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Article Title

Environmental Law

Publication Date

7-2021

Document Type

Survey Article

Abstract

In 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that a provision of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) that tolled statutes of limitation in state law claims did not apply to a claim brought under the Price-Anderson Act (PAA), providing an exclusive federal cause of action for harm resulting from exposure to radioactive materials, even though the PAA “borrows” all substantive law governing liability, including a relevant statute of limitation, from the law of the state where the harm occurred. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia found that an owner of land from which an unpermitted discharge of dredged or fill material had occurred in violation of § 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) could not be liable under the CWA for the discharge where the owner played no active role in the discharge. The court also decided that the diligent prosecution provision of the CWA is a non-jurisdictional limitation on CWA citizen suits that may be raised by a defendant in a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Finally, the court granted motions for partial judgment on the pleadings to defendants in two cases challenging the Army Corps of Engineers’ updated Master Manual, which governs its operation of its reservoirs in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin and which allocates more water from Lake Lanier in North Georgia to the water-supply needs of metro Atlanta.

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