Environmental Law Update
Happy Holidays from all of us at Rogers Townsend!
We bring you the Top 5 Environmental/Toxic Tort Litigation Stories of 2012.
As selected by a fashionably-dressed monkey at an IKEA store in Toronto.
(Yes, that really happened.)

Top 5 Stories - South Carolina
1)      Savannah River Dredging – In a tangled tale of political maneuvering which saw state agencies squaring off against each other, the SC Supreme Court overturned an apparent deal with Georgia for a $650M dredging project to develop the Savannah River Port. The issue is now in the hands of Congress (what could go wrong?).
    a.      SC High Court Deals Savannah Port Project Blow
     b.      Attorneys try to settle Savannah dredging suit
     c.      Savannah River Sellout Overturned...For Now

 
2)      Statutory changes re: citizen suits – The Legislature moved quickly to squash the ramifications of a S.C. Supreme Court decision which had approved the use of “citizen suits” to enforce violations of the State’s Pollution Control Act when DHEC failed to act.
     a.      See 2012 S.C. Acts 198, which changed 48-1-250 -  effective June 6, 2012: Click here.
     b.      A Compromise Bill on Environmental Lawsuits - Who Wins?

 
3)      $2.3M verdict against the Lee County Landfill  company – one of the largest verdicts ever in a nuisance suits basely solely on odor
     a.      Stench costly for landfill
 
4)      Chesterfield lawsuit claims chemicals used on peach orchards in the 1970s have contaminated the groundwater with carcinogens; seeks $450M in damages
     a.      Chemicals banned in the 1970s lead to $450M suit today
 
5)      Pelion Sewage Dump – a long-running battle between residents, DHEC, and the operator of a sewage dump with significant nitrate contamination has led to an agreement to stop operating and lawsuits by the residents
     a.      Pelion family sues sewage dump over contaminated water
     b.      Closing of sewage dump raises long-term questions
     c.      The Mess in Pelion

 (Roy Shelley)

Top 5 Stories - North Carolina
1)      Fracking debate – Tensions continue to run high as a North Carolina DENR panel continues to review possible regulations that would open the door to “fracking.”
     a.      Fracking protesters arrested outside meeting
     b.      North Carolina governor rejects fracking law
     c.      Gov. Perdue vetoes state fracking bill
     d.      American towns fight back against fracking

 
2)      Groundwater contaminated with carcinogens in Wake Forest area -
     a.      Contaminated well water near Wake Forest was discovered in 2005
     b.      NBC-17 Investigates: Source of water contamination at Mangum Estates

 
3)      The State tries to outlaw climate change – new law bans the use of sea rise predictions in state coastal policy decisions
     a.      North Carolina Bans Latest Science Rising Saw Level
     b.      Conservatives announce new sea level rise response
     c.       What about the value of pi? Click here

 
4)      Deadly E. coli outbreak kills toddler and sickens over 100 others - allegedly linked to the Cleveland Co. Fair
     a.      Ranch disputes E. coli claims
     b.      Families Sue NC County Fair Over E. coli Outbreak

 
5)      CTS Superfund Site in Asheville – a bitter, long-running fight over contamination that has allegedly caused dozens of area residents to develop life-threatening diseases
     a.      CTS of Asheville site
     b.      Council may approve city water for residents near CTS site
     c.      Off the chart: UNCA prof tracks CTS motherlode
 

As with all “Top 5” lists, the selection criteria are subjective and based upon random factors.  Feel free to contact us to suggest your own top stories so that we can investigate & perhaps post a blurb about them.
(Roy Shelley)
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T. McRoy Shelley
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ATTENTION ADJUSTERS!
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