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Survey Article


In 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, addressing an issue of first impression, rejected the district court's use of a Lone Pine case-management order as a means of testing the sufficiency of the plaintiffs' pleadings in a state law environmental torts case. The court also interpreted Florida law to mean that plaintiffs are not required to allege that groundwater contamination exceeded regulatory maximum contaminant levels for drinking water to maintain their claims and that they could recover "stigma" damages to their property without alleging actual contamination. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, also in a matter of first impression, concluded that claims brought under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 are subject to a six-year limitation period pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act. Finally, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama concluded that, for standing purposes, the "zone of interest" protected by section 404 of the Clean Water Act included matters beyond loss of jurisdictional waters, including water quality and aesthetic and recreational values.