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Louisiana’s Subsequent Purchaser Rule Bars Property Owner’s Claims

On April 18, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling in a Louisiana case that dismissed the plaintiff’s claims for property damage based on contamination caused to his property by...more

Agreed Judgments Rendered Without the State of Texas’ Consent Must Be Set Aside

On April 20, an intermediate Court of Appeals for the First Court of Appeals, sitting in Houston, reversed the trial court and directed that court to reinstate an environmental enforcement action that had purportedly been...more

4/27/2017  /  Appeals , Enforcement Actions

CWA Citizen Suit Dismissed Where Plaintiffs Failed to Allege “Conveyance of Pollutants Into Navigable Waters

On April 20, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Anderson Division, dismissed the plaintiffs’ Clean Water Act (CWA) Citizen Suit which alleged that the defendant pipeline operators had violated the CWA...more

Court of Appeals Dismisses Appeal For Lack Of Jurisdiction

On April 20, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a unanimous ruling that may terminate much of the litigation triggered by the bankruptcy of Tronox Inc. The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal for lack...more

District Court Confirms Work-Product Doctrine Privilege Covers Only Certain Documents Exchanged With Third Party Consultants

On April 14, a U.S. Magistrate serving with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana issued a ruling in a matter involving the attorney-client and attorney work product privileges. The case is Valley Forge...more

New Administration At EPA To Reconsider Several Issues

The new administration at the Environmental Protection Action has taken these actions: - Reconsidering the New Methane Rules. On June 3, 2016, pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA promulgated amendments to the...more

AFRC Has Standing To Challenge U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 Designation Of 9.5M Acres Of Federal Forest Lands As...

On April 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed the lower court and held, owlin a unanimous opinion, that the American Forest Resource Council has standing to challenge the U.S. Fish and...more

DC Circuit Discusses EPA’s De Minimis Authority To Create Reporting Exemptions

On April 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated thecow-300x234 Environmental Protection Agency’s December 18, 2008 CERCLA/EPCRA Administrative Reporting Exemption for Air Releases of...more

4/12/2017  /  CERCLA , EPA , Reporting Requirements

Fourth Circuit: PPL Montana, LLC v. Montana “Navigability” Principle Applies To NC

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has decided the case of North Carolina v. Alcoa Power Generating, Inc. The Court of Appeals affirmed, in a 2 to 1 ruling, the decision of the U.S. District Court for the...more

District Court Invokes Burford Abstention and Primary Jurisdiction Doctrines to Dismiss RCRA Citizen Suit

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has dismissed the Sierra Club’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) citizen suit, filed against several oil and gas producers seeking declaratory and...more

Local Officials Entitled to Qualified Immunity For “No Contact” Email

On April 4, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided the case of Mirabella v. Villard, et al., a civil rights case brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging, inter alia, violations of their First Amendment...more

4/7/2017  /  Appeals , First Amendment , Wetlands

Colorado Court Confirms Commission Improperly Denied Petition For Rulemaking

On March 23, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued a ruling reversing the trial court and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission which had denied the petitioners’ request that the Commission, when promulgating rules...more

10th Cir. Holds Congress, Pursuant To Authority Under Commerce Clause, Can Protect, Under ESA, Purely Intrastate Species On...

On March 29, in the case of People For the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, et al., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a unanimous decision that the Endangered...more

Texas Court Confirms State Statute Of Limitations Tolled By Filing Of Class Action

On March 24, the Texas Third District Court of Appeals (sitting in Austin) issued an important decision regarding the application of the state’s statute of limitations in a class action lawsuit. The case is Asplundh Tree...more

Court Dismisses Complaint That FERC’s Regulatory Structure Is Biased In Favor Of Pipeline Applicants

On March 22, in the case of Delaware Riverkeeper Network, et al., v. FERC, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint that the statutory requirement that the Federal Regulatory...more

3/24/2017  /  Energy Sector , FERC , Oil & Gas , Pipelines

SCOTUS Upholds Federal Vacancies Reform Act

On March 21, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of NLRB v. SW General, Inc., dba Southwest Ambulance. This case concerns the operation and application of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998...more

Two New Texas Supreme Court Decisions

Two especially interesting decisions were released last Friday by the Texas Supreme Court. In Engelman Irrigation District v. Shields Brothers, Inc., the Court affirmed the ruling of the Thirteenth Court of Appeals...more

OMB’s Federal Budget Blueprint

The Blueprint only provides details on discretionary spending proposals. The full budget, to be released later this spring, will include specific tax proposals and a “full fiscal path.” The Blueprint recommends the...more

3/20/2017  /  Federal Budget , OMB

DC Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment to Halliburton in Important FCA Case

On March 14, U.S. Federal Judge Royce Lamberth granted Halliburton’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed Mr. Barko’s claims against Halliburton, filed under the False Claims Act (FCA), which, along the way, resulted in...more

POTUS Calls For Plan to Improve the Efficiency, Effectiveness and Accountability of Federal Agencies

Yesterday, the White House published a Presidential Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch directing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, after a period of review and...more

CERCLA’s Statute Of Limitations Doesn’t Preempt State Law Claims Based Largely On Negligence, Nuisance And Trespass

On March 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a ruling affirming the District Court’s rejection of Virginia common law property damage claims based largely on negligence, nuisance, trespass, and argument...more

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction Denied

On March 7, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling denying a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe challenging an easement granted on February 8 by the U.S....more

A Lesson on the Meaning of “Harangue” and “Oration”

In U.S. v. Brownstein, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, reversing the District Court, held that a federal law regulating conduct in the Supreme Court Building, 40 U.S.C. § 6134, which prohibits “harangues and...more

Fifth Circuit: Some Degree of Propinquity Is Required To Maintain Claims

In Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East, et al., v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C., et al., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a unanimous ruling...more

Changed Circumstances Warrant Modifications To Injunction

In Government of the Province of Manitoba v. Zinke, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit reversed the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and held that the State of North Dakota could begin designing a...more

3/7/2017  /  Drinking Water , NEPA
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