Articles Posted in Environmental Law

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Petitioners filed a request that the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission issue a declaratory ruling clarifying the application of the Commission’s groundwater protection rules to coal ash lagoons. After the Commission issued its declaratory ruling, Petitioners sought judicial review, claiming that the Commission had misconstrued the applicable regulations and erred in failing to construe the applicable regulations in the manner contended for by Petitioners in their original request for declaratory relief. The trial court determined that portions of the Commission’s decision were plainly erroneous and inconsistent with the regulations and reversed the Commission’s decision with respect to Petitioners’ second request for a declaratory ruling. The Supreme Court vacated the trial court’s order and remanded to the trial court with instructions to dismiss Petitioners’ appeal from the Commission’s declaratory ruling on mootness grounds, holding that the General Assembly’s enactment of Chapter 122 of the 2014 North Carolina Session Laws supersedes the rule at issue in this appeal with respect to coal ash lagoons located at facilities with active permits. Remanded. View "Cape Fear River Watch v. N.C. Envtl. Mgmt. Comm’n" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff sold a parcel of land adjacent to a golf club to New South Properties (New South) for development as a residential community. New South hired Hunter Construction Group (Hunter) to prepare the parcel for construction. Hunter built erosion control structures and devices, including a silt collection basin. However, a dam Hunter constructed to form the silt collection basin ruptured, causing mud, water, and debris to flood the golf course. As a result of the damage to the golf course, Plaintiffs filed an action against New South, Apple Creek and Hunter, alleging negligence, nuisance, trespass, and violations of the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act (SPCA). The trial court granted summary judgment to Defendants on the SPCA claim. Plaintiffs appealed and withdrew their appeal against all defendants except Hunter. The court of appeals affirmed. Without considering the merits of Plaintiffs' appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed as modified, holding that because Hunter was never cited for a violation for section 113A-66 of the SPCA, Plaintiffs did not have standing to bring a civil action against Hunter pursuant to section 113A-66. View "Applewood Props., LLC v. New S. Props., LLC" on Justia Law