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Litigation

HILL FIX EYED AFTER SUPREME COURT RULING LIMITS VOLUNTARY CLEANUPS

Industry and local government sources say they will push Congress to amend the Superfund law after the Supreme Court ruled that polluters voluntarily remediating Superfund and other contaminated sites must first obtain a judicial settlement or court order before suing other responsible parties to recover cleanup costs.

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CRITICS SAY AUTOMAKER SUIT OVER CALIFORNIA CLIMATE RULE PREMATURE

California state officials and environmentalist attorneys say the lawsuit filed last week by the auto industry to overturn the state's greenhouse gas auto regulation is aimed at slowing momentum behind the adoption of similar rules elsewhere, and is an effort to "make people nervous" in California and other states. They add that the suit is almost certain to be dismissed because it was filed while the rule is not yet final.

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DOJ SEEKS REVERSAL OF OPEN RECORD RULES FOR SOME ADVISORY PANELS

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is asking the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reverse an earlier ruling that applied the open record requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) to executive branch task forces that informally included non-governmental members. Oral arguments are scheduled for Jan. 27 in the case, which is on remand from the Supreme Court.

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GROUPS EYE NEW LAWSUIT OVER HAZARDOUS WASTE INCINERATORS RULE

Environmentalists are considering fresh legal action against EPA because they say the agency's proposed rule for the last remaining category of waste incinerators falls far short of what a court-ordered agreement requires.

Earthjustice and Sierra Club say they may go back to court under the existing consent decree to try and force a more stringent proposal or file a new lawsuit, should EPA finalize what they consider a weak maximum achievable control technology (MACT) for the last remaining category of hazardous waste incinerators.

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Environmentalists Eye Renewed Litigation Over Waste Incinerator Rule

Environmentalists are considering fresh legal action against EPA arguing that a proposed air regulation for a category of waste incinerators falls far short of a court-ordered agreement.

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Environmentalists Threaten Suit To Force Discharge Permits For Water Transfers

Environmentalists are threatening to file a lawsuit in an effort to protect waters downstream from a hydroelectric project in northern California, using a legal argument that relies on a key Supreme Court decision that suggests that facilities need discharge permits for interbasin water transfers that convey pollutants.

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Industry Cites EPA Brief In Push For Court Denial Of Oil Spill Rule

The petroleum industry is citing EPA's own arguments in federal court to prove its case that a recent oil spill prevention rule should be revised because the agency did not fully consider a key Supreme Court ruling before adopting a broad definition of waters subject to new requirements.

The industry also says EPA's argument shows that the agency is uncertain whether the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act includes waters covered by the oil spill rule and that the rule violates the Constitution's Commerce Clause by exceeding the federal government's authority.

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EPA CHALLENGES APPELLATE RULING OVERTURNING REMINING RULE

EPA is challenging an appellate ruling that required the agency to develop new Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations for water discharged from so-called remining operations on the grounds that the recent decision conflicts with Supreme Court and other rulings in the same appellate circuit.

Remining refers to additional mining that occurs at abandoned mines or previously mined sites.

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CONTEMPT MOTION ILLUSTRATES CONFUSION OVER MOUNTAINTOP MINING RULING

Recent efforts by environmentalists to hold the Army Corps of Engineers in contempt for failing to halt mountaintop mining in parts of West Virginia illustrates the confusion over implementing a landmark district court decision that froze the Corps permit program for the practice and sought to halt as many as 73 projects.

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS THREATEN SUIT IN NEW WATER TRANSFER PERMIT CASE

Environmentalists are threatening to file a lawsuit to protect waters downstream from a hydroelectric project in northern California, using a legal argument that relies on a key Supreme Court decision suggesting that facilities need discharge permits for interbasin water transfers that convey pollutants.

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