Applewood Properties, LLC v. New South Properties, LLC Defendants’ failure to control erosion on their development project deposited sediment only on plaintiffs’ land; no body of water was involved. Therefore, plaintiffs were limited to common-law remedies; they could not make out a claim under the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act.
Shenandoah Valley Network v. Capka, Adm’r The 4th Circuit dismisses an appeal by environmental and preservation organizations that challenge federal and state agencies’ planned improvements to Virginia’s Interstate 81 corridor under a tiered review p
North Carolina Wildlife Federation v. North Carolina Department of Transportation Even though defendants analyzed the impact of highway-building and no-build scenarios using socioeconomic data that already contemplated building the highway, defendants took extensive steps to ensure that the data constituted an appropriate baseline for the no-build scenario. Multiple investigations by an engineering firm confirmed the propriety of the data and the accuracy of defendants’ analyses. Defendants’ use of and reliance on these data were reasonable and did not violate defendants’ obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).
Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted.
Busik v. North Carolina Department of Environment & Natural Resources The applicable regulations required the local permit officer (LPO) to include in the square-footage calculation not only the proposed house but also the proposed appurtenances. When the appurtenances’ area is added to the area of the house, the square footage exceeds 5000 square feet; therefore, the setback requirement is 120 feet from the vegetation line, rather than the 60 feet provided for in the permit issued by the LPO.
The petitioner-neighbor’s motion for summary judgment is granted.
Midgett v. North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission Petitioners' proposed oceanfront residence would be 272 feet landward of the vegetation line, failing to meet the 420-foot erosion setback requirement. Petitioners failed to show that the variance they requested is consistent with the spirit, purpose, and intent of the rules, standards, or orders; would secure public safety and welfare; and would preserve substantial justice.
United States v. Freedman Farms, Inc. In unusual situations, Justice Scalia's definition of "waters of the United States," as set out in the plurality opinion of Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 715 (2006), would give the government authority over bodies of water that would not fall within Justice Kennedy's definition, set out in his concurring opinion. However, Justice Kennedy's definition generally would be less restrictive of government authority (i.e., "narrower" within the meaning of Marks v. United States, 430 U.S. 188 (1977)).
Rhodes v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-01-0390, 17 pp.) (Keenan, J.) No. 10-1166, April 8, 2011; USDC at Parkersburg, W.Va. (Goodwin, J.) 4th Cir. Click here for the full text of the opinion. Holding: In this case involving contamination of a public water supply in Parkersburg, W.Va., the 4th Circuit [...]
Precon Development Corp. Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-01-0127, 30 pp.) (Duncan, J.) No. 09-2239, Jan. 25, 2011; USDC at Norfolk, Va. (Smith, J.) 4th Cir. Holding: A Chesapeake developer planning a 658-acre mixed use development in southeast Virginia wins this phase of its challenge to the Army Corps of [...]
Friends of the Earth Inc. v. Gaston Copper Recycling Corp. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-01-0052, 27 pp.) (Keenan, J.) No. 06-1714, Jan. 5, 2010; USDC at Columbia, S.C. (Perry, J.) 4th Cir. Click here for the full text of the opinion. Holding: The 4th Circuit says two environmental groups have standing to prosecute a citizen suit [...]
West Virginia Highlands Conservancy Inc. v. Huffman. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-01-1078, 17 pp.) (Wilkinson, J.) No. 09-1474, Nov. 8, 2010; USDC at Clarksburg, W.Va. (Keeley, J.) 4th Cir. Click here for the full text of the opinion. Holding: A West Virginia state environmental protection agency must obtain pollutant discharge permits under the Clean Water Act [...]