Mealey's Pollution Liability

  • April 21, 2022

    9th Circuit: Approval By EPA Of Air Quality Plan Must Be Revisited

    SAN FRANCISCO — In an April 13 unpublished ruling, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said the Environmental Protection Agency satisfied, in part, the three-part test for evaluating the permissibility of aggregate commitment when it approved a 2018 plan submitted by California to meet the 2006 24-hour particulate matter (PM) 2.5 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in the San Joaquin Valley.

  • April 21, 2022

    New York Federal Judge Won’t Halt Trenching Amid PFAS Concerns

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Allegations by two couples that onshore trenching for an offshore wind farm is worsening polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) levels at their East Hampton, N.Y., homes do not rise to the level of irreparable harm, a federal judge in New York concluded April 12, denying a preliminary injunction.

  • April 20, 2022

    Dispute Over Coal Mine Expansion Remanded By Divided 9th Circuit

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 4 said the U.S. Department of the Interior violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when it failed to provide a “convincing statement of reasons why” expansion of a Montana coal mine would cause “insignificant” environmental impacts.

  • April 19, 2022

    Environmental Contamination Coverage Suit To Remain In Massachusetts, Judge Says

    LOWELL, Mass. — In a March 29 docket endorsement, a Massachusetts judge denied an insured’s motion to dismiss an environmental contamination coverage dispute after determining that Massachusetts, rather than West Virginia where a similar suit was filed, is the proper forum to litigate the coverage dispute because the public and private factors weigh in favor of litigating the suit in Massachusetts.

  • April 12, 2022

    In Dispute Over Grazing Permits, Polluted Streams, Panel Sides With Forest Service

    SAN FRANCISCO — Allegations that the federal government violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) when it issued grazing permits in three allotments because the grazing led to fecal matter runoff that polluted streams around the Stanislaus National Forest were correctly rejected on summary judgment, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed April 8.

  • April 12, 2022

    JPMDL Shoots Down Request To Centralize Army Corps Lawsuits

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A motion by an environmental advocacy group to centralize allegations that the Army Corps of Engineers violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) in the course of operating three hydroelectric dams was rejected April 8 by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL).

  • April 11, 2022

    Insured Satisfied Pollution Liability Policy’s $10M Self-Insured Retention Limit

    ATLANTA — A Georgia federal judge on March 23 determined that an insured seeking coverage for environmental contamination costs incurred by a gasoline leak from a petroleum pipeline satisfied a $10 million self-insured retention (SIR) limit in its pollution liability insurance policy; however, the judge found that the insurer owes no coverage for the settlement of an underlying lawsuit arising out of the spill because the policy’s pollution condition exception bars coverage for the underlying suit.

  • April 11, 2022

    Insured Challenges Finding That Chemical Facility Was Not Covered Under Policy

    NEW ORLEANS — An insured seeking coverage for environmental contamination remediation expenses incurred following a fire at the insured’s chemical facility filed a notice of appeal on March 31 in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, challenging a Texas federal judge’s ruling that the environmental premises liability insurer owes no coverage because the facility was not a covered location under the policy.

  • April 11, 2022

    Insurer Must Produce Documents In Environmental Contamination Coverage Suit

    CLEVELAND — An Ohio appellate court on March 31 affirmed a trial court’s ruling on an insured’s motion to compel in a breach of contract and bad faith suit arising out of the insured’s environmental contamination coverage claim after determining that the trial court did not err in determining that the insurer is required to produce a number of documents that are relevant to the insured’s bad faith claim under Ohio law.

  • April 11, 2022

    4th Circuit:  Climate Change Case Belongs In Maryland State Court

    RICHMOND, Va. — In a 93-page ruling issued April 7, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals again found that allegations that myriad energy companies misled the public about climate change should proceed in Maryland state court.

  • April 08, 2022

    Request To Adjourn Pretrial Conference Denied In Environmental Claims Row

    NEWARK, N.J. — In text-only orders issued March 26 and April 7 in a dispute over environmental investigation and remediation, a New Jersey federal magistrate judge denied a request by the defendants to adjourn the final pretrial conference and “to address the filing of dispositive motions,” then rescheduled that conference for May 2.

  • April 06, 2022

    Supreme Court Stays Vacatur Of Trump Era Clean Water Act Rule

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 6 stayed a ruling by a California federal court vacating the Trump administration’s 2020 Clean Water Act rule pending an appeal in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and a subsequent petition for certiorari if one is filed.

  • April 06, 2022

    Judge Dismisses Contamination Remediation Suit, Finds No Settlement Breach Alleged

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A federal judge in Puerto Rico on March 10 granted an oil company’s motion to dismiss a breach of contract complaint filed by property owners who allege that the company failed to comply with an earlier settlement agreement requiring it to remediate alleged contamination at a service station, holding that the plaintiffs failed to identify any obligation detailed in the agreement that the company breached.

  • April 04, 2022

    Settling Parties Win Dismissal, But CERCLA Cross-Claim Survives

    LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A joint motion to dismiss allegations under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act was granted March 28 by a New Mexico federal judge as it relates to the government’s claims against three settling defendants, but a nonsettling co-defendant’s cross-claim for contribution by the settling parties will proceed.

  • April 04, 2022

    Florida Bid To Dismiss Challenge To CWA Permit Program Largely Fails

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must face allegations that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when it gave Florida regulators the ability to issue permits under the Clean Water Act (CWA), a District of Columbia federal judge ruled March 30, denying in part the government’s motion for summary judgment.

  • April 04, 2022

    Kansas Federal Judge Won’t Dismiss, Reduce Stipulated Penalty Demand

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. — In a March 30 holding, a federal judge in Kansas denied a petition for judicial review of a decision by the United States and Kansas to demand stipulated penalties allegedly owed under the terms of a decade-old consent decree governing hydrogen sulfide concentration in petroleum refinery flares.

  • April 04, 2022

    In Dispute Over Alleged Pollution Of Montana River, Issues Clarified

    BUTTE, Mont. — A renewed motion for summary judgment by a trio of environmental advocacy groups was denied March 30 by a federal judge in Montana, who found that plaintiffs based their request on the “same facts and legal arguments” already considered and rejected in the case.

  • April 01, 2022

    Chevron Phillips Agrees To Pay $118 Million For CAA Violations

    HOUSTON — Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP has agreed to make an estimated $118 million in upgrades to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and Texas air pollution control laws at three petrochemical manufacturing facilities in the state and pay a $3.4 million civil penalty, according to a consent decree filed March 9 in a federal court in Texas.

  • April 01, 2022

    Utility Agrees To Pay $11.8 Million To Resolve CERCLA Liability

    HAMMOND, Ind. — A natural gas and electriccompany has agreed to pay $11.8 million and other fees to clean up soil contamination at individual residences resulting from the distribution of contaminated coal ash as landscaping fill in an Indiana town, resolving its liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and state law, according to a consent decree filed March 3 in a federal court in Indiana.

  • March 31, 2022

    Environmental Groups Say EPA Shirking ‘Good Neighbor’ Obligations

    SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has failed to promulgate federal “Good Neighbor” plans for four states who failed to submit Good Neighbor plans of their own, all in violation of the Clean Air Act, Sierra Club and others assert in a complaint filed March 29 in California federal court.

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