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Civil penalty provision, §309(d)

Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon"

A district court held a petroleum company liable for $159.5 million in civil penalties under the CWA in connection with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The court applied each of the CWA’s eight civil penalty factors in...

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Maple Coal Co.

A district court held that environmental groups are entitled to injunctive relief and civil penalties in their CWA citizen suit against a coal company for violating the water quality standards for selenium set forth in its permit....

Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Gaston Copper Recycling Corp.

The Fourth Circuit reversed and remanded a district court's imposition of penalties against the former owner of a metals smelting facility for CWA violations. The environmental groups that filed suit against the company had...

Environmental Citizen Suits at Thirtysomething: A Celebration and Summit


In 1970, the U.S. Congress gave citizens the remarkable authority to file federal lawsuits as "private attorneys general" to enforce the Clean Air Act (CAA).1 Congress intended citizen...

Laidlaw (Even Industry Gets the Blues)

adapted from Layla (by Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon)

What do we do when we get sued now

If the Supremes aren't on our side?

If we can't rely on standing constraints

Do they expect us to comply?

Environmental Litigation After Laidlaw

As law students frequently discover during exams, the law of standing is easy to state but hard to apply. The basic rules are simple and well-settled. Under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, in order to invoke federal jurisdiction,...

Standing in Environmental Citizen Suits: Laidlaw's Clarification of the Injury-in-Fact and Redressability Requirements

In its first week of business during the new millennium, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services (TOC), Inc., and provided important clarifications about the law of standing...

Standing and Mootness After Laidlaw

Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services (TOC), Inc. may prove to be the most important environmental decision since Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council. Laidlaw's...