Monday, April 13, 2015

Hawkes Co., Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

<> Hawkes Co., Inc.  v.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - 4/10/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, Case No. 13-3067. The Corps' issuance of an Approved Jurisdiction Determination that plaintiffs' property constitutes "waters of the United States" within the meaning of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, thereby requiring plaintiffs to obtain a permit to discharge dredged or filled materials into the "navigable waters, was a final agency action for purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act, and the district court erred in dismissing the case for lack of a final agency action.

Coalition for Responsible Regulation, et al., v. EPA

<> Coalition for Responsible Regulation, et al., v. EPA - 4/10/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit, Case No. 09-1322. Order issued that this court's judgment filed June 26, 2012, be amended in accordance with the Supreme Court's decision. See UARG v. EPA, 134 S. Ct. at 2449 (affirming in part and reversing in part).

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Gulf Restoration Network, et al v. Gina McCarthy (USEPA)

<> Gulf Restoration Network, et al v. Gina McCarthy (USEPA) - 4/7/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, Case No.13-31214. In the case a group of environmental organizations petitioned the EPA to "use its powers [pursuant to section 1313(c)(4)(B)] to control nitrogen and phosphorous pollution" within the Mississippi River Basin and the Northern Gulf of Mexico.
     The Appeals Court ruled that it had jurisdiction and that U.S. EPA was not required to make a "necessity determination."

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Hopi Tribe v. US

<> The Hopi Tribe v. US - 4/2/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Case No. 2014-5018. The Hopi Tribe filed suit against the United States in the Court of Federal Claims seeking damages to cover the cost of providing safe drinking water on the Hopi Reservation.
     The Federal Circuit ruled, "We understand that water quality on parts of the Hopi Reservation is unacceptable, due in part to insufficient funds for new water infrastructure. But the Supreme Court's decisions are controlling in this case. Because the Hopi Tribe has not identified a money-mandating obligation that the United States allegedly violated, we must affirm the Court of Federal Claims' dismissal of this suit for lack of jurisdiction under the Indian Tucker Act."

AmeriPride Services, Inc. v. Texas Eastern Overseas, Inc.

<> AmeriPride Services, Inc. v. Texas Eastern Overseas, Inc. - 4/2/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 12-17245. The Panel vacated the district court's judgment after trial and agreeing with the First Circuit, and declining to follow the reasoning of the Seventh Circuit, the panel held that in allocating liability to a nonsettling defendant in a CERCLA contribution action, the district court is not required to apply either the proportionate share approach of the Uniform Comparative Fault Act or the pro tanto approach of the Uniform Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act, but rather has discretion to determine the most equitable method of accounting for settlements between private parties.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Maple Drive Farms v. Tom Vilsack (USDA)

<> Maple Drive Farms v. Tom Vilsack (USDA) - 4/1/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, Case No. 13-1091. Appealed from the Western District of Michigan at Grand Rapids.
     Former U.S. Rep. Nick Smith challenges the United States Department of Agriculture's determination that Smith had converted 2.24 acres of wetland on his property and that he is, consequently, totally ineligible for program benefits. The district court denied relief. 

     The Appeals Court ruled, "Because USDA acted without abiding by applicable regulations, we reverse the judgment of the district court and remand with instructions to remand to USDA for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

St. Marys Cement Inc. v. EPA

<> St. Marys Cement Inc. v. EPA - 3/24/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, Case Nos. 13-3105 & 14-3479. MDEQ deemed the plant's pollution controls sufficient and excused St. Marys from the CAA retrofitting requirement. U.S. EPA disagreed and required the plant to add more stringent pollution controls. St. Marys petitions the court to vacate the decision, disclaiming the value of the required technology and claiming that the plant at any rate is exempt from the retrofitting requirement. The Appeals Court disagreed on both fronts and denied St. Marys' petition.