Environmental Civil Procedure Constitutional Law

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Dispatches From the “Sue and Settle” Front: Trade Groups Do Not Have Standing to Challenge Settlements Regarding ESA Listing...

Last week, a federal court, for the fourth time, found that property owners’ groups do not have standing to challenge a settlement between the administration and conservation groups under which the administration agreed to...more

California’s LCFS Surviving Challenges As Major Changes Loom

The Air Resources Board proposes to merge court-mandated re-adoption of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard with other significant program changes. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) continues to generate uncertainty due to...more

How Powerful is the Endangered Species Act? Just Ask the Delta Smelt

The Endangered Species Act is a powerful tool for the protection of threatened and endangered species and their habitats. Just how powerful was made clear last week when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals largely reversed a...more

Clean Air Act Ruling May Curb Suits

Last month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to re-hear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could be a major hurdle for plaintiffs in...more

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing in Clean Air Act Greenhouse Gas Case

As we discussed in an earlier post, in October 2013 the Ninth Circuit held in Washington Environmental Council v. Bellon, 732 F.3d 1131, that it lacked jurisdiction to hear certain environmental organizations’ challenge to...more

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing of Clean Air Act Suit and War of Words Ensues

On February 3, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to rehear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could significantly...more

"US Supreme Court Cases to Watch in 2014"

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule on numerous significant cases in 2014, involving such issues as presidential power, affirmative action, campaign contributions, environmental regulations, intellectual property, commercial...more

Challenge Against DOGGR Can't Stand Under SB 4: Alameda County Judge Throws Out Environmental Suit

Environmental groups will have to wait to challenge hydraulic fracturing activities in the state of California until the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) issues its permanent regulations in 2015. ...more

EARL e-News: South Carolina Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Carnival Cruise Lines - Updates on Environmental,...

On January 22, 2014, the South Carolina Supreme Court granted Carnival Corporation d/b/a Carnival Cruise Lines’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by several citizen groups in Charleston, South Carolina. The Court held...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Pro-Industry Law

In Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the energy industry. By a 4-2 decision the Court struck down a 2012 law (commonly known as “Act 13”) aimed at...more

Citizens Are Not Harmed By the Concept of Pollution Trading: A Challenge to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Is Dismissed

On December 13, the District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed plaintiffs’ challenge in Food and Water Watch v. EPA to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL’s discussion of pollution trading and offsets. As I had previously...more

Appeals Court Dismisses Legal Challenge to New York RGGI Program

This week, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department (“Third Department” or “Court”), issued a memorandum decision in the case of Thrun v. Cuomo, dismissing a legal challenge to New York’s involvement...more

"The Weakest Link For Climate Change Plaintiffs"

In a case seeking to compel the Washington Department of Ecology and two regional agencies in the state of Washington to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the...more

CEQA Standing and Exhaustion Rules Applied In Action Challenging City of San Jose’s General Plan Update

The Sixth District Court of Appeal, in a published decision filed September 30, 2013, reversed a grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant City of San Jose in an action challenging its “Envision San Jose” comprehensive...more

Despite Bell, State Law CO2 Liability Claims Are Doomed

“Therefore, the court declines to assert supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims which are dismissed without prejudice to their presentation in a state court action.” So ends the last analytical...more

CERCLA, RCRA, and Vapor Intrusion: Does What Happens in Vegas Really Stay in Vegas?

In Voggenthaler v. Maryland Square LLC, 724 F.3d 1050 (9th Cir. 2013), the defendants argued that contamination that happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas, and therefore the Commerce Clause barred the application of CERCLA. The...more

Ninth Circuit Rules That Plaintiffs Lack Standing To Compel State Agencies To Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In a case seeking to compel the Washington State Department of Ecology and two regional agencies in the State of Washington to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the environmental...more

The Ninth Circuit Dismisses Suit on Greenhouse Gas Regulation: Science Not Sufficient To Support Causal Link To Plaintiffs’ Injury

On October 17, 2013, the Ninth Circuit ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to consider a challenge to Washington’s failure to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the state’s five oil refineries under the Clean Air Act....more

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Narrow Review of EPA's Greenhouse Gas Regulatory Regime But Refuses to Review EPA's Endangerment Finding

On Oct. 15, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court granted six petitions for review challenging the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision affirming the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ("EPA") suite of greenhouse gas ("GHG")...more

State Primacy in Coal Mining Regulations Challenged: Environmental Group Seeks Federal Court Jurisdiction

State sovereignty over the regulation of coal mining is again under attack by anti-industry groups. In Montana Environmental Information Center, et al. v. Stone-Manning, et al., Appeal No. 13-35107 (Ninth Circuit Court of...more

Ninth Circuit Holds California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard is Constitutional on its Face

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, ruling on the constitutionality of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The Court of Appeals reversed the...more

Court Of Appeals Holds Claims Against The U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service For Failure To Comply With The Endangered Species Act Are...

On August 20, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held (pdf) that appellants’ claims against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an alleged failure to take certain actions under the...more

DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Tort Litigation: Global Warming Litigation Goes Cold

Within a matter of just a few days, the federal courts put an end to climate change litigation, including one case that had originated in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina....more

Supreme Court Rules On Permits

The recent Supreme Court case Koontz vs. St. Johns River has generated a lot of commentary and debate in the legal community and speculation concerning the ramifications of the case on various land use permitting scenarios. ...more

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Latest Attempt to Differentiate a Fair Quid Pro Quo in the Developer’s Permitting Process From an...

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued an important decision in an attempt to add clarity and help government land use planners understand the difference between reasonable requests and unreasonable demands rising to the level of...more

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