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Recap of Recent Oral Argument Before SCOTUS: Nat’l Assoc. of Mfr. v. Dep’t of Defense and Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in two significant cases: Nat’l Assoc. of Mfr. v. Dep’t of Defense and Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC. In National Association of Manufacturers, the Court is being asked to...more

Fifth Circuit Denies Due Process-Based Request for Preliminary Injunction Against Intrastate Texas Gas Pipeline

On October 3, in the case of Boerschig v. Trans-Pecos Pipeline, LLC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s denial of request for a preliminary injunction to enjoin Texas state condemnation...more

On Remand by SCOTUS to 9th Circ., 9th Circ. Again Holds that a Federal Hovercraft Ban Applies in Alaska Despite the Alaska...

On March 22, during the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Term, the Court issued a unanimous ruling that the Ninth Circuit’s interpretation of the scope of the National Park Service’s authority to ban the use of a hovercraft on...more

Court Holds OCSLA Regulations Do Not Apply to Offshore Contractors, Subcontractors or Service Providers in Criminal Enforcement...

On September 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its long-awaited opinion in the case of U.S. v. Moss, et al. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s ruling that the Outer Continental Shelf...more

Ninth Circuit Weighs in on “Field and Obstacle Preemption,” Reversing District Court’s Finding of Preemption

Whenever a claim is made that a state law has been prempted by an analogous federal law, the courts will rigorously test the strength of the claim. As as example, in a preemption case decided on September 15, by the U.S....more

NYDEC Waived Right to Act on a CWA 401 Water Qualification

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decision in the matter of Millennium Pipeline Company, LLC was issued on September 15, 2017. FERC determined that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation...more

U.S. Dodges OPA Claim But Must Defend Against Insurer’s Negligence Claims

On September 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit released a significant Oil Pollution Act (OPA) ruling. The case is Ironshore Specialty Insurance Company v. U.S., et al. The Court of Appeals affirmed the...more

Fifth Circuit Joins Tenth Circuit, Holding that Federal ALJs are Subject to Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution

On September 7, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a stay of a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) order, following a hearing conducted by an agency administrative law judge (ALJ), assessing a...more

Wyoming Law Criminalizing Crossing Private Property to Collect Resource Data Regulates the “Creation” of Speech

In an unusual case, Western Watersheds Project, et al v. Michael, Attorney General of Wyoming, decided on September 7, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed the District Court’s decision upholding...more

County Ordinance Preempted by State’s Comprehensive and Complex Permit Program

In the case of EQT Production Company v. Wender, et al., on August 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed, in a 2-1 ruling, the lower court’s decision that a West Virginia county’s ordinance effectively...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms EPA/Sierra Club Consent Decree Extending CAA Deadline

On August 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided the case of Sierra Club, et al., v. State of North Dakota, et al., a Clean Air Act (CAA) Citizen lawsuit. The Ninth Circuit affirmed, in a 2-1 ruling, the...more

Second Circuit Upholds Denial of CWA Certification Where Applicant Failed to Submit Requested Information

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in the case of Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC v. New York Department of Environmental Conservation, et al. (released August 18, 2017), rejected the Constitution Pipeline...more

DC Circuit: FERC’s EIS For Southeast Market Pipelines Project Is Deficient

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, in the case of Sierra Club, at al., v. FERC, rejected most of the arguments made against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decision to approve the...more

Tenth Circuit Vacates EPA Order Denying Small Refiners’ Request for RFS Program Exemption

On August 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit decided the case of Sinclair Wyoming Refining Company, et al., v. U.S. EPA. In a split decision, the Tenth Circuit vacated a final order of the Environmental...more

DC Circuit Again Shuts Down Sierra Club’s Challenges to LNG Export Licenses

On August 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decided the case of Sierra Club v. U.S. Department of Energy. The Sierra Club challenged the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) grant of a license to export...more

Fifth Circuit Vacates Pipeline Safety Violations and Declines Auer Deference

On August 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its opinion in the case of ExxonMobil Pipeline Company v. U.S. Department of Transportation. In May of 2013, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company’s (ExxonMobil)...more

Fifth Circuit Vacates Preliminary Injunction Premised on Endangerment For Lack of Evidence

On August 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in an unpublished opinion, decided the case of Friends of Lydia Ann Channel v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, vacating the preliminary injunction issued by the U.S....more

Fifth Circuit Vacates Denial of Charitable Tax Deduction For Conservation Easements

On August 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decided the case of BC Ranch II, LP, et al., v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, which involved charitable tax deductions based on the creation of conservation...more

Third Circuit Breathes Life Into Procedural Due Process Claims In Pipeline’s Case Against Delaware’s State Escheator

In the case of Plains All American Pipeline L.P. v. Cook, et al., decided on August 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit largely affirmed the dismissal of Plains All American Pipeline L.P.’s (Plains) complaint...more

Can a RCRA Settlement Also Be Used as a Basis for a CERCLA Contribution Action?

On August 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided the case of ASARCO LLC v. Atlantic Richfield Company, which involves the ongoing liability to clean up the East Helena Superfund Site, located “in and...more

8/14/2017  /  CERCLA , Contamination , RCRA , Superfund

Texas’ 2017 Environmental Legislation Summary

The Texas Legislature meets every two years, and, as befits a large state with varied interest and concerns, typically enacts hundreds of new laws during these sessions. The 85th Regular Session of the Legislature has...more

New Groundwater Contamination Case: TVA Ordered To Excavate Large Quantities of Coal Ash Waste

On August 4, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee issued a very significant ruling in the case of Tennessee Clean Water Network, et al., v. Tennessee Valley Authority. The District Court has ordered...more

DC Circuit Weighs In on EPA’s Rule Establishing Renewable Fuel Requirements

In Americans for Clean Energy, et al v. EPA, decided July 28, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2015 rule establishing renewable fuel...more

Sixth Circuit Balances Rights of Forest Service and Rights of Private Property Owners Provided by Michigan Law

Balancing the interests of the Federal Government as owner of thousands of acres surrounding Crooked Lake and private owners’ rights, on July 26, in a 2 to 1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that...more

Second Circuit Follows Viking Pump Methodology to Calculate Total Insurance Liability for Environmental Cleanup Efforts Spanning...

On July 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided the case of Olin Corporation v. OneBeacon America Insurance Company, an environmental insurance recovery lawsuit. Olin Corporation has filed such lawsuits...more

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