Sunday, April 13, 2008

Findlaw Environmental Law Case Summaries

These environmental law case summaries are provided by Findlaw.  To read the whole text of the cases, sign into Findlaw.

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, April 08, 2008
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. US, No. 07-1482, 07-1483
In an action where Massachusetts sought to participate directly in a re-licensing proceeding of two nuclear energy plants as a party before the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissions (NRC) issues its renewal decision, petition for review of NRC's dismissal of the Commonwealth's hearing request is denied where: 1) Massachusetts sought the wrong path, as a matter of law, in seeking to raise safety issues as a party in the licensing proceedings; 2) Massachusetts retains a meaningful opportunity to seek judicial review under the procedural course advanced by the agency; and 3) the agency has not issued a final order regarding the rulemaking petition for purposes of judicial review. Read more...

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, April 10, 2008
Esso Standard Oil Co. v. Lopez-Freytes, No. 07-1218
An order which permanently enjoined defendants, several members and officials of the Puerto Rico Quality Board, from imposing a $76 million fine on plaintiff is affirmed over claims that: 1) the district court should have abstained from exercising jurisdiction pursuant to the Younger abstention doctrine; and 2) in any event, the court erred in concluding that there existed bias necessitating the imposition of the injunction. Read more...

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, April 10, 2008
US v. Vasquez-Ramos, No. 06-50553,06-50694
Denial of defendants' motion to dismiss their indictments for possessing feathers and talons of bald and golden eagles and other migratory birds without a permit in violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA), and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), is affirmed where, pursuant to prior circuit precedent which remains binding, the prosecutions did not violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Read more...

California Appellate Districts, April 09, 2008
Comm. to Save the Hollywoodland Specific Plan and Hollywood Heritage v. City of Los Angeles, No. B197018
In an action to compel a city to rescind its permit for a wooden fence that a homeowner had constructed atop a historic granite walls in Hollywoodland, denial of petitioners' writ of mandate is affirmed and reversed in part where: 1) although under the terms of Hollywoodland Specific Plan (HSP) and the Municipal Code, the city properly granted an exception to the HSP; nevertheless 2) the city improperly granted an exemption under the California Environmental Quality Act. Read more...

California Appellate Districts, April 10, 2008
Comm. for Green Foothills v. Santa Clara County Bd. of Supervisors, No. H030986
In a case primarily addressing the limitations period for challenging a public agency's decision under CEQA, dismissal pursuant to demurrer is reversed and remanded where the trial court incorrectly sustained defendant's demurrer without leave to amend on grounds that the proceedings were necessarily time barred by either Public Resource Code section 21167 or Government Code section 65009. Read more...

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