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Litigation

EPA TO DEFINE SIGNIFICANT NONCOMPLIANCE FOR WET WEATHER DISCHARGES

EPA enforcement officials are developing guidance to help states identify and define "significant noncompliance" (SNC) with regulations that govern wet weather events -- including rules governing sewer overflows and runoff from industrial feedlots.

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DOJ Forms Group To Offer Legislative Response To Aviall Ruling

Ruling

The Justice Department (DOJ) has formed a new workgroup that may suggest legislative changes to the Superfund law or increased enforcement funding to address concerns raised by EPA, industry and others that the Supreme Court's landmark Aviall decision may limit voluntary cleanups.

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NAFTA Panel May Investigate Adequacy Of EPA Mercury Rules

A North American trade panel is moving one step closer to launching an in-depth investigation into whether EPA is taking sufficient steps to cut mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, a move that could help environmentalists argue that upcoming agency rules violate federal water and air laws.

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Supreme Court Ruling On Contract Law May Boost DOD Cleanup Costs

A recent Supreme Court ruling that all but bars the Department of Defense (DOD) and other federal defendants from citing insufficient funds as a reason to limit contract payments could significantly increase federal reimbursements for cleanup costs of aerospace, defense and other contractors, industry sources say.

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HIGH COURT RULING ON CONTRACT LAW COULD BOOST DOD CLEANUP COSTS

A recent Supreme Court ruling that all but bars the Defense Department (DOD) and other federal defendants from citing insufficient appropriations as a reason to limit contract payments could significantly increase federal cleanup cost payments to federal aerospace, defense and other contractors, industry sources say.

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NEPA SUIT SEEKS PERMANENT INJUNCTION OF STRYKER BRIGADE PLANS

In a case that could alter DOD's plans to create a rapid-reaction strike force with global reach, several environmental groups Feb. 22 asked a federal judge to halt the Army's plan to transform a Hawaii-based infantry division into a Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), citing violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

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INDUSTRY CONSIDERS HIGH COURT REVIEW OF LANDMARK CLEANUP ORDER

A major manufacturing company may appeal an unprecedented federal appellate ruling that industry officials say will allow courts to determine cleanup remedies without input from regulators, claiming the ruling may force much more stringent cleanups than are necessary to protect public health.

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DOJ URGES FEDERAL COURT TO REJECT TORT SUIT BY AGENT ORANGE VICTIMS

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is urging a federal court to reject a class-action lawsuit against U.S. chemical manufacturers filed last year by victims of the Vietnam War-era defoliant Agent Orange, saying the suit would set a precedent allowing foreign soldiers to sue U.S. companies for providing the military with weapons and other supplies. DOJ also says the case would interfere with the president's ability to conduct war.

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5TH CIRCUIT AVIALL RULING TO SLOW REVIEW OF NEW SUPERFUND RELIEF AVENUE

RELIEF AVENUE

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision last month to send questions remanded by the Supreme Court in its landmark Aviall ruling on Superfund cost recovery to a federal district court may slow judicial reconsideration of alternative avenues for seeking cleanup costs under the law, industry sources say.

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FEDERAL COURT ALLOWS LANDMARK SUIT AGAINST DOD BASE TO ADVANCE

A federal judge is allowing an unprecedented lawsuit to proceed against DOD's plan to build a new airbase off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, finding that a U.S. law governing the preservation of historic sites may require the military to consider the impact of the project on an endangered sea mammal found in the surrounding waters.

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