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For an organization to sue to redress a perceived wrong, the organization must demonstrate that it has standing to sue, meaning that it is the proper party to bring the claim.   One of the key requirements of standing is that the plaintiff must show the he or she will be or is likely to be injured by the action objected to.  Environmental groups often demonstrate standing by showing that some member of the organization has…
Two recent Appellate Division decisions addressed segmentation claims and concluded that there cannot be segmentation unless there is a plan. Under SEQRA (the State Environmental Quality Review Act), it is illegal to take a project that may have significant impacts and break it in to smaller parts (segments) for environmental review purposes, each of which taken alone is not likely to have significant impacts. The Fourth Department, in Court Street Development Project, LLC v Utica…
A recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals highlights the boundary between environmental law and corporate law. US v Sterling Centercorp Inc., 2020 WL 5885920 (10/5/20). The case arose out of a Superfund Site in California that was the subject of a number of corporate transactions. Defendant Sterling was the corporate parent of Keystone Copper Corporation, a corporation that owned the site from approximately 1945-1989. Under the Superfund Law (42 USC 9601 et.…
It is not unusual for a developing rule or other agency action to be something of a moving target, with an agency responding to comments in a way that leaves some in the regulated community complaining that they did not receive the required fair opportunity to comment before the rule or agency action became final. The DC Circuit’s opinion in Chesapeake Action Network v EPA 2020 WL12222690 (March 13, 2020) ordered reconsideration of such a…
The recent decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Center for Biological Diversity v US Army Corps of Engineers, 2019 WL 5690619 (Nov. 4, 2019) concluded that impacts of an action that are “at most, tenuously caused” are not impacts that must be considered in preparing an environmental impact statement. The case arose out of an application by a fertilizer manufacturer for a permit to discharge dredge and fill material from its mining…
The recent decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Center for Biological Diversity v US Army Corps of Engineers, 2019 WL 5690619 (Nov. 4, 2019) concluded that impacts of an action that are “at most, tenuously caused” are not impacts that must be considered in preparing an environmental impact statement. The case arose out of an application by a fertilizer manufacturer for a permit to discharge dredge and fill material from its mining…
My post listing the top 5 misconceptions about environmental law received positive feedback, so I am continuing it in this post, listing misconceptions 6 through 10. The top 5 were statements that many transactional attorneys believe, but are false. Misconceptions 6-10, on the other hand, are sometimes true. 6. The investigation found contamination, so we must report it to the State. That statement is sometimes true, but not always. Among the factors that go into…
My post listing the top 5 misconceptions about environmental law received positive feedback, so I am continuing it in this post, listing misconceptions 6 through 10. The top 5 were statements that many transactional attorneys believe, but are false. Misconceptions 6-10, on the other hand, are sometimes true. 6. The investigation found contamination, so we must report it to the State. That statement is sometimes true, but not always. Among the factors that go into…
My post listing the top 5 misconceptions about environmental law received positive feedback, so I am continuing it in this post, listing misconceptions 6 through 10. The top 5 were statements that many transactional attorneys believe, but are false. Misconceptions 6-10, on the other hand, are sometimes true. 6. The investigation found contamination, so we must report it to the State. That statement is sometimes true, but not always. Among the factors that go into…
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Center for Biological Diversity v US Forest Service, 2019 WL 2293425 (May 30, 2019) raises important questions about the extent to which someone might be held liable for failing to prevent someone else from causing environmental harm. The Center for Biological Diversity alleged that the Forest Service violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (also known as RCRA) 42 USC 6972, by contributing to the disposal of…