Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Federal District Court in Washington State Upholds State Energy Code

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On February 7, 2011, a federal district court in Washington State held in Bldg. Indus. Ass'n of Wash. v. Wash. State Bldg. Code Council that the Washington State Building Code Council did not violate federal law when it...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: AEP v. Connecticut – The Reply Briefs

By Daniel Firger, Associate Director, Center for Climate Change, Columbia Law School On April 11, 2011, petitioners in American Electric Power v. Connecticut , five private investor-owned utility companies, filed their reply brief . On the same day, the Solicitor General filed a separate reply...

Coast Guard stumbles as it tries to preempt Massachusetts state law

The Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention Act (OSPA) was enacted following an oil spill in Buzzards Bay. [As the appellate court notes, Buzzards Bay is a scenically beautiful body of water. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Buzzards_Bay_map.png.] OSPA requires a tugboat escort for all tank vessels...

United States Supreme Court Reverses Second Circuit Decision that Permitted States’ Lawsuits Over Greenhouse Gases

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on June 20 unanimously reversed a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that allowed five states to pursue lawsuits under the Clean Air Act (CAA) that sought court-imposed limits on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions discharged by a number...

Today's Supreme Court Decision in AEP v. Connecticut

Here is my instant analysis of the decision just issued by the Supreme Court in American Electric Power v. Connecticut , the case in which several states and others sought a court order requiring several large electric utilities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions because they were a public nuisance...

Podcast - Legal News - Supreme Court Holds Clean Air Act and EPA Trump State Nuisance Lawsuits - AEP v. Connecticut

The U.S. Supreme Court reverses a 2nd Circuit ruling allowing states' lawsuits over greenhouse gas emissions, and the high court reverses certification of a WalMart gender class. Listen to the third story on the podcast for this historic greenhouse gas emissions decision, and also hear other stories...

Marten Law on American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut--U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Climate Change Nuisance Claims

By Steven Jones, Partner, Marten Law PLLC "In an 8-0 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held on June 20 in American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut (AEP) that federal courts do not have jurisdiction to hear federal common law nuisance claims relating to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, because...

Keller and Heckman LLP: Bipartisan Meetings on The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011

A series of stakeholder meetings on Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) (15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. ) "reform" began in the Senate on June 21, 2011. Billed as bipartisan stakeholder talks, these meetings may bring us closer to a viable TSCA reform proposal. Senate staff have advised us that...

U.S. Supreme Court finds that statutory law of CAA displaces Federal common law and state tort law on issue of GHG emissions

Several States, a city, and land trusts filed federal common law public nuisance claims against various power companies; they requested that the court set CO2 emission limits. In American Electric Power Co. et al v. Connecticut et al , 2011 U.S. LEXIS 4565 (6/20/11), the U.S. Supreme Court addressed...

The Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Act preempts state common law claims for design defects

The plaintiff-employee, a chemical unloader, was attempting to unload a railway tank car filled with sulfuric acid when its chemical contents exploded, spraying his face and chest and thereby inflicting severe burns. The employee sued under common law theories of negligence, strict liability, products...

Federal Appellate Court Rules That The Clean Air Act Does Not Preempt State Common Law Claims

On August, 20, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a ruling reversing dismissal of common law claims brought by a group of residents who live near a coal-fired power plant in Springdale, Pennsylvania. Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station , No. 12-4216 (Aug. 20, 2013). The residents...

Supreme Court: CERCLA Does Not Preempt State’s Statute Of Repose

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey's) A U.S. Supreme Court majority today reversed a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s ruling reinstating a lawsuit brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) against a company accused of contaminating...

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That CERCLA Does Not Preempt State Statutes Of Repose

The U.S. Supreme Court has clarified the preemptive power of CERCLA, holding that CERCLA does not preempt state statutes of repose, even though it does preempt certain state statutes of limitation. On June 9, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of CTS Corp. v. Waldburger , No. 13-339, [ enhanced...

Supreme Court Narrows CERCLA Preemption of State Limits on Tort Claims

In an opinion strictly interpreting the statutory text of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the U.S. Supreme Court limited the scope of a CERCLA provision that is designed to extend state law claims for personal injury or property damage resulting from...