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public trust doctrine

Mineral County v. Lyon County

ELR Case

The Nevada Supreme Court held that the public trust doctrine did not permit reallocation of water rights already adjudicated and settled under the doctrine of prior appropriation in a lawsuit concerning established water rights for a...

Expertise and Discretion: New Jersey's Approach to Natural Resource Damages

ELR Article

With a Department of Environmental Protection that predates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, New Jersey has always been at the forefront of combating pollution, becoming only the third state to consolidate all environmental...

Chernaik v. Brown

ELR Case

An Oregon appellate court upheld a lower court's finding that the public trust doctrine does not require the state to defend the environment from climate change. Plaintiff children had sought declaratory relief for the state's failure...

Environmental Law Foundation v. State Water Resources Control Board

ELR Case

A California appellate court affirmed a trial court decision concerning application of the state's public trust doctrine to the state's extraction of groundwater in the Scott River watershed. Environmental groups argued that groundwater...

Gunderson v. State: The Indiana Supreme Court Strengthens the Public Trust Doctrine’s Potential for Conservation in the Great Lakes

ELR Article

The Indiana Supreme Court recently delivered a landmark public trust decision, Gunderson v. State, ruling that the state acquired and still owns Indiana’s bed of Lake Michigan below the ordinary high water mark, including...

Juliana v. United States

ELR Case

A district court adopted a magistrate judge's recommendations and denied motions to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a group of young people against the U.S....

Foster v. Washington Department of Ecology

ELR Case

A Washington court held that the public trust doctrine applies to the protection of the atmosphere, including limits on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but denied minors' petitions for stricter GHG regulations because the state agency...

Pesticides, Water Quality, and the Public Trust Doctrine

ELR Article

The public trust doctrine is an ancient legal principle undergoing a modern resurgence. Under it, governments hold certain natural resources in trust for the benefit of present and future generations, and have a judicially enforceable...

Environmental Law Foundation v. State Water Resources Control Board

ELR Case

A California court held that the public trust doctrine protects navigable waterways from harm caused by groundwater extraction. Concerned about the management of the Scott River in northern California, environmental groups filed suit...

Alec L. v. Perciasepe

ELR Case

A district court denied a motion to reconsider its earlier dismissal of a lawsuit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief based on the federal government's alleged failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Plaintiffs—five teenage...