Environmental Litigation

By Andrew H. PerellisJeryl L. Olson, and Patrick D. Joyce

Seyfarth Synopsis: Rather than providing clarity, the Supreme Court introduced substantial uncertainty into the NPDES permitting process involving situations where a point source discharge first enters groundwater and then migrates some distance – short or long – before discharging into a “navigable water” that is subject
Continue Reading Murky Water Ahead: SCOTUS Rules Contaminant Discharges to Groundwater “May” or “May Not” Require NPDES Permit

By Andrew H. PerellisJeryl L. Olson, and Patrick D. Joyce

Seyfarth Synopsis: Consider this hypothetical. Acme Company’s historic operations has contaminated its property and those of its adjacent neighbors. Acme is undertaking a CERCLA remedy under the oversight of U.S. EPA which the neighbors find inadequate, so the neighbors join together and sue in state court
Continue Reading SCOTUS Holds Common Law Claims Seeking Restoration Require EPA’s Approval if CERCLA Remediation is Ongoing

By James L. CurtisKay R. Bonza, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis:  A railcar cleaning company and its executive officers were recently charged in a 22-count indictment with conspiracy, violating worker safety standards resulting in worker deaths, violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and for submitting false documents to a federal agency.

Nebraska Railcar
Continue Reading Company and its Executives/Owners Charged With Criminally Violating Worker Safety and Environmental Laws That Led to Workers’ Deaths

By Andrew H. Perellis, Kay R. Bonza, and Craig B. Simonsen

iStock_000009254156LargeSeyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Attorney General has directed the Department of Justice to no longer allow payments to third parties as part of resolving federal cases.  For environmental cases, this prohibition could significantly limit, if not ban, the use of SEPs.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued
Continue Reading DOJ to No Longer Allow Settlements to Include Contributions to Third Parties, Thereby Threatening the Future of SEPs

By Andrew H. Perellis, Patrick D. Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen

shutterstock_132968252Seyfarth Synopsis: The Northern District of Indiana rejected the insurer’s assertion that its pollution exclusion clauses unambiguously included all contaminants.

Indiana, unlike other jurisdictions, is pro-insured when it comes to providing coverage for damages arising from pollution events. This is so even where the insurance policy
Continue Reading Despite Pollution Exclusion, Insurer On Hook for Contamination in Indiana

By Andrew H. Perellis, Patrick D. Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen

iStock_000042612884_MediumSeyfarth Synopsis: The Eighth Circuit found that a class action could not be sustained in an environmental pollution case because “the class lacks the requisite commonality and cohesiveness to satisfy Rule 23.”

In Karl Ebert v.  General Mills, Inc., No. 15-1735 (8th Cir. May 20,
Continue Reading 8th Circuit Court Finds Class Action Inappropriate to Resolve Neighborhood Claims for Damages Arising From Environmental Contamination

By Andrew H. Perellis and Patrick D. Joyce

Supreme CourtSeyfarth Synopsis: U.S. Supreme Court: mere violation of a statute creating a private right of action is not itself sufficient to satisfy the standing requirement under Article III’s “case or controversy.” To establish federal jurisdiction a plaintiff must still establish an “injury in fact” that is both particularized and concrete. As a
Continue Reading Does the Supreme Court’s ruling in Spokeo v. Robins Change the Standing Requirements for Pursuing Environmental Citizen Suit Claims?

By Andrew H. Perellis, Patrick D. Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen

EPA Sign

Seyfarth Synopsis: The 9th Circuit confirmed that an EPAs request for information letter investigating a Superfund cleanup site is a “suit” triggering an insurer’s duty to defend.

This week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court decision that an information request issued by
Continue Reading Circuit Court Says Superfund Request for Information Triggers Insurer’s Defense Obligation

shutterstock_206483089Seyfarth Partner Andrew H. Perellis is quoted in this Forbes Legal News article today, Sierra Club’s Legal Theory In Frackquake Case Draws ‘Star Trek’ Comparison (March 31, 2016).

The article concerns a complaint filed on Feb. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, Sierra Club v. Chesapeake Operating LLC, Devon Energy Production Co. LP, and
Continue Reading Is Increased Seismic Activity from the Disposal of Fracking Fluid Actionable Under RCRA?

By Andrew H. Perellis and Patrick D. Joyce

Supreme CourtIn a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the EPA acted unreasonably when it refused to consider the cost of implementing its Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS).

The MATS rule, issued in 2012, established emissions limits from power plants for mercury, filterable particulate matter, and hydrogen chloride. 


Continue Reading Supreme Court: EPA Must Consider Cost Of Implementing Regulations