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Laurel Pipe Line Co. v. Bethlehem Mines Corp.

ELR Citation: 16 ELR 20876
Nos. No. 84-2415, 624 F. Supp. 538/24 ERC 1146/(W.D. Pa., 01/08/1986)

The court rules that federal district courts lack jurisdiction under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act to hear a §520 citizen suit in a state that has been delegated primary enforcement responsibility. The court first holds that Pennsylvania had adopted an approved surface mining program, and therefore has primary responsibility for enforcement. The court then holds that private actions may only be brought pursuant to the Pennsylvania state law, and that only the State Department of Environmental Resources could initiate a federal action. Finally, the court holds that it does not have jurisdiction, and dismisses the action.

Counsel for Plaintiff
John David Rhodes
Thomson, Rhodes & Cowie
Suite 1650, Two Chatham Ctr., Pittsburgh PA 15219
(415) 232-3400

Counsel for Defendant
Henry Ingram
Rose, Schmidt, Chapman, Duff & Hasley
900 Oliver Bldg., Pittsburgh PA 15222-5369
(412) 434-8600