Jillian Kirn authored an article titled “Constant Vigilance: Why Environmental Criminal Enforcement Still Matters” in The Legal Intelligencer. According to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearing House (TRAC), federal prosecutions for environmental crimes are down 40 percent from 2013 levels. Still, despite these recent declines, environmental criminal enforcement remains a potent regulatory tool. To read the … Continue Reading
In the summer of 2004, during Hurricane Frances, an industrial facility released approximately 65 million gallons of process water into Tampa Bay. A group of commercial fishermen promptly filed a putative class action. The class representatives alleged that the release damaged the natural habitat and adversely affected commercial fishing in and around Tampa Bay. At … Continue Reading
The current federal administration has expressed a desire to defer largely to states through principles of cooperative federalism. A recent case involving the dune construction in Margate, New Jersey, offers some insight into the procedural complexities this approach presents for those affected. Where a state oversees a federally funded project, it is unlikely that one … Continue Reading
As readers of this blog know, we have been closely following developments regarding claims for medical monitoring. (Medical Monitoring Claims in Illinois, Part 1; Medical Monitoring Claims in Illinois, Part 2.) A recent decision arising out of Hoosick Falls, New York, allowed Plaintiffs’ request for a medical monitoring fund to survive defendants’ motion to dismiss. On … Continue Reading
In a decision that will have far-reaching consequences for the Massachusetts economy, Massachusetts’ highest court has ruled that the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), passed in 2008, mandates the imposition of annual, declining limits on greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. In Kain vs. Dept. of Environmental Protection (SJC-11961, May 17, 2016), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court … Continue Reading
When a private party enters into a CERCLA section 113(f)(B) administrative settlement, it may subsequently pursue the costs incurred under that administrative settlement against other PRPs. However, whether the settling party may bring a section 107 cost recovery claim or a section 113 contribution claim depends on the language of the settlement. A court’s interpretation … Continue Reading
From Michael Cooke of GT Tampa The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has denied petitions to review the EPA’s proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing electric generating sources. See In re Murray Energy Corporation, No. 14-1112 (D.C. Cir. June 9, 2015). The proposed the rule was issued under section 111(d) … Continue Reading
The US Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District promises to be one of the most important property rights rulings in many years. In addition to affecting a wide range of real estate development projects that are subject to local, state or federal permit requirements, the decision may also … Continue Reading
Section 613 of the Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act (“SWMA”), Pa. Stat. Ann. tit. 35, § 6018.613, allows the Commonwealth or any municipality to recover the “costs of abatement” of “a public nuisance” under SWMA from a person who “causes a public nuisance” if the plaintiff government has in fact abated the nuisance. This provision … Continue Reading
Pennsylvania has been making news recently for being friendly to natural gas development, or at least more friendly than New York. However, examination of recent decisions suggests that the courts may be a little more plaintiff-friendly than, for example, the current administration. I look at some litigation issues arising from natural gas development in my … Continue Reading
Section 107(a) of CERCLA says that section 107(b) lists the only defenses to a cost recovery claim, but it turns out there are many more. David Mandelbaum's monthly column in Pa. Law Weekly explores what this means.
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When is a declaratory judgment required, permitted, or inappropriate under the federal Superfund statute? My December column in the Legal Intelligencer / Pennsylvania Law Weekly explores these issues.
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