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Weekly Cases Update Volume 50, Issue 13

Nebraska Public Power District v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

ELR 20105
19-1553 (8th Cir., April 2020)

The Eighth Circuit upheld FERC's decision to place a Colorado energy wholesaler into Zone 17 of a regional transmission organization authorized by the Commission to provide electric transmission services across a multistate region. A member of Zone 17 argued that FERC's decision was arbitrary...

Federal Power Act (FPA)

Gutierrez v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc.

ELR 20104
19-cv-1345 DMS (AGS) (S.D. Cal., April 2020)

A district court dismissed with leave to amend a class-action challenge to a medical device company for selling talcum products in California. Plaintiffs argued the company violated California consumer protection laws by failing to warn them of carcinogenic ingredients in their products and...


County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund

ELR 20102
18-260 (U.S., April 2020)

The U.S. Supreme Court held, 6-3, that the "functional equivalent of a direct discharge" of pollutants requires a CWA permit, and remanded for consideration of whether a discharge of pollutants into groundwater that later discharged into the Pacific Ocean meets this standard. Environmental...

"Point source" construed

In re Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

ELR 20099
19-71324 (9th Cir., April 2020)

The Ninth Circuit ordered EPA to respond to a petition requesting that the Agency end the use of the pesticide tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) in household pet products. An environmental group submitted an administrative petition to cancel the registration of TCVP in 2009, following a peer-reviewed...

Pesticide registration, §3

Gulf Restoration Network v. Bernhardt

ELR 20098
18-1674 (RBW) (D.D.C., April 2020)

A district court granted summary judgment to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in a challenge to the agency's decision to hold oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico. Environmental groups argued that BOEM failed to evaluate a "true" no-action alternative in its EIS by assuming...

Environmental impact statement (EIS)

Physicians for Social Responsibility v. Wheeler

ELR 20100
19-5104 (D.C. Cir., April 2020)

The D.C. Circuit reversed a district court's dismissal of a challenge by scientific advocacy groups to EPA's directive barring recipients of EPA grants from serving on any of the Agency's advisory committees. The groups argued that the directive lacked a reasoned explanation for changing its...


Louisiana Environmental Action Network v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR 20096
17-1257 (D.C. Cir., April 2020)

The D.C. Circuit granted a petition to review EPA's 2017 rule revising its emission standard for hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) emitted from pulp mill combustion sources. Environmental groups argued that EPA was required under §112(d)(6) of the CAA to consider the adequacy of the standard to...

Hazardous air pollutants, §112

Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian

ELR 20101
17-1498 (U.S., April 2020)

The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the Montana high court's ruling in a lawsuit concerning cleanup actions across a 300-square-mile Superfund site in Butte. Landowners whose properties are located within the site brought trespass, nuisance, and strict liability claims...

Judicial review, §113

Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp. v. Hladick

ELR 20097
3:19-cv-00265-SLG, 3:19-cv-00267-SLG, and 3:19-cv-00268-SLG (D. Alaska, April 2020)

A district court dismissed a challenge to EPA's decision to withdraw proposed restrictions pursuant to CWA §404(c) for the proposed Pebble Mine in Southwest Alaska. Nonprofit groups argued the decision was arbitrary and capricious, in violation of the APA. EPA argued the exercise of its...

EPA veto, §404(c)

Sierra Club v. Wheeler

ELR 20095
18-5328 (D.C. Cir., April 2020)

The D.C. Circuit affirmed dismissal of an environmental group's request to compel EPA to produce guidelines for commercial or industrial solid waste incinerators (CISWI) and other categories of solid waste incinerators (OSWI). The group argued that the Agency failed to comply with...

Solid waste combustion, §129