Articles Posted in Kentucky Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court affirmed the opinion of the court of appeals reversing the circuit court's order requiring the Energy and Environment Cabinet to pay the outstanding balance owed to the court-appointed receiver after the conclusion of litigation regarding Jeffrey Bowling's five wastewater treatment plans that were discharging untreated sewage into Kentucky waters, holding that Kentucky law does not support requiring the Cabinet to pay the outstanding balance owed to the receiver. Beginning in 2004, the Cabinet notified Bowling that his plants were improperly operated and maintained. Bowling failed to resolve the plant conditions, and the Cabinet filed a complaint against him seeking a temporary injunction and requesting that the trial court appoint a receiver. Almost nine years later at the conclusion of the litigation, the receiver was owed $27,005. The trial court assessed this amount against the Cabinet. The court of appeals reversed, ruling that only Bowling could be liable for the money owed to the receiver. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that no special circumstances existed to justify requiring the Cabinet to cure the receiver's deficiency. View "Baughman v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

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Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) sought a permit authorizing it to discharge certain pollutants into the Ohio River in conjunction with the operation of its recently expended generating facility. The Commonwealth of Kentucky, Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Water issued the permit. The circuit court vacated the permit. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed and reinstated LG&E’s permit, holding (1) in vacating the permit, the circuit court and Court of Appeals misapplied controlling federal law; and (2) the Cabinet’s determination that the LG&E permit should proceed under 40 C.F.R. 125.3(c)(1) was a reasonable interpretation of the regulation. View "Louisville Gas & Electric Co. v. Kentucky Waterways Alliance" on Justia Law

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Citizen Plaintiffs gave notice of their intent to sue Frasure Creek Mining and another coal mining company pursuant to the citizen suit provision of the Clean Water Act. At the close of the statutory sixty-day notice period, the state Energy and Environment Cabinet brought an enforcement action against Frasure Creek and thus invoked the statutory bar to Plaintiffs' suit. Together with its complaint, the Cabinet filed a proposed consent judgment. The trial court subsequently granted Plaintiffs' motion to intervene to allow Plaintiffs an opportunity to voice their objections to the proposed consent judgment. The Cabinet and Frasure Creek sought extraordinary relief against the circuit court, petitioning the court of appeals for writs forbidding the intervention and compelling entry of the consent judgment. They argued that the trial court's intervention order ran counter both to jurisdictional limits imposed by Congress and to state law rules and standards for granting intervention and approving consent judgments. The court of appeals denied the petition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court was proceeding within its jurisdiction and that the Cabinet and Frasure Creek had an adequate remedy by appeal for the errors they alleged. View "Commonwealth, Energy & Env't Cabinet v. Circuit Court (Shepherd)" on Justia Law