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Supreme Court takes ethanol plant emissions suit

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The Indiana Supreme Court will hear the state’s appeal of a Court of Appeals ruling placing stricter limits on emissions from ethanol plants.

Justices granted transfer in Natural Resources Defense Council v. POET Biorefining-Cloverdale LLC et al., 49A02-1205-MI-423.

The Court of Appeals ruled for the NRDC, holding that Indiana could not permit ethanol plants to operate in a category allowing annual emissions of up to 250 tons of airborne pollutants. The plants instead should be in a category allowing up to 100 tons, the court held.

Judge Melissa May wrote the state could not properly exclude ethanol plants from the category of “chemical process plants,” without approval of the Environmental Protection Agency, and therefore, the stricter limit applied.

The Supreme Court also will hear an appeal in a worker’s compensation case that divided the Court of Appeals, Jason Young v. Hood’s Gardens, Inc., 29A02-1303-PL-298.  

The Court of Appeals found that Young, who suffered injuries while working for a tree service which left him quadriplegic, could not pursue secondary liability against Hood’s Gardens Inc. because the value of the work performed was less than $1,000. Judge James Kirsch dissented, because the value of the wood that the contractor was allowed to keep wasn’t factored into the $600 Hood’s paid to have a hickory tree removed.

The court also granted transfer last week in the case of a blogger convicted of intimidating a judge. Justices affirmed convictions Tuesday in Daniel Brewington v. State of Indiana, 15S01-1405-CR-309.

Supreme Court transfer dispositions may be viewed here.


 

 

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