Justia Environmental Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Texas Supreme Court
Merriman v. XTO Energy, Inc.
Plaintiff owed the surface estate of a forty-acre tract. Defendant, the lessee of the tract's severed mineral estate, constructed a well site on Plaintiff's tract without Plaintiff's approval. Plaintiff filed suit seeking an injunction requiring Defendant to remove the well, asserting that Defendant failed to accommodate his existing use of the surface so Defendant's acts exceeded its rights in the mineral estate and constituted a trespass. The trial court granted summary judgment for Defendant, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, even assuming that the failure of Defendant's operations to accommodate Defendant's existing use would have been sufficient to support injunctive relief, Plaintiff failed to raise a material fact issue as to whether Defendant failed to accommodate his use. View "Merriman v. XTO Energy, Inc." on Justia Law
S. Crushed Concrete, LLC v. City of Houston
Southern Crushed Concrete (SCC) filed a municipal permit application with the City of Houston to move a concrete-crushing facility to a new location. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (Commission) had previously issued a permit authorizing construction of the facility at the proposed location. The City, however, denied the permit because the concrete-crushing operations would violate a city ordinance's location restriction. SCC sued the City, arguing that the ordinance was preempted by the Texas Clean Air Act (TCAA), which provides that a municipal ordinance may not make unlawful a condition or act approved or authorized under the TCAA or the Commission's rules or orders. The trial court granted summary judgment for the City, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the ordinance was preempted by the TCAA and unenforceable. View "S. Crushed Concrete, LLC v. City of Houston" on Justia Law