Administrative Agency Environmental Civil Remedies

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Developer Awarded Cost of Preparing Administrative Record in CEQA Lawsuit

Lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) typically proceed as petitions for administrative mandamus. This means the petitioner is asking the court to review an agency’s decision and ultimately issue a...more

Forecast is Hazy For EPA’s Regional Haze Oversight Authority

Earlier this month, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed EPA’s disapproval of the Texas and Oklahoma regional haze state implementation plans, as well as EPA’s promulgation of its own federal implementation plan. The...more

Court Enjoins Wolf Releases in New Mexico

The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico issued an opinion and order enjoining the United States from releasing captive-bred wolves within the State of New Mexico without first obtaining importation and...more

Litigating Environmental Whistleblower Claims Under OSHA Procedures

The federal government is allocating more time and resources to whistleblower programs. Now, more than ever, companies need to take steps to minimize exposure to whistleblower claims. When a whistleblower case is filed, it...more

Unlike Keith Richards, I Have Not Fallen Out Of A Tree

Last month, I went out on a limb and predicted that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals would not stay the CPP. Today, the Court vindicated my faith in judicial rationality and refused to grant a stay. In a brief order, the...more

Bypassing Scylla and Charybdis: Pre-enforcement Judicial Review of Wetlands Determinations Under the Clean Water Act

In the Odyssey, Homer told of the inescapable sailing hazards that confronted Odysseus: the six-headed sea monster, Scylla, on one side of a strait and a whirlpool, Charybdis, on the other. Odysseus chose to avoid losing all...more

Federal Judge Halts Implementation of Waters of the United States Rule

Injunction Applies Only to 13 States That Are Parties to the Case On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson in Fargo, N.D. issued a temporary injunction requested by North Dakota and 12 other states prohibiting the...more

District Court Enjoins Federal Regulations Revising Scope of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

North Dakota v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 3:15-cv-00059 (D.N.D. Aug. 27, 2015) - A federal judge, Ralph R. Erickson, in North Dakota today granted several states’ request for a preliminary injunction to...more

Federal Judge Enjoins Implementation of EPA and USACE's New Clean Water Rule

On Thursday, August 27, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota enjoined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from implementing the recently...more

CERCLA’s Confusion Between Section 107 and Section 113

Over a decade after the Supreme Court’s decision in Cooper Industries v. Aviall, the divide between CERCLA Section 107 cost recovery claims and Section 113 contribution claims remains unsettled. PRPs incurring response costs...more

Russia: Environmental Liability for Off-Shore Oil and Gas Operations

Russian off-shore subsoil use operations: status and perspectives - After Rosneft's recent discovery of substantial light oil and gas reserves at the Universitetskaya-1 well in the Kara Sea, regular development of...more

First District Publishes Decision Rejecting CEQA Challenges To Cal Fire’s Approval of Gualala Area Nonindustrial Timber Management...

In a decision filed December 2, and later ordered published on December 30, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the Mendocino County Superior Court’s judgment denying a petition for writ of mandate challenging a...more

Attorney Labor For Preparing CEQA Administrative Record Is Recoverable Cost Where Specialized Knowledge Required, Holds Fourth...

In a partially-published opinion filed September 29, 2014, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed an order and judgment permitting the County of San Diego to recover actual labor costs incurred for an attorney and...more

CEQA Reform in the Courts – Public Agency Can Recover Costs Despite Petitioner's Election

After Governor Brown took office for the second time, CEQA reform through the Legislature seemed like a distinct possibility. While that possibility has all but evaporated, recent rulings suggest that courts are taking a...more

CEQA Administrative Record Preparation Costs – Who Pays and When? First District Provides Guidance In Coalition For Adequate...

In a published decision filed September 15, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal reversed and remanded a trial court’s post-judgment order granting an unsuccessful CEQA petitioner’s motion to tax the entire $64,144 cost...more

Seventh Circuit Holds Federal Agencies Can Be Sued for Public Nuisance, But Affirms Dismissal of Claim

On July 14, 2014, the Seventh Circuit decided Michigan et al. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers et al. (Wood, C.J., writing for a unanimous panel). While the court ultimately affirmed dismissal of the underlying action, the...more

Court of Appeal Upholds State Water Board Regulation Targeting Frost-Prevention Activities of Vineyards in Mendocino and Sonoma...

In Light v. State Water Resources Control Board (Opinion filed 6/16/2014), California’s First Appellate District upheld a State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) regulation that will potentially limit the amount of water...more

North Dakota Court Dismisses Flaring Cases

You might recall that North Dakota achieved nationwide notoriety when photos of flaring Bakken wells visible from space circulated around the news. According to the U. S. Department of Energy...more

Is the NSR Enforcement Initiative Dead Yet? Injunctive Relief Claims Dismissed Against U.S. Steel

Last Friday, EPA lost another NSR enforcement case. Not only that, but this was a case EPA had previously won. As we noted last August, Chief Judge Philip Simon of the Northern District of Indiana, had previously ruled that...more

Is there a statute of limitation in government Clean Water Act Cases?

A Minnesota federal trial court recently ruled that the government can sue Clean Water Act violators even if the statute of limitations has expired. The decision opens the door for the Eighth Circuit to issue a definitive...more

Federal Court Denies Joint Motion For Consent Decree Regarding The Marbled Murrelet

In American Forest Resources Council v. Ashe, 1:12-cv-00111 (D.D.C. Mar. 30, 2013), the United States District Court for the District of Columbia denied a joint motion for a consent decree regarding the critical habitat...more

What is the "relevant parcel" in a regulatory takings case?

In Lost Tree Village Corporation v. United States, the Federal Circuit addressed this question head on, concluding, to the surprise of no one, that the answer will largely depend upon the unique facts in each case. ...more

Energy And Environmental Law Alert: Feds Continue Aggressive Enforcement Of Emissions Limits For Power Plants

On January 4, 2013, the Wisconsin Public Service Corporation agreed to pay more than $300 million as part of a settlement reached with the EPA and the Justice Department regarding alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. The...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Update: January 2013 - New Jersey Supreme Court Clarifies Requisite Nexus for Liability Under...

In New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection v. Dimant, 212 N.J. 153 (2012), the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) must establish, by a preponderance of the...more

CEQA Standing Reform: Could Statutory Standing Requirements Feasibly Be Tightened To Bar Anti-Competitive Lawsuits Motivated By...

Meaningful CEQA reform is a topic much discussed by politicians and stakeholders, but its realization remains elusive. For example, in-fill exemptions are fettered with multitudes of complex and convoluted conditions and...more

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