suburban township. The plaintiffs argued that a local zoning ordinance prohibits the construction of hazardous gas and...

Energy (generally), Land use, Zoning

Sierra Club v. Pruitt

48 ELR 20027
C 17-0629 (N.D. Cal., February 2018)

A district court held that EPA's year-long delay in implementing formaldehyde emission standards for domestically manufactured and imported composite wood products violated the Formaldehyde Standards in Composite Wood Products Act. The Act required EPA to issue implementing regulations no later...


South Coast Air Quality Management District v. EPA

48 ELR 20025
15-1115 (D.C. Cir., February 2018)

The D.C. Circuit held that EPA unlawfully revoked the 1997 ozone NAAQS when it implemented the 2008 standard. In 2008, EPA set the ozone NAAQS at 75 parts per billion (ppb). In 2015, when implementing the standard, the Agency eliminated the 1997 standard of 84 ppb on the grounds that it was...

National ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), §109

Alaska Oil & Gas Ass'n v. Ross

48 ELR 20024
16-35380 (9th Cir., February 2018)

The Ninth Circuit held that NOAA did not go beyond its authority when it took climate change into account when considering the ESA status of the Arctic ringed seal. In 2012, NOAA listed the Arctic ringed seal as threatened based on projected sea ice loss. Oil and gas companies challenged the...

Climate Change (generally), Threatened species listing, Wildlife (generally)

Robert H. Law, Inc. v. Woodbine Business Park, Inc.

48 ELR 20022
13-CV-1393 (N.D.N.Y., February 2018)

A district court dismissed CERCLA claims against a construction company because there was no evidence that its actions contributed to soil contamination near the site. A contractor purchased topsoil from a company that is adjacent to a road where the construction company installed a water main...

Arrangers, Owners and operators

New Mexico v. EPA

48 ELR 20021
16-cv-465 (D.N.M., February 2018)

A district court held that a government contractor may be liable under CERCLA in connection with the Gold King mine spill in Colorado. In 2016, the contractor caused a breach that released more than 3 million gallons of acid mine drainage and 880,000 pounds of heavy metals into the Animas River...

Claims not barred, Owners and operators

New Jersey DEP v. Exxon Mobil Corp.

48 ELR 20020
A-0668-15T1 (N.J. Super. Ct. App., February 2018)

The New Jersey Superior Court upheld an oil company's $225 million Spill Act settlement in connection with contamination at two oil refineries in Bayonne and Linden, New Jersey. The natural resources damages were estimated at $8.9 billion. In a settlement agreement, the New Jersey Department of...

Hazardous, New Jersey Spill Act

Boettcher v. Conoco Phillips Co.

48 ELR 20018
17-6115 (10th Cir., February 2018)

The Tenth Circuit ruled that an Oklahoma citizen has no claim against an oil company on allegations that his cancer was caused by decades of breathing benzene fumes from its oil refinery near his home. In 2011, the man was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. In 2016, he brought suit against the oil...

Toxic Substances (generally), Toxic torts