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Showing 4 posts in Declaratory Relief.

Earlier this month, New Jersey’s Appellate Division affirmed a judgment issued by the Chancery Division, the state’s court of equity, which required neighbors to participate and share in the costs of investigating nearby contamination even though there was not yet any evidence as to the precise source of the contamination. Matejek v. Watson et al., Dkt. No. A-4683-14T1 (N.J. Super. Ct. Mar. 3, 2017).  In doing so, the Appellate Division adopted an expansive view of the Chancery Division’s power to fashion an equitable remedy when the letter of the law, in this case New Jersey’s Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act), does not provide for one. Read More »

In a decision issued today in Pa. Independent Oil & Gas Assoc. v. Commonwealth, No. 321 M.D. 2015, a seven-member panel of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held that Section 3215(c) of Act 13, the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act, remains enforceable despite the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth, 83 A.3d 901 (Pa. 2013).  Section 3215(c) provides that when making a determination on a proposed oil and gas well, DEP “shall consider” the impact of the proposed well on public resources, including parks, rivers, landmarks, historic sites, flora and fauna habitat, and public drinking water sources.  Read More »

Earlier this month, a Michigan federal judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a coalition of plaintiffs seeking to force multiple city and state defendants to fix the city of Flint, Michigan’s water supply system.  The lawsuit arose from the crisis regarding lead contamination in Flint’s water supply, which has garnered national attention.  In the decision, Concerned Pastors for Soc. Action v. Khouri, No. 16-10277 (E.D. Mich. July 7, 2016), U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson rejected numerous attacks asserted by the defendants in a motion to dismiss.  Perhaps most notably, the judge rejected the argument that the federal court should defer to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) primary jurisdiction under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).    Read More »

On Monday, the Second Circuit issued two opinions in the consolidated case of State of New York v. Solvent Chemical Co., Nos. 10-2026-cv, 10-2166-cv, & 10-23830-cv (2nd Cir. Dec. 19, 2011).  The first was a Summary Opinion, without precedential effect, which partially affirmed and partially rejected the district court’s method of allocating liability for past response costs incurred by Solvent Chemical Co. in remediating contamination at a site along the Niagara River in New York.  The second, a precedential opinion, reversed the trial court’s decision denying Solvent a declaratory judgment holding two other PRPs, DuPont and Olin Corp., liable for future remediation costs.  In essence, the Court of Appeals held that if the trial court could determine that DuPont and Olin were partially liable for past remediation costs, then it was required to find them liable for future costs, even if the trial court was not then able to allocate those future costs.  From a purely logical standpoint, not a very controversial or earth-shattering decision. Read More »