Category Archives: Recent Cases – Environmental

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California Court Of Appeal Rejects Citizens Group Nuisance Case Regarding Sea Lion Stench

Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement v. City of San Diego, 8 Cal. App. 5th 350 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017). The Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal concluded that the City of San Diego could not be held liable for public nuisance associated with the stench created by sea lions because the City … Continue Reading

Tenth Circuit Finds CERCLA Contribution Claim Not Barred by Bankruptcy Approval of a Settlement Estimating Liability for the Site

Asarco LLC v. Noranda Mining, Inc., 844 F.3d 1201 (10th Cir. 2017). In a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) contribution action, the Tenth Circuit ruled that a mining company, whose liability for a contaminated site had been resolved in a settlement agreement approved by the bankruptcy court, could still seek contribution against … Continue Reading

GHG Allowance Auctions are Not a Tax; Key Element of State’s Cap-and-Trade Program Upheld

California Chamber of Commerce, et al. v. California Air Resources Board, et al., Case No. C075930 (Cal. Ct. App. 3d. Dist., 2017). On April 6, the California Court of Appeal for the Third District issued its long-awaited decision in the consolidated lawsuits challenging the greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emission allowance auctions, which are a key component … Continue Reading

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain/West Coast Case Law Highlights

NINTH CIRCUIT FINDS “THREATENED” DESIGNATION FOR BEARDED SEALS PROPER BASED ON NEW LONG-TERM PROJECTIONS Alaska Oil and Gas Ass’n et al. v. Pritzker et al., 840 F.3d 671, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19084 (9th Cir. 2016). Plaintiffs Alaska Oil and Gas Association, the state of Alaska, and North Slope Borough (collectively, Plaintiffs) challenged the National … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Superior Court Issues Important Defense Verdict In Unique Proposition 65 Trial Against Brass-Polish Manufacturer

In a recent trial in Los Angeles Superior Court in the matter AFS Enterprises, LLC, v. Reckitt Benckiser, PLC, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC539678, the plaintiff brought a single claim under Proposition 65 (Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, California Health and Safety Code sections 25249.1 et seq.) against the … Continue Reading

Only When a Permit is Required: The Supreme Court Caps the EPA’s Authority to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Stationary Sources

Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA et al. 573 U.S. ____ (2014) On June 23, 2014, the United States Supreme Court held that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act when it attempted to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources not already subject to a permit controlling emissions of … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Grants Limited Review of GHG Emissions Regulations

On October 15, 2013, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to review six of the nine submitted petitions stemming from an appellate court ruling upholding Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) greenhouse gas (“GHG”) controls at utilities, factories and other facilities around the country.  Specifically, the challenged appellate ruling from the Court of Appeals for the District of … Continue Reading

California Appellate Court Greenlights Air Resources Board’s Cap-And-Trade Program [1]

Association of Irritated Residents v. California Air Resources Board et al., A132165 (1st  Dist. Div. 3, June 19, 2012) By Randolph Visser and Whitney Hodges On June 19, 2012, the California First District Court of Appeal upheld the California Air Resources Board’s (“ARB”) Climate Change Scoping Plan (“Scoping Plan”), which charts dozens of climate change control measures. This ruling … Continue Reading

Enforcement of California Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Blocked

By Heather Plocky and Olivier Theard California’s effort to reduce the carbon footprint of producers and refiners of fuel has hit a snag. Shortly after the passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32), requiring reduction of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an Executive Order setting a … Continue Reading

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Not Subject to Federal Common Law Nuisance Claims

American Electric Power Co., Inc. v. Connecticut (June 20, 2011, No. 10-174) __ U.S. __ By Robyn Christo & Micah Bobo In the battle over climate change, the Supreme Court once again set an important precedent in American Electric Power Co., Inc. v. Connecticut (“American Electric Power”). In an 8-0 decision written by Justice Ginsburg … Continue Reading

Superior Court’s Injunction Preventing California’s Cap and Trade Program Has Been Stayed…Right?

By Randolph C. Visser and Whitney Hodges Until recently, Association of Irritated Residents v. California Air Resources Board proceeded along the litigation path as smoothly as any environmental challenge might. However, things took an unexpected twist last week that has left unanswered questions and many spectators baffled.… Continue Reading

Municipalities Are Responsible For Discharges Of Stormwater Regardless Of The Ultimate Source Of Pollution

Natural Resources Defense Council v. Los Angeles County, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Case No. 10-56017 (March 10, 2011) By Elizabeth Anderson The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that environmental groups were entitled to summary judgment after presenting evidence that the Los Angeles County Flood Control District ("District") had illegally … Continue Reading

Final Decision Suspends California’s AB 32 GHG Regulations: What Now?

By Whitney Hodges On March 18, 2011, Judge Ernest Goldsmith of the San Francisco County Superior Court suspended implementation of AB 32, California’s landmark law to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. In Association of Irritated Residents v. California Air Resource Board, [Statement of Decision] the Court found the California Air Resource Board (the “ARB”)’s adoption of … Continue Reading

California Court Issues Tentative Ruling Enjoining AB 32 Implementation

By Whitney Hodges On January 21, a San Francisco Superior Court issued a proposed decision that could significantly delay the implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (“AB 32”). In Association of Irritated Residents, et al. v. California Air Resources Board, Case No. CPF-09-509562, the Court held that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) failed … Continue Reading
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