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.

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Toxic Torts

Toxic torts are personal injuries or property damage caused by exposure to toxic and other dangerous substances, forms of energy, and devices present in the environment. Often a large group of people is affected by the same environmental toxin, so many toxic tort cases are brought as class actions. Victims of personal-injury toxic torts can recover money damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages. Although many lawyers represent clients in cases involving any toxic tort, others specialize in cases involving particular products. An experienced toxic tort lawyer is essential whether bringing or defending against a claim.

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Environmental Law Case Summaries

[12/05] Monterey Coastkeeper v. Monterey County Water Resources Agency
Reversing a judgment granting the petition for writ of mandate in the case of a nonprofit organization alleging that the Monterey County Water Resources Agency had violated the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act by failing to report waste discharge with respect to agricultural pollutants in a ditch and drain system because the nonprofit failed to exhaust its administrative remedies.

[12/04] Evans v. US
Affirming the dismissal of a case in which a man complained about the destruction of his shade trees by the government, seeking to contain a beetle infestation, because the act qualified for sovereign immunity under the discretionary function exception.

[12/04] Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Affirming the judgment on an appeal from the post-remand judgment of a case involving highly contested proposed development plans because the Public Resources Code does not prohibit partial decertification of an environmental impact report, nor does it prohibit leaving project approvals in place while decertifying a report..

[12/04] Navajo Nation v. Department of the Interior
Affirming in part and reversing in part the district court's dismissal of a Navajo Nation complaint and motion for relief challenging the Department of the Interior's published guidelines clarifying how it would make shortage and surplus determinations used in relation to decisions to deliver water from the Colorado River to Western states, affirming the dismissal of claims for lack of Article III standing because it wasn't reasonably probable that the guidelines would threaten the Nation's rights, but remanding breach of trust claims because they were not barred by sovereign immunity.

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