Mealey's Pollution Liability

  • July 19, 2024

    EPA Has No Duty To Enforce Right-To-Repair Rule Against Nonroad Vehicle Makers

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A man is not entitled to mandamus relief against the Environmental Protection Agency for the agency’s failure to enforce a Clean Air Act (CAA) “right-to-repair” rule against the manufacturers of nonroad vehicles because the rule does not apply to such vehicles, a District of Columbia federal judge found in granting the EPA’s motion to dismiss.

  • July 18, 2024

    New Mexico Amends PFAS Case Against Government To Add Claim Under Superfund Law

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — The state of New Mexico, which had previously sued the U.S. government related to contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the firefighting agent called aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), has amended its complaint to add claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act related to the costs associated with removal and remediation of the contamination.

  • July 17, 2024

    EPA Order And Communications Did Not Create New RCRA Rule, D.C. Circuit Finds

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Environmental Protection Agency did not promulgate any new rules governing the storage of toxic coal residuals when it issued proposed orders, a final order, a press release and official communications that all related to a final rule the agency entered in 2015 and later amended, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found in denying two petitions for review.

  • July 17, 2024

    2 Elements Of RCRA Claim Are Not In Dispute, New Jersey Federal Judge Finds

    TRENTON, N.J. — In a single memorandum opinion disposing of two motions for summary judgment, a New Jersey federal judge held that two environmental groups are entitled to summary judgment on two elements of their Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) claim arising from the storage and discharge of hazardous substances at a titanium dioxide plant because the parties no longer dispute those issue.

  • July 16, 2024

    Petitioners Ask High Court Whether California Can Set Its Own Emissions Standards

    WASHINGTON, D.C. —  In two separate petitions for writs of certiorari, a group of private parties representing the liquid fuel industry and a group of 17 states ask the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to waive new Clean Air Act (CAA) standards for automobile emissions as they apply to California.

  • July 15, 2024

    Marathon Will Pay ‘Largest Ever’ Civil Penalty For Stationary CAA Violations

    BISMARCK, N.D. — Under the terms of a proposed consent decree filed by the United States in North Dakota federal court, Marathon Oil Co. has agreed to pay a $64.5 million civil penalty to resolve alleged Clean Air Act (CAA) violations arising from its oil and natural gas operations within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

  • July 11, 2024

    Environmental Groups, Florida Agency Settle Claims Arising From Tampa Bay Discharges

    TAMPA, Fla. — In Florida federal court, a group of environmental organizations and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) announced a settlement to resolve Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) claims brought against the agency for its alleged involvement in the release of wastewater into Tampa Bay from a phosphate facility.

  • July 11, 2024

    West Virginia Federal Judge Dismisses Coal Mining Pollution Suit Without Prejudice

    HUNGTINGTON, W.Va. — In light of a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision and various communications from the parties, a West Virginia federal judge dismissed without prejudice a case brought by two property owners who sought compensation for pollution of their property allegedly caused by a state official and the former operators of a coal mine.

  • July 10, 2024

    Tribes Can Appeal Issue Of CERCLA Cultural Resource Damages To 9th Circuit

    SPOKANE, Wash. — A substantial ground for difference of opinion exists on whether the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation are entitled to cultural resource damages under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act caused by a smelter’s alleged disposal of millions of tons of toxic slag and liquid effluent into the Columbia River, a Washington federal judge found July 9 in granting the tribes’ motion for interlocutory appeal to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • July 09, 2024

    Maine Was Not Obligated To Consider Dam Application, D.C. Circuit Panel Finds

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Maine was not obligated to consider an application for a water quality certification sought by the operator of a hydroelectric dam because the operator materially changed the substance of its application just weeks before the state’s deadline to make a decision, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found in denying the operator’s petition for review.

  • July 09, 2024

    No Coverage Owed For Underlying Contamination Lawsuit, Insurer Says

    HOUSTON — No coverage is owed to an insured for an underlying lawsuit alleging that the insured’s gas and oil operations caused ground and water contamination because the insured did not provide notice of the lawsuit until eight years after the lawsuit was filed and after the insured agreed to settle the underlying suit, an insurer says in its complaint filed in Texas federal court.

  • July 09, 2024

    Arizona Supreme Court Says New Mine Shaft Does Not Need New NPDES Permit

    PHOENIX — A copper mine shaft constructed in 2014 does not require a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit because it is integrated into previous elements of an existing mine and is not considered a “new source” under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Arizona Supreme Court found in partially vacating a state appellate court’s judgment.

  • July 08, 2024

    Insureds Say 9th Circuit Should Affirm Coverage Opinion In Pollution Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A district court correctly found that an insurer owes coverage for an underlying environmental contamination lawsuit because the insureds met their burden of proving that the underlying lawsuit alleges a potential for coverage under the policies at issue, the insureds maintain in an appellee brief filed in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • July 05, 2024

    Majority Of Climate Change Claims Survive Motion To Dismiss In Colorado Court

    BOULDER, Colo. — Two Colorado municipalities properly stated all but one of their claims against a group of oil and gas companies that have allegedly damaged the municipalities’ infrastructure and resources by contributing to climate change through the sale and promotion of fossil fuel products, a Colorado judge found in partly granting the oil companies’ joint motion to dismiss.

  • July 05, 2024

    Judge: Some Groundwater Claims Are Valid Against Pfizer Related To Superfund Site

    TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey has ruled that a company charged with cleaning up groundwater contamination has asserted some valid claims against Pfizer Inc., which formerly disposed of hazardous material at a Superfund site, ruling that the allegations are sufficient to suggest “some connection” between Pfizer’s conduct and the purported contamination.

  • July 03, 2024

    Calif. Federal Judge Enters $500K Judgment In Dispute Over Groundwater Pollution

    SAN DIEGO — Following a notice of acceptance of an offer of judgment, a California federal judge entered a $500,000 judgment in favor of a property developer that said it encountered groundwater contamination near a development that allegedly originated from a nearby automobile salvage and dismantling facility.

  • June 28, 2024

    High Court Overrules Chevron Deference, Changes Standard For Regulatory Review

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 28 voted 6-3 to overrule the doctrine of Chevron deference as incompatible with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in two cases arising out of federal fishing regulations, changing governing precedent for federal courts reviewing agencies’ regulatory actions.

  • June 27, 2024

    4th Circuit: Arranger Liability Under CERCLA Has No Knowledge Requirement

    RICHMOND, Va. — In a matter of first impression for a federal appellate court, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found that a party that arranges for the disposal of hazardous waste can be held liable as an “arranger” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) even if the party did not know that the waste contained hazardous substances.

  • June 27, 2024

    Split Supreme Court Stays EPA Emissions Plan Pending Judicial Review

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The majority of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27 granted four applications to stay a plan issued by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act (CAA) that would establish an implementation plan for attaining ozone air quality standards for 23 states whose own plans were previously disapproved by the agency pending judicial review in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • June 26, 2024

    Army Corps Of Engineers Did Not Err In Granting Permit For Warehouse Construction

    SEATTLE — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not err in granting a Clean Water Act (CWA) permit for the construction of a warehouse that require the filling of some nearby wetlands because the Corps properly performed the necessary cumulative and alternative analyses, a Washington federal judge found in granting summary judgment in favor of the Corps and the owner of the warehouse.

  • June 26, 2024

    In Joint Stipulation, Parties Sink Oil Contamination Claims Arising From Shipwreck

    BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Oil pollution claims arising from the wreck of the M/V Golden Ray, a cargo ship carrying thousands of motor vehicles and hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel, have been resolved, according to a joint stipulation of dismissal filed in Georgia federal court by a group of nearby residents allegedly affected by the oil, the operators of the vessel and a company tasked with cleaning up the wreckage.

  • June 25, 2024

    New York Panel Affirms, Says Gas Station Owners Are Liable For 2 Spills

    ALBANY, N.Y. — A trial court did not err in finding that the owners of a gas station are liable for cleanup costs incurred by a New York state agency that investigated and cleaned two spills from the gas station because the owners failed to present a triable issue of fact regarding liability, a New York panel found in affirming the trial court’s partial summary judgment order.

  • June 25, 2024

    Hawaii Youth Secure Climate Change Commitment From State Agency And Officials

    HONOLULU — In a joint stipulation resolving climate change claims brought in Hawaii state court, a group of Hawaii youth on June 24 informed the court that they have reached a settlement with the Hawaii Department of Transportation and state officials that will see the agency develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the state.

  • June 24, 2024

    Class Of California Children File Amended Climate Change Claims Against EPA

    LOS ANGELES — Following the dismissal of their complaint for lack of redressability, a group of California minors filed an amended complaint in which they assert that they have been damaged by the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to prevent climate change and its discriminatory policies against children.

  • June 20, 2024

    Landowner’s Flawed Reading Of Sackett Dooms Preliminary Injunction In CWA Row

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A property owner is not entitled to a preliminary injunction that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers from enforcing a new amended rule that extends the protection of the Clean Water Act (CWA) to certain wetlands because the owner failed to show that the rule was at odds with the U.S. Supreme Court’s definition of protected wetlands in Sackett v. EPA, a North Carolina federal judge found in denying the owner’s motion for a preliminary injunction.