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Environmental – Administrative – Bridge Replacement – Outer Banks – Wildlife Refuge – First Impression – Segmentation Analysis (access required)

Defenders of Wildlife v. North Carolina Department of Transportation The parties have not cited and the court has not found any Fourth Circuit case providing segmentation analysis for a transportation construction project that includes bridges and islands. However, the replacement of a structure that is nearing the end of its service life has been found to have independent utility.

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Environmental – Sedimentation Pollution Control Act – Private Action – Violation Required – Civil Practice – Standing – Administrative (access required)

Applewood Properties, LLC v. New South Properties, LLC Because the county Natural Resources Department never found the defendant-contractor to be in violation of any law, rule, order or erosion and sedimentation and control plan, plaintiff did not have standing to bring a civil action under the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act to seek redress for its injuries.

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Environmental – Stormwater Runoff – Administrative – Agency Interpretation – Entire Area Requirement (access required)

Quality Built Homes, Inc. v. North Carolina Department of Environment & Natural Resources Since wetlands absorb runoff rather than producing it, wetlands are not included in a development’s “drainage area.” We affirm the superior court’s decision to uphold respondent’s approval of a 401 Water Quality Certification with Additional Conditions.

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Environmental – Court Can’t Review Beach Protection Claim (access required)

Village of Bald Head Island v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers A district court did not err in dismissing a North Carolina coastal town’s suit seeking to enforce the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ alleged commitments to protect adjacent beaches during a project to widen portions of the Cape Fear River navigation channel, and the 4th Circuit affirms dismissal of the suit.

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Environmental – Past, Former Owners Share CERCLA Costs (access required)

PCS Nitrogen Inc. v. Ashley II of Charleston LLC In these appeals arising from disputes over liability for hazardous substance cleanup at a former fertilizer manufacturing site in Charleston, S.C., the 4th Circuit affirms a trial court order that holds both the current and former owners responsible for costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.

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Environmental – Agency Pesticide Opinion ‘Arbitrary,’ Court Says (access required)

Dow AgroSciences LLC v. National Marine Fisheries Service A “biological opinion” issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service to the Environmental Protection Agency is arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706, and the 4th Circuit reverses summary judgment for the Fisheries Service and vacates its opinion concluding certain pesticides would jeopardize the viability of Pacific salmonids and their habitat and that the pesticides could not be reregistered and used without substantial restrictions.

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