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Litigation

Court Clears Way For Landmark California Case On Pesticide Air Pollution

A federal district court has allowed a lawsuit to proceed alleging that the California pesticides department has failed to live up to its obligations under the state's clean air plan to reduce emissions from spraying chemicals. The case is significant because if environmentalists and the other plaintiffs prevail it could force the department to impose new regulations on pesticide applications in certain areas of the state to more stringently control ozone-forming compounds.

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TORT RULING MAY COMPLICATE SENATE PUSH FOR ENERGY BILL MTBE WAIVER

The recent federal court ruling allowing a massive product liability suit against manufacturers and distributors of the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) to proceed could complicate efforts to have the Senate adopt a House energy bill provision protecting industry from such suits in the future.

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EPA HIGHLIGHTS CSO PACT AS EXAMPLE OF EFFECTIVE STATE, FEDERAL TALKS

EPA is highlighting a Louisville municipal combined sewer overflow (CSO) enforcement pact as the type of agreement the federal government is trying to broker with states under new federal enforcement guidelines aimed at delineating EPA's role in CSO negotiations, EPA's top enforcement official says.

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72009

EPA WEIGHS CONCERNS OVER TENANT LIABILITY UNDER BROWNFIELDS LAW

EPA may develop guidance or take other steps to resolve questions over the liability status of tenants who rent from bona fide prospective purchasers (BFPP) as defined in the 2002 brownfields law, agency enforcement officials said at a recent conference.

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72011

DOJ BRIEF OPPOSES USE OF ALTERNATIVE SUPERFUND COST RECOVERY PLAN

The Justice Department (DOJ) is opposing the use of an alternative Superfund provision to allow polluters to recover cleanup costs from other liable parties, in a closely watched appellate case that could provide a key test after the Supreme Court's Aviall decision limited the law's more commonly used cost recovery provision.

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72014

APPELLATE COURT DECISION MAY FORCE WATER BOARD TO REDRAFT CAFO RULES

Stakeholders speculate a recent court decision restricting U.S. EPA discharge permits for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) may alter the Central Valley regional board's planned permitting of those operations. The regional board, which regulates a majority of dairy CAFOs in the state, will likely issue state permits that may include even more farmers than called for in a previous controversial permitting proposal.

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FARMERS WIN, ACTIVISTS LOSE IN COURT RULING OVER VALLEY AG WAIVER

In a tentative ruling issued at press time, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge is rejecting a variety of claims made by environmentalists against a water board-approved conditional waiver for agricultural waste discharge requirements in the Central Valley.

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JUDGE OKAYS ACTIVISTS' SUIT AGAINST DPR OVER PESTICIDE AIR EMISSIONS

A lawsuit alleging the pesticides department has failed to live up to its obligations under the state's clean air plan to reduce emissions from pesticide sprays can advance, a U.S. district judge ruled this week in rejecting the department's motion to dismiss. The case is significant because if the plaintiffs prevail it could force the department to impose new regulations on pesticide applications in certain areas of the state to more stringently control ozone-forming compounds.

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White House Seeks To Limit Environmental Lawsuits Under Senate Highway Bill

The White House is recommending changes to a Senate highway bill that include adding a 180-day deadline for legal challenges to transportation projects based on environmental impacts and restricting the types of projects that can be funded under EPA's traffic congestion management program. The recommendations could raise new roadblocks for final passage of the highway bill, which is awaiting a Senate floor vote.

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INDUSTRY URGES EPA TO NARROW SCOPE OF CIVIL RIGHTS GUIDELINES

Industry officials are calling on EPA to revise its new civil rights guidance that they say could create additional hurdles for permitting industrial plants, arguing that a recent Supreme Court ruling rejects EPA's broad interpretation of the Civil Rights Act.

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