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Litigation

LANDMARK APPELLATE SUIT COULD EXPAND WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS

A federal appellate court is considering a landmark case that could expand whistleblower protections under federal environmental laws by clarifying whether an "authorized representative" of federal employees is allowed to challenge official retaliation for reporting environmental misconduct.

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DOJ SUIT COULD SIGNAL BROADER USE OF CLEAN AIR ACT'S CRIMINAL PENALTIES

The Justice Department's (DOJ) high-profile prosecution of a New Jersey pipe manufacturer for alleged criminal violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and other environmental laws could signal broader DOJ use of criminal prosecutions under the air law, industry and government attorneys say.

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SAN JOAQUIN AIR PLAN HEADS TO ARB, EPA; LEGAL FIGHT POSSIBLE

The air board later this month is expected to approve a controversial ozone attainment plan for the San Joaquin Valley that may test the state's oversight role as well as U.S. EPA's transition from a one-hour attainment standard to an eight-hour standard, according to sources. Environmentalists maintain that the district and the regulatory agencies are violating the Clean Air Act by allowing the district to extend compliance with the standards and approving a plan that will soon be moot.

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Lawsuit Might Expand Whistleblower Protections Under Environmental Laws

A federal appellate court is considering a landmark case that could expand whistleblower rights under federal environmental laws by clarifying who qualifies for protections against retaliation for reporting environmental misconduct.

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Justice Department Suit May Signal Increase In Air Act Criminal Prosecutions

The Justice Department's high-profile prosecution of a New Jersey pipe manufacturer for alleged criminal violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and other environmental laws could signal broader use of criminal prosecutions under the air law, industry and government attorneys say. The case, U.S. v.

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Environmentalists File Appeal To Speed Pesticide Rule Challenges

Environmentalists are being joined by farm workers and other public health groups in appealing a federal district court decision that would likely slow legal challenges to EPA pesticide standards that the activists say ignore strict safety measures required by law to protect children. Industry officials who are defending the EPA standards say the case could determine for the first time the administrative process that outside groups must follow before going to court.

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TRUSTEE URGES COURT TO REJECT INTERVENTION IN NOVEL NRD CHALLENGE

The natural resource damage (NRD) trustee for the Virgin Islands is urging a federal court to reject a local resident's efforts to challenge the U.S. territory's plans for spending funds from an NRD settlement, arguing the resident lacks standing, according to recent court filings.

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APPEALS RULING MAY BLOCK FUTURE ENVIRONMENTAL FALSE CLAIMS SUITS

A recent precedent-setting federal appellate ruling may block future lawsuits over potential environmental violations brought under a controversial whistleblower law known as the False Claims Act (FCA), according to a legal observer.

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JUSTICES QUESTION CONTRIBUTION RIGHTS IN KEY SUPERFUND CASE

Several key U.S. Supreme Court justices appeared skeptical of state and industry claims during Oct. 6 oral arguments in a closely watched cleanup case that federal Superfund law allows companies to sue other parties for cleanup costs in the absence of an EPA or state enforcement order or other "civil action."

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EPA Seeks State Talks To Preserve Rights On Sewer Overflow Agreements

OKLAHOMA CITY --- EPA has asked states to join a working group that would consider whether states should file combined sewer overflow (CSO) consent decrees in federal court, rather than state court, in order to preserve the agency's ability to overfile if state enforcement is inadequate, EPA enforcement chief Tom Skinner said at a meeting here.

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