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Litigation

ACTIVISTS URGE HIGH COURT TO DENY REVIEW OF CITIZEN SUIT RULING

Environmentalists are urging the Supreme Court to deny review of a landmark federal appeals court case that protects citizens' ability to sue industry for violations even when a state enforcement action is underway, according to a recently filed brief.

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COURT INQUIRY INTO EPA REFINERY PACT MAY SIGNAL INCREASED SCRUTINY

A federal district court is asking the government for more information about a proposed Clean Air Act (CAA) settlement with the petroleum company Chevron, in an apparently unprecedented court inquiry into the adequacy of an agreement under EPA's long-running CAA petroleum sector enforcement initiative, sources tracking the issue say.

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Environmentalists Raise Concern Over Wide Impact Of Class-Action Bill

A major coalition of environmental groups is raising concerns that a class-action reform bill would have an "overreaching" impact on pollution lawsuits that are not filed as class-action suits. The legislation has bipartisan support in the Senate, as well as backing by the Bush administration, and is generally seen as on a fast-track for a Senate floor vote possibly within days.

Environmentalists say they have had discussions with lawmakers about a possible amendment that would exempt environmental lawsuits from the legislation, but offer no details about the talks.

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STATES URGE APPEALS COURT TO OVERTURN RULING LIMITING NRD CLAIMS

The attorneys general of 14 states are urging a federal appeals court to overturn a court ruling from last year that industry and the federal government have cited to argue that states have limited ability to pursue natural resource damage (NRD) claims.

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DOJ OFFICIAL BLUNTS INDUSTRY HOPES FOR BACKING IN SUPERFUND COST CASE

The Justice Department's (DOJ) top environmental attorney is dampening hopes that the administration may back an alternative legal avenue for recovering Superfund cleanup costs following the Supreme Court's recent Aviall ruling.

DOJ environment chief Thomas Sansonetti told sister publication Inside EPA on Jan. 18 that the only options for addressing the ruling were for EPA to boost its enforcement resources or for Congress to amend the law.

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SETTLEMENT COULD END KEY LAWSUIT OVER INVASIVE SPECIES TMDLS

Environmentalists and EPA have reached a deal that will delay, and possibly call off, landmark litigation over whether aquatic invasive species constitute pollutants under the Clean Water Act (CWA) -- and whether EPA and states must set total maximum daily loads for waters impaired by them.

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ACTIVISTS URGE HIGH COURT TO DENY REVIEW OF LANDMARK CITIZEN SUIT RULING

Environmentalists are urging the Supreme Court to deny review of a landmark federal appeals court case that protects citizens' ability to sue industry for violations even when a state enforcement action is underway, according to a recently filed brief.

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APPELLATE JUDGES APPEAR SPLIT OVER CONTROVERSIAL NAVY OLF PLAN

Questions asked by two judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit at a recent hearing may indicate a potential split over the Navy's controversial plan to site an outlying landing field (OLF) near a waterfowl sanctuary in rural North Carolina.

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STATES CHALLENGE HOMEBUILDERS' SUIT ON CORPS' WETLANDS GENERAL PERMIT

New York and New Mexico are urging a federal appeals court to reject an industry push for judicial review of changes to Army Corps of Engineers general wetlands permits, arguing that plaintiffs have not suffered an injury subject to court review because the permit changes are not final agency actions.

The states say that contrary to industry's claims, the Corps' new permit conditions assist states in protecting wetlands while conserving limited administrative resources.

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APPELLATE RULING PROTECTS KEY USDA WETLANDS CONSERVATION PROGRAM

A federal appeals court has backed a long-standing Agriculture Department (USDA) wetlands program that state officials say is crucial in the wake of the Supreme Court's contentious SWANCC decision and could help the Bush administration achieve its goal of an overall increase in wetlands every year.

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