Environmental Civil Procedure Civil Remedies

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Breathing New Life Into Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment

On Dec. 19, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a controversial decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania addressing the injunction entered by the Commonwealth Court enjoining the enforcement of a...more

Divisional Court Overturns Environmental Review Tribunal Decision and Allows Wind Project to Proceed

In an important decision for stakeholders in the Ontario renewable energy industry, the Divisional Court of Ontario overturned the July 2013 decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal (the ERT) in Ostrander Point. In its...more

Ontario Court Backs Wind Developer at Ostrander Point

In July 2013, the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) revoked the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) issued to Gilead Power to develop a nine-turbine, 22.5-megawatt wind power project at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County....more

Mixed Result In A Louisiana Legacy Pollution Case

The Dietz family sued several lessees for injunctive relief and restorative damages arising out of leases on two non-contiguous tracts in Acadia Parish. In Dietz, et al. v. Superior Oil Company, et al the trial court granted...more

BP Oil Spill Update

On April 18, 2012, BP Exploration and Production Inc. and BP America Production Company (collectively “BP”) entered into an economic and property damages class action settlement with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the...more

Seventh Circuit Highlights Challenges To Class Certification In Environmental Litigation

Property owners in the town of Roxana, Illinois, a small village on the Mississippi River across from St. Louis, filed suit against Shell Oil Company and ConocoPhillips. The property owners alleged that a refinery owned by...more

Hernshaw Decision Could Have Impacts Beyond Coal Industry - Court Allows Citizens Suit to Proceed Based On Lingering Effects from...

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia has issued a number of decisions in the last several years touching upon the outer contours of jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act’s citizen suits...more

Texas High Court Set to Hear Appeal on Viability of Post-Cleanup Stigma Damages in Environmental Contamination Claim

In an issue of first impression in Texas, the state’s highest court will hear arguments in December 2013 in a case involving a party’s claim to recover stigma damages following the cleanup of environmental contamination to...more

Second Circuit Clarifies “Removal” vs. “Remedial” Action Under CERCLA

In the CERCLA context, knowing whether a cleanup action is a “removal” or “remedial” action is crucial to the length of time allowed for the cleanup, the amount of money that may be spent on the cleanup, and the statute of...more

Third Circuit Expands CERCLA Contribution Rights and Narrows RCRA Injunctive Power

In Trinity Industries, Inc. v. Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, No. 12-2059, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion interpreting contribution rights under the Comprehensive Environmental Response,...more

House Passes Healthy Forests Bill That Would Amend ESA With Respect To Forest Reserve Projects

On September 20, 2013, H.R. 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 244-173. Shortly thereafter, the bill was referred to the Senate Committee...more

Landmark Decision Issued on Proper Environmental Baseline under

In a recent landmark California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") decision, Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (2013) 57 Cal.4th 439 (Smart Rail), the California Supreme Court issued its...more

Court Enjoins "Salvage Harvest" Project In Area Scorched By The Mill Fire

In 2012, the Mill Fire burned almost 30,000 acres in California, destroying large areas of forest, including threatened Northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) habitat. Even after the Mill Fire was finally snuffed...more

Update! – New York State Court of Appeals Takes On Fracking Ban Case

In what will be a precedent-setting decision of national importance, yesterday the New York State Court of Appeals agreed to hear Norse Energy’s appeal of the Third Department’s decision upholding the Town of Dryden’s...more

Ninth Circuit Opinion Highlights Vapor Intrusion Risks and Challenges Faced by Brownfields Developers and Their Lenders

A recent ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit illustrates the challenges faced by developers of contaminated properties and their lenders, as well as the extraordinary risks associated with...more

Plaintiffs Claim Victory In Sharp Park Case Despite Mixed Record Of Success

On July 1, 2013, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order granting, in part, Plaintiffs’ motion for attorneys fees in Wild Equity Institute v. City and County of San Francisco,...more

The Offer of Judgment: A Strategy to Oppose Claims for Attorneys’ Fees in Environmental Fee-Shifting Cases

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that an offer of judgment in response to a claim for attorneys’ fees in a citizen suit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is valid. Interfaith Community...more

Failure To Separately Notice Consideration Of CEQA Document Violates Brown Act

In San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center v. County of Merced, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District held that the Merced County Planning Commission violated the Brown Act by adopting a CEQA mitigated negative...more

District Court Awards Fees To ESA Defendant, Ordering Plaintiffs Jointly And Severally Liable

On March 29, 2013, after more than 11 years of litigation, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia held that a defendant, as the prevailing party, was entitled to attorneys' fees under the Endangered...more

Senate Bill 814 Proposes Sweeping and Retroactive Changes to Environmental Claims Handling in Oregon

On March 13, 2013, the Oregon legislature introduced Senate Bill 814 to create sweeping reforms on environmental claims handling regulations and available remedies for insureds facing liability for cleanup of contaminated...more

Ontario Court Dismisses “Speculative” Challenge to a Prospective Wind Turbine Project

In Wiggins v. WPD Canada Corporation, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims for injunctive relief and $16.6 million in damages against a prospective (not yet approved) wind turbine project,...more

Update on CEQA Reform: Steinberg’s Quest for the “Elusive Middle Ground”

The last year witnessed what once appeared to be a groundswell of support for the “modernization” of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), loosely meaning easing the burden of the process itself and minimizing...more

BP Unable To Block Oil Spill Claim Payments

On March 15, 2013, BP asked United States District Court Judge Carl Barbier, Jr. to block the Deepwater Horizon claims administrator from awarding “business economic losses” that BP contends are “fictitious” claims for...more

First District Holds CEQA Remedies Provision Allows Park District’s Eminent Domain Action To Proceed Pending Preparation of...

In Golden Gate Land Holdings LLC v. East Bay Regional Park District (4/12/13 1st Dist., Div. 5) _____ Cal.App.4th _____, 2013 WL 1491547, the First District Court of Appeal explored the scope and proper application of CEQA’s...more

Condemn Now, CEQA-Compliance Later? OK. Maybe....

Acquiring property for public projects typically does not occur until after the project has received environmental approval. While this is the generally accepted rule – and it makes sense for a number of reasons – must a...more

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