Jackson Kelly PLLC

Energy and Environment Monitor


U.S. Liable Under CERCLA for Releases on Unpatented Mining Claims

Any statement about the breadth of liability imposed by CERCLA, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, almost always seems to be an understatement. CERCLA makes the owner of property contaminated with hazardous substances or a person who arranges for the disposal of hazardous substances strictly liable for subsequent clean-up costs. Such owners or…

California Plaintiffs Seek to Address Climate Change Via State Tort Suits

On July 17, 2017, the governments of California’s Marin and San Meteo counties, as well as the city of Imperial Beach, filed three separate complaints in California Superior Court in their respective counties against 37 oil, gas, and coal companies. We have previously written about similar suits filed by citizen groups, states, and cities in federal court here.

Although most of these suits…

How the Congressional Review Act (CRA) Allows Congress to Undo Executive Branch Regulations

The Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) allows Congress to disapprove so-called “midnight” rules of an outgoing administration. But, disapprovals require congressional approvals and are subject to presidential vetoes—making them of limited utility where a rule was issued by an agency of a current president.  Thus, while Congress voted to disapprove several rules under the Obama administration,…


My colleagues and I have the privilege of working with coal operators every day in the places where coal is mined in this country. From coal basins in Appalachia to Illinois to the Powder River Basin, we have had the pleasure of helping those who mine the coal that powers our homes and makes our steel.

In recent years, the challenges have been numerous, to put it mildly. Undoubtedly, many of those…

Sierra Club Sues West Virginia Over Mine Reclamation Sites (Again)

The Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign has generated another suit against West Virginia.

The Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) requires coal operators to reclaim mine sites after mining. To insure that reclamation occurs, operators must post reclamation bonds. West Virginia and many other states have an alternative bonding system that requires operators to both post a…


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