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Current Weekly Cases Update

Volume 45, Issue 3

Chesapeake Climate Action Network v. Export-Import Bank

45 ELR 20019
13-1820 (D.D.C., January 21, 2015)

A district court held that environmental groups lack standing to challenge the U.S. Export-Import Bank's approval of a $90 million loan guarantee that supports a three-year, $100 million loan from a private bank to a coal exporter. The groups argued that the Bank's guarantee, which allows the...

Standing

Grunewald v. Jarvis

45 ELR 20012
13-5136 (D.C. Cir., January 20, 2015)

The D.C. Circuit upheld the National Park Service's (NPS') deer management plan for Rock Creek National Park in Washington, DC. The plan involves the killing of white-tailed deer to reduce the herd to an ecologically sustainable level. An animal rights group argued that NPS failed to comply with...

Discussion of, held adequate

SWEPI, LP v. Mora County, New Mexico

45 ELR 20013
CIV 14-0035 JB/SCY (D.N.M., January 19, 2015)

A district court, in a 199-page opinion, struck down a local county ordinance banning oil-and-gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing, within Mora County, New Mexico. Portions of the ordinance essentially provide that corporations have no federal constitutional rights. For example, the...

Hydraulic Fracturing

United States v. Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co.

45 ELR 20014
13-690 (W.D. Okla., January 15, 2015)

A district court dismissed EPA's lawsuit against an Oklahoma utility under the CAA alleging that it failed to properly project whether modifications made to two coal-fired power plants would result in an increase in emissions. The plants were constructed before Congress enacted the PSD program....

Permits

LWD PRP Group v. Alcan Corp.

45 ELR 20016
14-5730 (6th Cir., January 14, 2015)

The Sixth Circuit held that the three-year statute of limitations for contribution actions brought after an administrative settlement to perform a removal action begins running when the settlement becomes effective, not when the removal action is completed. In this case, the plaintiff--a group...

Contribution, §113(g)(3), Settlements, §122

Vine Street v. Borg Warner Corp.

45 ELR 20018
07-40440 (5th Cir., January 14, 2015)

The Fifth Circuit held that a corporation should not be held liable as an arranger under CERCLA for costs associated with cleaning up a plume of perchloroethylene (PERC) that discharged from a dry cleaning business that operated in the 1960s and 70s. A district court in 2006 had held the...

Arrangers

Myers v. Bureau of Land Management

45 ELR 20015
13-cv-00701 (D. Colo., January 13, 2015)

A district court held BLM liable under the CWA for discharging pollutants from two of its wells into a tributary of the Arkansas River without a permit, but refused to enjoin the agency from further discharges. BLM is clearly in violation of the Act, as it failed to obtain an NPDES permit for...

Denied, Violations

In re Suction Dredge Mining Cases

45 ELR 20017
DS4720 (Cal. Super. Ct., January 12, 2015)

A California court held that federal mining law preempts a state law that effectively bans the use of any vacuum or suction dredge mining in streams and rivers on federal lands. Under Cal. Fish & Game Code §5653, the use of any vacuum or suction dredge equipment by any person in any river...

Actions unreviewable, Mining Law of 1872