Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Recent Supreme & COA Court Cases

<> American Lung Association v. EME Homer City Generation - 4/29/14. In the U.S. Supreme Court, Case No. 12-1182. The cases concern the efforts of Congress and U.S. EPA to cope with a complex problem: air pollution emitted in one State, but causing harm in other States. The Majority 6-2 opinion reverses and remands the D.C. Circuit on the the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (Transport Rule), which curbs NOX and SO2 emissions in 27 upwind States to achieve downwind attainment of three NAAQS. The two dissenting Justices said, "the majority approves that undemocratic revi­sion of the Clean Air Act. The Agency came forward with a textual justification for its action, relying on a farfetched meaning of the word 'significantly' in the statutory text."

<> Shell Oil Company v. US – 4/28/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Case No. 13-5051. The majority concludes that a "Taxes" clause in several contracts for high-octane aviation gas ("avgas") should be broadly interpreted to require the United States to indemnify the Oil Companies for a CERCLA judgment covering restoration efforts of the McColl acid waste site more than fifty years after the completion of the contracts.


<> Bayless v. United States - 4/28/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, Case No. 12-4120. Sixteen years after a debilitating illness, Bayless, in 2008, convinced that she was the victim of exposure to nerve gas emitted by an Army testing facility, she filed a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The majority Panel ruled, "We conclude that under the unusual circumstances presented here, the period of limitation did not accrue until February 2007."