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Leister v. Black & Decker, Inc.

ELR Citation: 27 ELR 21558
Nos. 96-1751, 117 F.3d 1414/(4th Cir., 07/08/1997)

The court holds that landowners' Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) §7002(a)(1)(B) citizen suit claim against an adjoining manufacturing facility failed to establish that an imminent and substantial endangerment was present on their property and, therefore, the court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the manufacturing facility. The court first holds that because RCRA §7002(a)(1)(B) requires that the endangerment must be imminent and substantial, a threat to health or the environment must be currently present, although the impact of the threat may not be felt until later. The landowners failed to establish that trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene on their property posed an immediate serious threat of harm. Therefore, in the absence of affirmative proof, the landowners' RCRA claim must fail. The court further holds that it lacks jurisdiction to review the dismissal of the landowners' Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act claim, Federal Water Pollution Control Act claim, and state common-law liability claims because the landowners designated the district court's RCRA order as the only order being appealed.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Robert A. DiCicco
Law Offices of Robert A. DiCicco
405 Central Ave., Towson MD 20774
(410) 825-2000

Counsel for Defendant
Thomas E. Lynch III
Miles & Stockbridge
30 W. Patrick St., Frederick MD 21701
(301) 662-5155

Before Wilkinson, Wilkins, and Hamilton, JJ.