Justia Environmental Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Ohio Supreme Court
State ex rel. Ohio Attorney Gen. v. Shelly Holding Co.
The Shelly Company, an Ohio corporation engaged in the business of surfacing roads, owned several subsidiaries, including appellants Shelly Materials, Inc. and Allied Corporation (collectively, Shelly). The hot-mix asphalt facilities were regulated by the Ohio EPA pursuant to air-pollution-control permits issued to Shelly. In July 2007, the State filed suit against Shelly, alleging that the companies had violated state law and Ohio's federally approved plan for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of air-quality standards as required by the federal Clean Air Act. The court found for the state on some, but not all, claims for relief, and issued a civil penalty. At issue on appeal was the proper method of calculating the civil penalty to be levied against the industrial facility with the terms of its air-pollution-control permit. The appellate court concluded that according to the terms of the permit, the penalty was to be calculated from the initial date of noncompliance until the facility demonstrated that it no longer violated the permit. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the appellate court reached the proper conclusion in this matter. View "State ex rel. Ohio Attorney Gen. v. Shelly Holding Co." on Justia Law
State ex rel. Merrill v. Dep’t of Natural Res.
Plaintiffs, lakefront property owners and others, filed a complaint for declaratory judgment and mandamus against the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the State, seeking declarations that owners of property abutting Lake Erie hold title to the land between the high-water mark and the actual legal boundary of their properties as defined in their deeds or a writ of mandamus to compel ODNR to compel the State to compensate them for its alleged taking of the property. The trial court subsequently consolidated the action of other Plaintiffs claiming ownership of their land to the low-water mark of Lake Erie. The trial court concluded that the public-trust territory of Lake Erie was a moveable boundary consistent with the water's edge. The appellate court affirmed the trial court's holdings regarding the boundary of the public trust. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) the territory of Lake Erie is held in public trust and extends to the natural shoreline, which is the line at which the water usually stands when free from disturbing causes; and (2) the boundary of the public trust does not change from moment to moment, and artificial fill cannot alter the boundary. Remanded.