Mealey's Pollution Liability

  • January 22, 2022

    6th Circuit Rejects Bid By Trade Associations To Intervene In CAA Case

    CINCINNATI — In an order issued Jan. 7, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals granted a motion by the state of Ohio to intervene in a challenge by Sierra Club and other environmental groups to a final rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that removed a state regulation that prohibits nuisance air pollution from Ohio’s state implementation plan (SIP); in the same ruling, the panel denied a motion by three trade associations to also weigh in on the case.

  • January 22, 2022

    Alabama Federal Judge: Under Maui, Owner Of Refuse Pile Needs Permit

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Finding no dispute that groundwater discharges carrying acid mine drainage (AMD) constitute the “functional equivalent of a direct discharge” under the standard established in Cty. of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, a federal judge in Alabama on Jan. 12 granted an environmental group summary judgment.

  • January 20, 2022

    Landfill Owners Argue Against High Court Review Of CAFA Local Controversy Exception

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Landfill owners who are accused by adjacent property owners of mishandling radioactive waste filed an opposition brief on Jan. 10 in the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing against review of a ruling on the scope of the Class Action Fairness Act’s (CAFA) local controversy exception by the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found that the exception did not apply to the putative class complaint.

  • January 18, 2022

    New Jersey Panel Affirms: Buyer Had Notice Of Preexisting Contamination

    JERSEY CITY, N.J. — In a ruling issued Jan. 12, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, upheld a trial court’s determination that allegations of negligence leveled in connection with three underground storage tanks (USTs) are time-barred because the purchaser of the property was made aware of preexisting environmental issues at the time of sale.

  • January 18, 2022

    Louisiana Federal Judge: Wetlands Pollution Claims Belong In State Court

    NEW ORLEANS — For a third time, a federal judge in Louisiana on Jan. 11 remanded to state court allegations the oil and gas industry contributed to the deterioration of coastal wetlands, concluding the defendants “cannot demonstrate a sufficient subcontractor relationship under” the federal officer removal statute; the following day, Chevron USA Inc., ConocoPhillips Co., Exxon Mobil Corp. sought a stay of the order.

  • January 18, 2022

    TRO Denied In Dispute Over Plans To Fill In, Pave Forested Wetlands

    NEW ORLEANS — Efforts by Sierra Club and others to halt the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from proceeding with the clearcutting and paving in of forested wetlands were unsuccessful on Jan. 14, when a federal judge in New Orleans said the balance of harms does not support a temporary restraining order (TRO).

  • January 12, 2022

    Judge Allows Environmental Group To Intervene In Stalled Pennsylvania CWA Action

    SCRANTON, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Dec. 17 granted an environmental group’s motion to intervene in a long-running lawsuit that claims that a state municipal authority is violating federal and state clean water laws, ruling that the group’s delay in entering the case was justified because it did not learn that the parties had not made adequate progress in achieving the goals of a partial consent decree until it received responses to a public records request.

  • January 12, 2022

    Sierra Club Largely Prevails On Power Plant Summary Judgment Bid

    CONCORD, N.H. — In an order issued Dec. 30, a federal judge in New Hampshire said the operators of a power plant are entitled to partial summary judgment on just one of four claims asserted by two environmental groups, agreeing with the defendants that “under the statutory canon that ‘the expression of one thing in a statute implies the exclusion of another,’ the absence of any reference to ‘cooling water’ in the waste and sewage provision” in a New Hampshire statute “signifies that the provision does not regulate” the power plant’s discharges.

  • January 12, 2022

    EPA Given 180 Days To Determine Necessity Of Revised Water Standards

    SEATLLE — In a ruling issued Dec. 29, a federal judge in Washington said the denial by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of a petition for new and revised water quality standards (WQS) in Washington was arbitrary, capricious and incompatible with the Clean Water Act.

  • January 12, 2022

    In Blow To Oil Companies, Delaware Climate Change Lawsuit Remanded

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal judge in Delaware on Jan. 5 said that a lawsuit over an alleged disinformation campaign waged by oil companies to mislead the public about the devastation caused by climate change belongs in the Delaware state court where it was originally filed.

  • January 11, 2022

    New Jersey Panel Remands Environmental Contamination Suit For Further Analysis

    TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division on Dec. 30 vacated a trial court’s dismissal of an insured’s environmental contamination coverage suit after determining that the trial court failed to thoroughly analyze the issue of whether any special equities exist showing that New Jersey may have a greater interest in the case than New York, the location where one of the insurers filed its own lawsuit against the insurer.

  • January 10, 2022

    Texas Panel OKs Modified Injunction In Dispute Over Polluted Creek

    AUSTIN, Texas — Approval by a Travis County, Texas, judge of modifications proposed by the state of Texas to a temporary injunction requiring a waste-processing facility to take various steps to improve pollution of a nearby creek was not improper or an abuse of discretion, a Texas appellate court ruled Jan. 6.

  • January 07, 2022

    Settlement Approved By Ohio Federal Judge In Ohio E-Waste Case

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — In a Dec. 31 order, a federal judge in Ohio signed off on the 25th settlement in a dispute over a sham e-waste recycling business, concluding that certification of the agreement facilitates the purposes of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act because plaintiffs in the case “have already commenced on-site removal of e-waste.”

  • January 07, 2022

    Massachusetts Federal Judge: Mootness Claim By Exxon Premature

    BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Dec. 22 said that contrary to the position taken by ExxonMobil Corp., the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez “does not alter the standard for determining standing that the court utilized” when previously denying a motion by Exxon to dismiss allegations that it violated the terms of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

  • January 05, 2022

    Divided Panel Overrules Most Monsanto Objections In Dispute Over PCBs

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — In a 90-page ruling issued Dec. 30, preliminary objections (POs) by Monsanto Co. to allegations of trespass and unjust enrichment were sustained by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court while six other objections, including allegations of public nuisance and failure to warn and instruct, were overruled in a dispute over elevated polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Pennsylvania waterways.

  • January 05, 2022

    Petitioners, Amici: D.C. Circuit Erred In OK’ing EPA Emissions Authority

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — With oral arguments approaching, parties embroiled in a consolidated challenge to the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions have been weighing in with the U.S. Supreme Court, with West Virginia arguing Dec. 13 that a January 2021 appellate court ruling “strips traditional state authority” without congressional approval.

  • January 04, 2022

    10th Circuit: Nonprofit Lacks Standing To Assert Some Pollution Claims

    DENVER — Although rejecting a majority of arguments by businesses and individuals accused of violating federal law when installing “defeat devices” on large diesel trucks, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 28 said it agreed with defendants that a plaintiff nonprofit group of physicians lacks standing to complain of conduct that did “not contribute to air pollution in Utah’s Wasatch Front.”

  • January 04, 2022

    In Consolidated Spill Act Cases, New Jersey Panel Reverses Alter-Ego Ruling

    JERSEY CITY, N.J. — In an unpublished opinion issued Dec. 27, the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division said a trial court erred in dismissing a cross-claim by Occidental Chemical Corp. (OCC) that various related businesses have a duty to defend, indemnify and hold OCC harmless under a theory of alter-ego liability in longstanding litigation stemming from pollution of the Passaic River and Newark Bay Complex.

  • December 28, 2021

    In Montana Dispute Over Nitrogen Levels, Leave To Amend Granted

    BUTTE, Mont. — A federal judge in Montana on Dec. 17 dismissed the manager of the Big Sky Water and Sewer District from litigation over alleged pollution of the Gallatin River but granted plaintiffs in the case leave to amend to name the owner of a nearby golf course as a defendant.

  • December 28, 2021

    Coal Company Permanently Enjoined For Selenium, Water Quality Violations

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A federal judge in West Virginia on Dec. 13 granted a citizen petition for permanent injunctive relief against a coal company accused of polluting two streams with excessive selenium discharges, after settlement discussions between the parties broke down.

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