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Environmental Law News

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Posted on: Dec 5, 2018

In his October 12 post, Colin Connor reported that the first case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this term involved a clash of private property rights and the efforts of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to protect the Dusky Gopher Frog under the Endangered Species Act. In a November 27 opinion, the court remanded the dispute back to the Fifth Circuit for further consideration on an 8-0 vote. Justice Kavanaugh did not participate in the decision. 

Posted on: Nov 14, 2018

The Natural Resources Commission has published a Notice of Intent to adopt a new rule governing the representation of parties by lawyers and non-lawyers during NRC proceedings. Proposed rule 312 IAC 3-1-3.5 provides as follows.

Posted on: Nov 6, 2018

The state of Indiana’s plan to utilize almost $41 million in settlement trust funds from the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal is nearing completion. On October 24, 2018, the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund Advisory Committee met to consider final comments to IDEM's proposed Beneficiary Mitigation Plan and provisionally approved several last-minute changes.

Posted on: Oct 17, 2018

Recently, the Court of Appeals of Indiana issued a unanimous decision regarding the statute of limitations governing an environmental legal action. The case involved the City of Elkhart ’s remediation of a site once owned and operated by the Elkhart Foundry & Machine Co. The Foundry had operated at the site from the early 1900s until it went out of business in 2004. In 2007, Elkhart became interested in purchasing the site and learned it was contaminated. In 2010, Elkhart bought the property and began remediating it. In 2016, Elkhart filed a cost recovery action against the Foundry. Elkhart’s suit included (1) an ELA claim; (2) a “mini-CERCLA” claim; and (3) a nuisance claim. The Foundry moved for summary judgment on all claims. The trial court granted summary judgment to the Foundry on Elkhart’s “mini-CERCLA” and nuisance claims but denied it as to the ELA. Both parties appealed the trial court’s ruling.

Posted on: Oct 12, 2018

The Supreme Court of the United States began its new term with eight justices on October 1, as Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation was still up in the air at the time. The first case the justices heard involved a dispute between private property rights and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts to protect the dusky gopher frog.

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