July 7, 2006
Environmental Case Law Summaries
U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Frazier v. Pioneer Ams. LLC (07/06/06 - No. 06-30434)
Plaintiffs have the burden to show the applicability of the Class Action Fairness Act's sections 1332(d)(3)–(5) exceptions when jurisdiction turns on their application. In a case involving alleged seepage of mercury from defendants' facility, denial of putative class plaintiffs' motion to remand to Louisiana state court is affirmed over plaintiffs' claim that the case was not removable under CAFA.
U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
Falk v. US (07/05/06 - No. 05-2566)
Judgment in favor of defendant-agency in a declaratory judgment action challenging decisions made by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service affecting the use of plaintiffs' land for goose hunting is affirmed where defendant's determinations were not arbitrary and capricious, and its interpretation of regulations was not plainly erroneous.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd. (07/03/06 - No. 05-35153)
Denial of defendant's motion to dismiss is affirmed where: 1) because CERCLA liability is triggered by an actual or threatened release of hazardous substances, and because a release of hazardous substances took place within the U.S., the suit at hand involved a domestic application of CERCLA; and 2) defendant-Canadian company's contention that it was not liable under a particular CERCLA provision because it disposed of hazardous substances itself is rejected.
Oregon Trollers Ass'n v. Gutierrez (07/06/06 - No. 05-35970)
In an action brought by fishermen and fishing-related businesses and organizations against the National Marine Fisheries Service and other governmental entities challenging certain management measures undertaken to protect a type of salmon, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed over claims that the measures conflicted with a number of substantive and procedural requirements set forth in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
New York Court of Appeals
In the Matter of Eadie v. Town Bd. of the Town of N. Greenbush (07/05/06 - No. 99)
In an action arising out of the rezoning of a large area of land to permit retail development: 1) the rezoning did not require a three-fourths majority vote of the Town Board under Town Law section 265; 2) the challenge to the rezoning under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) was timely brought; and 3) the Town complied with SEQRA.
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