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Litigation

INDUSTRY COULD FACE TOUGH PRECEDENT IN APPEAL OF DATA QUALITY CASE

An industry appeal of a court decision rejecting its ability to seek judicial review of a government study under the Information Quality Act (IQA) faces a significant hurdle because of a prior ruling in the same appellate circuit denying review of an agency action, some legal experts say.

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CAFO PACT MAY HELP EPA DECIDE ON FUTURE AGRICULTURE EMISSIONS WAIVERS

Results of the industry-funded study EPA is conducting under its recently announced enforcement initiative on agricultural air pollution could help the agency determine whether animal feeding operations (AFOs) produce "fugitive" emissions that are not subject to Clean Air Act permitting requirements.

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Industry Study May Allow EPA To Limit Air Act Controls For Agribusiness

The results of an industry-funded study that EPA is conducting under its recently announced enforcement initiative on agricultural air pollution could help the agency determine whether animal feeding operations (AFOs) produce "fugitive" emissions that are excluded from Clean Air Act permitting requirements.

The study could resolve a protracted dispute between the agriculture industry and EPA over what types of emissions are subject to regulation under the air act.

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NEW JERSEY CLEANUP MAY TEST NEW STRATEGY FOR COST CONTRIBUTION SUITS

New Jersey officials' efforts to require liable parties to remediate a former military ordnance-making site could test whether settling plaintiffs can use an alternative provision of Superfund law to recover cleanup costs after the Supreme Court limited the more widely used part of the law in its Aviall ruling.

The case could test whether administrative settlements are sufficient to meet requirements in alternative sections of the law for settling plaintiffs to bring contribution suits against non-compliant parties.

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INDUSTRY COULD FACE TOUGH PRECEDENT IN APPEAL OF DATA QUALITY CASE

An industry appeal of a court decision rejecting its ability to seek judicial review of a government study under the Information Quality Act (IQA) faces a significant hurdle because of a prior ruling in the same appellate circuit denying review of an agency action, some legal experts say.

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COURT NARROWS PRECEDENT-SETTING DECISION 'VACATING' CLEAN AIR RULE

A federal appellate court has narrowed its landmark decision that vacated an EPA air rule it considered unlawful, rather than allowing it to remain in place while the agency revises it. The new ruling rejects a Bush administration request to reconsider the case.

The ruling, which backs an industry challenge to an EPA-approved list of alternatives to an ozone-depleting chemical, allows courts to decide whether rejected rules can remain in place while the agency revises them.

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RESIDENTS' DIOXIN TORT LAWSUIT MAY PROMPT EPA-MONITORED CLEANUP

A lawsuit alleging widespread dioxin contamination near a closed Pharmacia Corp. chemical plant raises the prospect of a massive cleanup that could prompt EPA oversight even though the agency has no legal obligation to act, according to agency officials and sources involved in the suit. The case could demonstrate whether a class action lawsuit can force a federal cleanup response.

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APPEALS COURT BACKS EPA APPLICATION OF SUPERFUND LISTING PROCESS

A key federal appeals court has upheld EPA's application of the process used to determine whether hazardous waste sites should be placed on Superfund's National Priorities List (NPL), agreeing that agency regulations require it to consider the exposure pathway that poses the greatest risk to human health and the environment, even if that pathway is not present at the site.

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INDUSTRY FEARS SWEEPING IMPACT FROM TRANSBOUNDARY POLLUTION SUIT

U.S. industry groups are urging a federal appeals court to overturn a recent district court ruling that found federal Superfund law can apply to transboundary contamination, saying the decision could prompt widespread retaliation against U.S. companies by a host of foreign governments over air and water pollution that crosses international borders.

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HIGH COURT RULING RAISES SENTENCING DOUBTS IN ENVIRONMENT CRIMES SUITS

Recent Supreme Court rulings overturning mandatory federal sentencing guidelines are raising significant uncertainty over how, or whether, the Justice Department (DOJ) will seek strict sentences for criminal violations of environmental laws, DOJ and defense attorneys say.

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