News and Resources Pack - Environmental

Environmental Articles

Minerals and Mining Law

Much of the modern law of minerals and mining is over 100 years old, and is based on the General Mining Law passed in 1872 to address prospecting issues. These laws cover property and leasing rights for mineral exploration and extraction on federal lands. Because many of the best mineral reserves are found on federal property, minerals and mining laws retain their importance, and some remain in force with much of their original content.

Read More

Spill and Contamination Liability

Both state and federal environmental laws impose liability for cleanup on owners, buyers, and operators of property that has been contaminated by hazardous material, as well as on parties who generate and ship hazardous waste to someone else's property for disposal. Two of the most notable of these laws are the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Resource Recovery and Conservation Act (RCRA). Both of these laws are discussed in more detail below.

Read More

Environmental Law Case Summaries

[06/15] Grist Creek Aggregates v. Super. Ct.
In an environmental group's writ of administrative mandate challenging the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District's approval of a permit to construct an asphalt production facility, claiming that the asphalt company-applicant should have conducted an environmental review and that the District and Hearing Board violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Pub. Resources Code section 21000 et seq., and District regulations by failing to order applicant to conduct one, the petition is granted where the Hearing Board's tie vote resulted in the denial of petitioners' administrative appeal and that the denial is subject to judicial review.

[06/12] In re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) Products Liability Litigation
In consolidated multi-district litigation arising from contamination of groundwater in Orange County, California from various oil companies' use of the gasoline additive MTBE, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants on res judicata grounds as a consequence of earlier consent judgments entered in California state court resolving similar suits against defendants brought by the Orange County District Attorney, is vacated and remanded where the record does not sufficiently establish that the Orange County District Attorney and the Orange County Water District-plaintiff were in privity.

[06/06] Maine Council of the Atlantic v. National Marine Fisheries
In an action brought under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) seeking review of two biological opinions issued to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by the National Marine Fisheries Service evaluating requested modifications of licenses to operate hydropower dams, the district court's dismissal for lack of jurisdiction is affirmed where jurisdiction is lacking.

[06/01] Orange County Water Dist. v. MAG Aerospace Industries
In a suit brought by a Water District alleging claims under the Carpenter-Presley-Tanner Hazardous Substances Account Act (HSAA), Health & Saf. Code sections 25300 et seq., and the Orange County Water District Act (OCWD Act), West's Ann. Wat. Code App. (2016 ed.) ch. 40), and for declaratory relief, Code Civ. Proc. section 1060, and summary adjudication of the District's common law claims for negligence, nuisance, and trespass, the trial court's judgment in favor of defendant is affirmed where: 1) although the trial court may have used an incorrect causation standard under the HSAA, any such error was harmless in light of the trial court's factual findings, which the District does not challenge and which foreclose the District's claim under the correct causation standard; 2) the trial court did not abuse its discretion under Code of Civil Procedure section 1048 by adhering to California's longstanding 'equity first' rule and holding a bench trial on the District's equitable claims before scheduling a jury trial on the District's legal claims; and 3) the District's remaining contentions are similarly unavailing because the District has not established any prejudicial error in the court's declaratory judgment or its application of Evidence Code section 412.

Read More

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. Users may not download or reproduce a substantial portion of the AP material found on this web site. AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.