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Litigation

INDUSTRY EYES NEW COURT INTERPRETATIONS TO BLUNT IMPACT OF AVIALL RULING

RULING

Industry lawyers are hoping appellate courts will be forced to re-evaluate their long-standing rejection of a key Superfund provision to recover cleanup costs after the Supreme Court's landmark Aviall ruling limited parties' ability to sue under a more widely used portion of the law, attorneys said during a recent teleconference on the issue.

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OEHHA DEHP LIMIT RENEWS DEBATE OVER MEDICAL DEVICE RISK, LIABILITY

A proposed health hazard office exposure limit for the medical device chemical di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) is drawing criticism from stakeholders, including medical organizations that argue the limit will force California-only warnings that may conflict with federal requirements and unnecessarily alarm patients. The proposal would establish under Proposition 65 a first-time maximum allowable daily level (MADL) for DEHP for reproductive toxicity through intravenous injection of 4,200 micrograms per day.

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Agreement For Controlling DC Sewer Overflows Seen As National Model

An attorney for the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) says a recent legal agreement with EPA could serve as a model for other municipal sewer agencies on how to avoid skyrocketing costs for controlling rainwater overflows. The agreement will allow WASA to petition EPA to revise construction plans in response to economic and market fluctuations.

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EPA Agrees To Limit Enforcement Over Builders' Stormwater Permits

EPA has decided to limit its enforcement against developers that fail to install stormwater runoff prevention requirements at construction sites before they are covered by the agency's new general permit for stormwater at construction sites.

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EPA Effluent Guidelines Could Face New Consent Decree With Activists

EPA may face a new consent decree with activists over how to operate its effluent limitation guidelines (ELG) program, due to a range of ongoing concerns from the environmental community.

The possibility of a new agreement comes after a previous consent decree that governed the agency program from 1992 until 2004. Since then, EPA has begun shifting staff from the ELG program to the water quality standards and other agency programs.

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EPA Air Toxics Program Faces Key Legal Test On Risk-Based Exemption

EPA's air toxics program is facing a key test over the legality of its controversial risk-based exemptions, with observers expecting continued controversy if the agency expands its use of an approach exempting some industrial sources from stringent requirements for installing costly pollution control technologies.

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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.

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UTAH HIGHWAY REVIEW COULD TEST EPA'S ABILITY TO LODGE NEPA OBJECTIONS

Pending EPA comments on a controversial Utah highway project could provide a key test of the agency's willingness to issue negative environmental ratings that could delay federal projects subject to review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

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APPELLATE COURT UPHOLDS DISMISSAL OF SPRING VALLEY TORT SUITS

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed a lower court's dismissal of tort lawsuits against the federal government over chemical weapons disposal in a prominent Washington, DC, neighborhood.

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS VOW LITIGATION TO CHALLENGE AIRPORT EXPANSIONS

Environmental activists say they will sue the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) if it presses ahead with more than 60 proposed changes to regulations on how it implements the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Critics say the proposals are designed to undercut public and interagency review of airport expansion plans that would dramatically harm air quality.

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