Justia Environmental Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Little v. Louisville Gas & Elec. Co.
Plaintiffs allege that, beginning in 2008, they have had a persistent film of dust over their properties, coming from Cane Run power plant, which is owned and operated by LGE. Louisville’s Air Pollution Control District, the agency charged with enforcing environmental regulations in Jefferson County, investigated and issued several Notices of Violation concerning particulate emissions and odors, finding finding that LGE allowed fly ash particulate emissions to enter the air and be carried beyond its property line. The NOVs were resolved by an administrative proceeding before Louisville’s Air Pollution Control Board, which resulted in an Agreed Board Order, requiring LGE to implement and comply, with a “Plant-Wide Odor, Fugitive Dust, and Maintenance Emissions Control Plan.” Plaintiffs provided a Notice of Intent to Sue, alleging violations of the Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and state-law claims of nuisance, trespass, negligence, negligence per se, and gross negligence. The district court dismissed all federal law claims except the claim that Cane Run was operating without a valid Clean Air Act permit and rejected defendants’ argument that the Clean Air Act preempted plaintiffs’ state common law claims. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, View "Little v. Louisville Gas & Elec. Co." on Justia Law
Ky. Coal Ass’n, Inc. v. Tenn. Valley Auth.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a federal agency, operates power plants that provide electricity to nine million Americans in the Southeastern United States, 16 U.S.C. 831n-4(h). Like private power companies, TVA must comply with the Clean Air Act. In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency told TVA that it needed to reduce emissions from some of the coal-fired units at its plants, including the Drakesboro, Kentucky, Paradise Fossil Plant. TVA considered several options, including maintaining coal-fired generation by retrofitting the Paradise units with new pollution controls and switching the fuel source from coal to natural gas. After more than a year of environmental study, TVA decided to switch from coal to natural-gas generation and concluded that the conversion would be better for the environment. TVA issued a “finding of no significant impact” on the environment stemming from the newly configured project. The district court denied opponents a preliminary injunction, and granted TVA judgment on the administrative record. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, rejecting arguments that TVA acted arbitrarily in failing to follow the particulars of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act for making such decisions, and in failing to consider the project’s environmental effects in an impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act. View "Ky. Coal Ass'n, Inc. v. Tenn. Valley Auth." on Justia Law