Justia Corporate Compliance Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Environmental Law
United States v. Maury
Atlantic, a New Jersey pipe foundry, and four of its managers were convicted of conspiring to commit environmental pollution and worker safety violations, attempting to cover up or impede federal investigation of those violations, and violations of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251) and the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7413(c)). Defendants illegally pumped contaminated water into storm drains that drained into the Delaware River; unlawfully burned 50-gallon drums of paint waste in a cupola and emitted the fumes into the air; and attempted to cover up work-related accidents at its facility, one of which resulted in the death of an employee who was run-over by a forklift. The district court imposed sentences of 70, 41, 30 and six months’ imprisonment on the managers and applied the Alternative Fines Act, 18 U.S.C. 3571(c)(1), rather than the CWA and CAA, and fined Atlantic the maximum penalty of $500,000 per violation on conspiracy, four counts of obstruction, eight CWA counts, and one CAA count for a total fine of $8 million. It also sentenced Atlantic to 4 years’ probation, with a court-ordered monitor to ensure regulatory compliance. The Third Circuit affirmed, rejecting challenges to evidentiary rulings, jury instructions, and the sentences. View "United States v. Maury" on Justia Law
Comm’r of Envtl. Prot. v. State Five Indus. Park, Inc.
Defendants, State Five Industrial Park and Jean Farricielli, appealed from a trial court judgment holding them liable, after invoking both reverse and traditional veil piercing principles, for a $3.8 million judgment rendered against Jean's husband, Joseph Farricielli, and five corporations that he owned and/or controlled, in an environmental enforcement action brought by Plaintiffs, the commissioner of environmental protection, the town of Hamden, and the town's zoning enforcement officer. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment, holding that the facts that were proven in this case did not warrant reverse veil piercing, and judgment on Plaintiffs' veil piercing claims should be rendered in favor of Defendants.View "Comm'r of Envtl. Prot. v. State Five Indus. Park, Inc." on Justia Law
Brod, et al. v. Omya, Inc.
Plaintiffs appealed from a judgment of the district court vacating summary judgment for defendants where plaintiffs alleged that defendants, operator of a calcium carbonate mineral processing facility, were liable for creating an "imminent and substantial endangerment" within the meaning of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA), 42 U.S.C. 6901-92. Liability was predicated upon a finding that aminoethylethanolamine (AEEA) was present in defendants' waste. The court held that plaintiffs' claim that AEEA presented an imminent and substantial endangerment in violation of the RCRA was properly dismissed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)96) where plaintiffs' failure to specify arsenic in their notice of intent to sue (NOI) supported the district court's dismissal of the endangerment claim and the open dumping claim. The court held that the dismissal of the action would not prohibit plaintiffs from again giving notice to defendants and filing its suit in compliance with RCRA's notice and delay requirements upon future discovery of potential violations of the federal environmental laws. Accordingly, the judgment was affirmed. View "Brod, et al. v. Omya, Inc." on Justia Law