Presentation on theme: "DENR Case Update John C. Evans Assistant Attorney General NCDOJ."— Presentation transcript:
DENR Case Update John C. Evans Assistant Attorney General NCDOJ
Air Quality United States v. Duke Energy 411 F.3d 539 (4 th Cir. 2005) Changes made to coal-fired utility boilers Link to nuclear… The issue was whether those changes subjected the boilers to New Source Review State-of-the-art air pollution controls BACT or LAER Predict Impacts from the source
Air Quality NSR Applicability Requires an emissions increase Regulation had historically measured the increase in annual emissions NC Federal Middle Dist. Court reads the regulations to require an initial hourly increase Regulations Early Policy
Air Quality 4 th Cir. (includes NC) Upheld the NC Middle Dist. Court Decision Rational was different Clean Air Act definition of modification was the same for NSR as for NSPS program Appeal to US Supreme Court by environmental groups... US did not appeal.
Air Quality Take Home Hourly test for all major sources in NC (and other 4 th Cir. States) Still use the annual test as well. All other states use just an annual test. Policy [Check your policies before taking enforcement and be sure to distinguish] Early policy – Agency was inconsistent with early policy.
NSR Applicability Rule 12/31/02 Rule Actual Emissions Increase Using Projections Plantwide Applicability Limit Clean Unit Exemptions Pollution Control Project Exemptions
NSR Applicability New York v. EPA Challenged the new rule 2005 Court upheld most of the reform package but did strike down Clean Units and Pollution Control Projects
NSR Applicability What is the impact of New York v. EPA? Limited because EMC approved the rule changes but… Non-Attainment Rules went into effect Attainment Rules (PSD) have not gone into effect
Equipment Replacement Rule EPA proposed the Equipment Replacement Rule to help provide clarity (i.e. a bright line test) on the issue of what changes trigger NSR Exempt if the change meets 3 conditions Replacing component (not the whole thing) Less than 20% of the replacement cost Does not change the basic design
Equipment Replacement Rule DC Cir. Court stayed the rule Oral Arguments heard on 8 February 06 Not in effect in NC Still using the multi-factor test to determine routine maintenance. No current plans to adopt... yet
M&W Clearing 614 S.E.2d 568 (2005) Open burning --- however the size and scope was unusual Nine large piles less than 1000 ft from building Notice of Violation Civil Penalty Assessment of $36,000 What about the $10,000 per day?
M&W Clearing State prevailed at OAH State prevailed in Superior Ct State prevailed in NC Court of Appeals BUT – the decision was 2:1 Appeal to NC Supreme Court
M&W Clearing Issues Factual Question Nine Piles One Violation? Nine Violations? Procedural Issue Notice of Violation stated one violation Past Practice provided that scattered piles was one violation
M&W Clearing Take Home Notice of Violation must be carefully drafted Multiple violations – continuing violations Re-issue the NOV if necessary to correct clarified issues Procedures (written) Past Action Policy Memos – DAQ has an enforcement tree Follow them, Update Them Note in your assessment if it is not covered
Public Records Why Do You Care? Enforcement Cases Appealed Attorney asks you to prepare a document – a statement – a report Communication Written Oral
Attorney Privilege McCormick (2004) Held that there was not an attorney work product privilege for city attorneys Work Product Thoughts and impressions of attorney Work prepared by the agency at the direction of the attorney
Attorney Privilege Legislative Response - Public Records Law Amended Provides protection for Trial Preparation Material Applies to administrative proceedings Applies to issues where there is a threat of litigation Lessons Identify covered documents Notify Attorney if threatened litigation
Attorney Privilege Attorney Client Communications Different than work product Protected …. Not totally Communications From Attorney Communications To Attorney? Oral Communications
Inspections Getting Into a Site While Staying Out of Trouble DENR Enforcement Training, June 2005 Issues: Warrant Consent Plain View
Luxury Wheels Colorado case – Not NC but instructive Facts Chrome plating company Company discharged to city sewer Permits Allowed to enter the premises Permit included on on-property sampling box
Luxury Wheels City regulators took samples During the day (open) At night (covert) Samples at night were higher? Sampling taken over the course of about a year revealed numerous violations of their permit limits.
Luxury Wheels 4 th Amendment - unreasonable search and seizure if there is an expectation of privacy Wastewater flowing into manhole – no expectation of privacy Trash on the side of the road The manhole wasnt accessible to general public – however once the wastewater gets into the pipe without any possibility of retrieval – no expectation of privacy. WARNING – These decisions are fact specific. If you have ANY doubt... STOP
Luxury Wheels CONSENT Warrantless search OK if consent if granted. Government argued that the source consented to the search by accepting the permit with the sampling box permit condition Company says they were forced to accept the condition Court – Close Call Company had choice of installing more expensive monitoring equipment.
Luxury Wheels Closely Regulated Another exemption to the warrant requirement Gas Stations in Wyoming Vehicle Dismantlers in New York Fishing in North Carolina What about environmental regulation?
Luxury Wheels I am unaware of any precedent for declaring that a business is subject to warrantless searches as closely regulated solely because it is subject to general purpose environmental laws.
Luxury Wheels Open Fields Another exception to the warrant requirement … however Does not apply to removing objects such as samples Particularly in this case were the waste water was not visible.
Luxury Wheels Take Home Training (review manual, ask for agency specific training, etc…) CAUTION b/c exemptions (open fields, expectation of privacy, closely regulated) are very fact specific Consent is the best - if you ask and dont get consent DO NOT ENTER Lost evidence Personal Liability (Trespass, Constitutional Claims)
Supplemental Environmental Projects NC School Board v. Moore (2005) Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPS) are subject to the NC Constitutional requirement that penalties paid to NC agencies go to school boards SEPS are not voluntary payments Feds not bounds by this requirement so sometimes it may be advantageous to work with the Feds on enforcement.
Water Resources Two Supreme Court Cases North Dakota v. US Corps of Engineers U.S. v. Rapanos No decisions Argued this term Far-reaching impacts
North Dakota v. US Corps of Engineers N.D. designated a reservoir as a fishery and set Clean Water Act standards under CWA Section 303 Corps wanted to release water from the reservoir to manage navigable waters Release would lower the water levels would adversely impact the fishery State filed action to prevent the release
N.D. v. US Corps of Engineers Corps said that they did not have meet the CWA standard and they claimed sovereign immunity. Despite the fact there were other options available to the Corps to manage downstream navigation Broad discretion to control navigable waters overrides States environmental laws This case is set to argued this spring and the results will have a significant impact on enforcing CWA standards against the US Corps.
US v. Rapanos Rapanos asked the state to inspect his property to see if he needed a permit prior to filling the property for a shopping center The state said it was probably a wetland and he should hire a consultant The consultant confirmed his belief that the parcel was a wetland Rapanos disagreed and proceeded with the project
US v. Rapanos Criminal and civil charges were brought against Rapanos Criminal Charges Prison Time? (See Judges thoughts on this) Ultimately, after several appeals and delays Rapanos was found criminally liable
US v. Rapanos Issue: Extent of navigable water Are non-navigable waters not physically adjacent to a traditional navigable water subject to regulation? US Supreme Court has attempted to clarify this issue twice in the past
US v. Rapanos Riverside Bayview 1985 To protect pollution at its source the CWA was to be read broadly Wetlands adjacent to lakes, rivers, streams may function as integral parts of the whole Adjacent wetland can be subject to regulation SWANNC 2002 Limited broad holding in Riverside Must have significant nexus between wetlands and navigable water
Rapanos Majority Including 4 th Cir (NC) No direct abutment requirement Hydrological connection is enough Minority 5 th Cir. Requires that non- navigable water directly abut the navigable water to be subject to CWA
Rapanos Another Supreme Court interpretation of the extent to which the federal CWA has jurisdiction Note: NC has an isolated wetland program that was developed in response to the SCANNC decision of 2001.
Beach Access Case Fabrikant et. al., v. Currituck County 1998 case just ended Property owners were claiming title to the area between the wet sand and the dunes Keep the public off the beach Court dismissed this claim
This presentation has not been reviewed by and does not represent the official position of the NC DOJ. The summaries and commentary expressed herein are solely those of the author.
John C. Evans Assistant Attorney General NCDOJ (919)