• Mark Ryan

New Mining and Stormwater Cases

Here are two new citizen suit decisions, both on motions to dismiss.

Stone v. High Mountain Mining Co., LLC, 2020 WL 730304 (D. Co. 2020) (on motion to dismiss in case alleging unpermitted discharges from placer mining ponds to creek via groundwater, held that plaintiffs properly alleged elements of Article III standing, but one of plaintiffs’ groups failed to allege injury in fact; Burford abstention does not apply simply because state may regulate the discharges, but has taken no action to stop them; 60-day notice properly set out facts and allegations; court reserves ruling on groundwater connection pending resolution of Maui case in the Supreme Court)

Eden Envt’l Citizen’s Group, LLC v. American Custom Marble, 2020 WL 733167 (N.D. Cal. 2020) (on motion to dismiss in case alleging industrial stormwater discharges, held plaintiffs properly alleged organization standing and individual member may allege harm from violations that predate the organization’s founding; five-year statute of limitations applies; plaintiff is not limited to civil violations - a violation of a permit condition that carries criminal penalties suffices for proving a violation of an “effluent standard or limitation”; a corporate officer can be held personally liable for violations of the CWA; where 60-day notice did not name the individual corporate officer, but her title, and she can show no prejudice from the omission, dismissal for lack of notice if not warranted; issuance by the state of a “No Exposure Certificate” does not bar a citizen suit under § 505(b)(1)(B); where plaintiffs failed to allege facts to support general allegations that merely recite the element of the cause of action, those claims must be dismissed)

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