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Litigation

DUKE CASE COULD HOLD KEY TO PENDING NSR SUITS AGAINST UTILITIES

A pending federal appellate court case could provide a key test for EPA's ongoing enforcement suits against utilities for allegedly violating its original new source review (NSR) rules, with many observers saying the ruling could trigger eventual Supreme Court review. The case, United States v. Duke Energy Corp., could determine how industrial facilities calculate an increase in emissions that triggers NSR requirements, industry lawyers and other legal experts say.

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APPELLATE RULING COULD LIMIT CHEMICAL USE IN ORGANIC FOOD PRODUCTION

A recent federal appellate ruling could limit the amount of pesticides and other chemicals organic food producers use and still retain "organic" labeling under Agriculture Department (USDA) rules, environmentalists say.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit ruled Jan. 26 in Arthur Harvey v. Veneman that several provisions of USDA's rules implementing the Organic Foods Protection Act (OFPA) exceed the department's authority.

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ACTIVISTS URGE HIGH COURT TO DENY REVIEW OF LANDMARK CITIZEN SUIT RULING

Environmentalists are urging the Supreme Court to deny review of a landmark federal appeals court case that protects citizens' ability to sue industry for violations even when a state enforcement action is underway, according to a recently filed brief.

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STATES EYE TRANSFER OF CAFO WATER PERMITS TO AGRICULTURE AGENCIES

New plans by at least three states to transfer concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) water permitting authority from their environmental to agricultural departments are drawing concerns from some states and environmentalists, who say agriculture department staff may lack the water quality expertise to issue the permits.

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COURT INQUIRY INTO EPA REFINERY PACT MAY SIGNAL INCREASED SCRUTINY

A federal district court is asking the government for more information about a proposed Clean Air Act (CAA) settlement with the petroleum company Chevron, in an apparently unprecedented court inquiry into the adequacy of an agreement under EPA's long-running CAA petroleum sector enforcement initiative, sources tracking the issue say.

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Circuit Review Of Duke Energy Case Seen As Key To Other Pending NSR Suits

A pending federal appellate court case could provide a key test for EPA's ongoing enforcement suits against utilities for allegedly violating its original new source review (NSR) rules, with many observers saying the ruling could trigger eventual Supreme Court review. The case, United States v. Duke Energy Corp., could determine how industrial facilities calculate an increase in emissions that triggers NSR requirements, industry lawyers and other legal experts say.

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Environmentalists Urge High Court To Deny Review Of Major Citizen Suit Case

Environmentalists are urging the Supreme Court to deny review of a landmark federal appeals court ruling that protects the ability of citizens to sue industry for alleged environmental violations even when a state enforcement action is underway, according to a recently filed brief.

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States Urge Reversal Of Court Order Limiting Resource Damages In Superfund Cases

The attorneys general of 14 states are urging a federal appeals court to overturn a court ruling from last year that industry and the federal government have cited to argue that states have limited authority to pursue compensation for the destruction of natural resources in Superfund cases. In a Jan. 18 filing with the U.S.

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Trial Lawyers Threaten Suit Attacking Novel Asbestos Cleanup Method

Public interest attorneys are threatening to file a lawsuit challenging a controversial method for cleaning up asbestos-contaminated buildings, claiming that the technique violates EPA standards. But the attorneys and some environmentalists acknowledge that EPA in response to the lawsuit could revise its asbestos cleanup requirements to allow for continued use of the method.

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EPA WITHDRAWAL OF DATABASE PROMPTS DATA QUALITY CHARGES BY INDUSTRY

EPA has removed a database from its website in response to an information quality challenge by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, prompting charges by industry and other agency critics that the move proves long-standing claims about faulty regulatory policies that are based on inconsistent data.

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