Greenwire, an energy and environmental policy news service, reviewed the Supreme Court’s recent environmental decisions, and turned to Notre Dame Professor of Law John Nagle for comment.
In five high-profile cases, the justices overturned decisions that favored environmentalists. They ruled in favor of the Navy in a case pitting national security concerns against the welfare of marine mammals; limited the scope of liability for a Superfund cleanup; and reversed a decision that held no cost-benefit test could be used to determine the best technology for withdrawing water from rivers to cool power-plant turbines. In addition, the court held that five conservation groups lacked standing to challenge U.S. Forest Service regulations and found that the Army Corps of Engineers, not U.S. EPA, has permitting authority over mining-waste discharges under the Clean Water Act.
Prof. Nagle told Greenwire that the consolidated CERCLA, or Superfund, cases could have an immediate impact on lower courts’ decision-making.
“Burlington Northern v. United States was the most surprising given that the majority ended up addressing issues that the Supreme Court had never really addressed but had been thought to have been resolved by the lower courts decades ago,” he said.
For the entire article and more comments from Prof. Nagle, visit: http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2009/06/25/3/