Monday, June 23, 2014

Recent Environmental Cases

<> Utility Air Regulatory Group v. U.S. EPA - 6/23/14. In the U.S. Supreme Court, Docket No. 12–1146. Appealed from the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit. The opinion indicates: "We must decide whether it was permissible for EPA to determine that its motor-vehicle greenhouse-gas regulations automatically triggered permitting requirements under the Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases." The Majority concludes: "We hold that EPA exceeded its statutory authority when it interpreted the Clean Air Act to requirePSD and Title V permitting for stationary sources based on their greenhouse-gas emissions. . . The judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed in part and reversed in part."

<> Latin Am. for Soc. & Econ. Dev., et al. v. FHWA, et al. - 6/20/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, Case Nos. 12-1556/1558. The Panel explains: "Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development and other plaintiffs sued the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and certain FHWA officials challenging the FHWA's Record of Decision (ROD) selecting the Delray neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan as the preferred location alternative for a new international bridge crossing between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. Plaintiffs claim that the ROD and preceding process violated the National Environmental Protection Act, Administrative Procedures Act, principles of environmental justice, and other federal laws. 
The district court granted the defendants' motion to affirm the ROD. For the reasons that follow, the decision of the district court is affirmed.

<> Sacramento Municipal Utility District v. U.S. DOE - 6/20/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Case Nos. 2013-5086, -5087. SMUD agreed to pay $40 million into the Nuclear Waste Fund and DOE promised to begin accepting and disposing of SMUD's spent nuclear. The Panel reversed the combined judgment of $38,845,398 for the period of 1992–2009 and reinstated a prior $53,159,863 award for the period of 1992–2003.