States Team Up to Bring Air Quality Lawsuit Against the EPA

On Wednesday, January 30, 2019, the Attorney Generals of New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, along with the City of New York, joined forces to bring a lawsuit against the United States Environmental Protection Agency and its acting Administrator, Andrew Wheeler. The coalition is led by Letitia James, the newly elected Attorney General of New York. The lawsuit aims to force the EPA to take steps to limit air pollution. James was quoted saying the New York
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Now In My Backyard: PA and NJ Federal Courts Grant Right of Eminent Domain for Construction of Natural Gas Pipeline

Recently, the United States District Courts for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the District of New Jersey almost simultaneously granted a consortium of natural gas companies the right of eminent domain to take steps towards building a pipeline connecting natural gas sources in Pennsylvania to parts of New Jersey. The opinions, which were released within three days of one another, involved challenges by local residents, environmental groups, and governmental agencies who argued that because certificates of approval had not
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Glyphosate Update: Judge Limits Previous Ruling, Allowing More Evidence at Trial Against Monsanto

The next batch of glyphosate-related trials are scheduled to take place over the next two months. As previously reported, Monsanto (which was acquired by Bayer last year) has been mired in toxic tort litigation over its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup. The primary allegations center around whether certain exposure to glyphosate is causally related to the plaintiffs’ development of lymphoma. There are more than 9,300 lawsuits currently pending around the country. Early in January, Monsanto scored a victory when U.S. District
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NJ District Ct Sets High Bar To Impose CERCLA and RCRA Liability Against Government For Remedial Costs – Direct Control Needed

In PPG Industries, Inc. v. United States of America, et al., the District Court in New Jersey recently found in favor of the government in a CERCLA contribution action. PPG Industries, Inc. (plaintiff) sued the United States, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Commerce (defendants) for (1) cost recovery and contribution under CERCLA and for remediation assistance under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The plaintiff owned property in Jersey City, New Jersey and operated a chromite
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PFAS Alert: New York State Court Certifies PFOA Class Action

On July 3, 2018, a state court in New York certified a class action lawsuit that involves residents of Petersburgh, New York who claim exposure to varying levels of the chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is in the class of chemicals known as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances and was used to make heat, water, and stain resistant household and commercial products. Think Teflon, Scotchgard, GORE-TEX, fast food wrappers, etc. This is the first class action matter that’s been certified in the State of New York that involves
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Department of Interior in Need of a Paddle? Lawsuit filed over approval of mines in Boundary Waters Canoe Area

A coalition of nine Minnesota businesses and an environmental group filed suit in federal court in Washington, D.C. against the U.S. Department of the Interior challenging its decision to reinstate federal mineral rights leases for the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area near Ely, Minnesota. The lawsuit alleges the Department of the Interior exceeded its authority and poses an immediate threat to businesses, the environment and the region’s outdoor recreation economy. The plaintiffs include four
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New Jersey Settles MTBE Pollution Case for Almost $200 Million

A pollution lawsuit initially filed against three major oil companies is settling for almost $200 million, with additional parties still negotiating. In 2007, the state of New Jersey sued a number of oil companies in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York over their usage of MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether). MTBE was a synthetic chemical added to gasoline to help fuel burn more completely and reduce tailpipe emissions from vehicles. MTBE was approved for use in
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States Sue EPA Over Delay in Setting Methane Emissions Standards

On April 5, 2018, 14 U.S. states filed a lawsuit against U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleging that the agency is “unreasonably delaying” the issuance of federal methane emissions standards. The complaint names the EPA and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt as the defendants. New York State is taking the lead in this challenge; other states joining the lawsuit include California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Illinois, Iowa, and New Mexico. The District of Columbia and
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California Second Generation Climate Change Suits — Back to the Future with Federal Common Law?

An interesting battle currently is playing out in the California courts involving what can be considered a “second generation” of climate change suits that seek to hold producers of greenhouse gases responsible for the costs that government entities are forced to expend in adapting to climate change. In July 2017, three California government entities — Marin and San Mateo Counties, along with the City of Imperial Beach — filed suit in California Superior Court against some of the world’s largest
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Tijuana Blues: Mexican Wastewater Contaminates SoCal Coast, According to New Lawsuit

SoCal surfer dudes were in for a surprise when a serious funk rolled in with the tides in Imperial Beach and Chula Vista, California. A new lawsuit has been filed against the International Boundary & Water Commission – United States Section (IBWC or the Commission) and Veolia Water North America West for repeatedly failing to address “devastating pollution discharges” from the Tijuana River, which had been used as a dump for decades. In the last three years alone, severely polluted
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