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Gregory Village Partners, L.P. v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc.

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20263
Nos. No. 11-1597, (N.D. Cal., 08/02/2011)

A district court granted in part and denied in part motions to dismiss a property owner's CERCLA, RCRA, and state law claims against former owners and operators of nearby properties. One defendant argued that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the RCRA claim because the notice letters did not include the information required to be included, and because the owner failed to serve a copy of the complaint on the Administrator of EPA and on the U.S. Attorney General. But the owner's failure to strictly comply with RCRA's notice requirements does not deprive the court of subject matter jurisdiction. Strict compliance with the RCRA notice requirements is not a jurisdictional prerequisite. Here, the notices included sufficient information regarding the owner's intent to sue. The court, therefore, denied that defendant's motion to dismiss. As for the owner's RCRA claims against the remaining defendants, however, the complaint failed to allege sufficient facts to state a claim under RCRA. Accordingly, the court dismissed these claims. The court also dismissed the CERCLA claims, but with leave to amend. The amended complaint must allege facts showing that the former owners and operators were owners or operators during the relevant time period when the alleged releases occurred. Similarly, the court dismissed the owner's claims for public nuisance, trespass, waste, and negligence with leave to amend. The amended complaint must allege facts supporting the elements of these claims and plead facts showing the time and manner of discovery as well as the owner's inability to have made earlier discovery despite reasonable diligence.