Friday, May 22, 2015

USA v. State of Ohio

<> USA v. State of Ohio - 5/21/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, Case No. 13-4362. The United States appeals from the district court's denial of its motion for summary judgment and grant of the State of Ohio's and Buckingham Coal Company's motions for summary judgment in this action challenging Ohio's right to lease Buckingham the right to mine coal lying beneath land acquired for a flood control project. 
     The Appeals Court reverses the district court motion saying, "we conclude that Ohio lacked the authority to enter into the instant leases. We reverse the district court's grant of summary judgment to Ohio and Buckingham and its denial of the United States' motion for summary judgment, and remand for entry of judgment consistent with this opinion.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Committee for a Better Arvin v. U.S. EPA

<> Committee for a Better Arvin v. U.S. EPA - 5/20/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 11-73924 & 12-71332. Petitioners, a contingent of environmental and community groups, bring serious challenges to the State of California's plans to improve air quality in the San Joaquin Valley, an area with some of the worst air quality in the United States -- i.e. whether U.S. EPA erred in approving California's State Implementation Plans.
     The Appeals Court ruled, "We hold that by approving California's plans even though the plans did not include the state-adopted mobile emissions standards on which those plans rely to achieve their emissions reductions goals, EPA violated the CAA. We also hold that EPA did not violate the CAA by not requiring inclusion of other state mechanisms in its plans, and that other control measures approved by EPA are enforceable commitments as the CAA requires."

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Town of Barnstable v. O'Connor

<> Town of Barnstable v. O'Connor - 5/18/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, Case No. 14-1597. In the ongoing series of lawsuits regarding a proposed off-shore wind power generation facility in Nantucket Sound, Plaintiffs, the Town of Barnstable and Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, et al sought an injunction against Massachusetts, et al regarding the Cape Wind facility
     The district court granted defendants' motions to dismiss after determining that the Eleventh Amendment precluded the assertion of federal court jurisdiction. The Appeals Court  said, ". . .we disagree that the Eleventh Amendment bars the assertion of federal court jurisdiction over plaintiffs' claims, and we remand for resolution of the case's status and the possible need to resolve a litany of other issues concerning the viability of the complaint."

Monday, May 18, 2015

National Association of Home v. EPA

<> National Association of Home v. EPA – 5/15/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 13-5290. Home Builders challenged a preliminary, internal determination, made by U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers in 2008, that two stretches of the Santa Cruz River in southern Arizona are traditional navigable waters -- i.e.  "waters of the United States."
     The Appeals Court denied the Home Builders challenge and ruled, "We hold that Home Builders' case for standing, although since supplemented with new declarations from members adding factual detail to their assertions of injury, is materially unchanged and thus precluded by Home Builders I."

Turlock Irrigation District v. FERC

<> Turlock Irrigation District v. FERC - 5/15/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 13-1250 & 1253 Turlock contends that the Project does not fall within FERC's licensing jurisdiction. Conversely the Tuolumne River Trust and other conservation groups said FERC erred by not finding that it had licensing jurisdiction for four reasons instead of three determined by FERC.
     The Appeals Court  concludes that FERC's jurisdictional determinations were supported by substantial evidence and deny the Districts' petition for review. We dismiss the Trust's petition as it raises no justiciable case or controversy.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Resource Investments v. U.S.

<> Resource Investments v. U.S. - 5/12/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Case No. Resource Investments, Inc. and Land Recovery, Inc. (collectively, "Resource Investments") appeal the Court of Federal Claims' ("Claims Court") dismissal of their Fifth Amendment takings claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1500. The Appeals Court affirmed the Federal Claims' decision -- "the Claims Court correctly dismissed Resource Investments' complaint as barred by § 1500."

Monday, May 11, 2015

In Re: Deepwater Horizon

<> In Re: Deepwater Horizon - 5/8/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, Case No. 13-31296 c/w Nos. 13-31299, 13-31302. Three consolidated cases related to settlement awards BP paid to nonprofits through its Court-Supervised Settlement Program (CSSP). 
     The district court denied discretionary review of these three awards and the Appeals Court affirmed the district court ruling.