Environmental Issues

Decades-long fight over landfill quietly concludes

March 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
A 37-year fight over a planned solid waste landfill in Anderson ended recently, concluding one of the longest environmental battles in state history. Only a few loads of trash were ever dumped at the Mallard Lake Landfill, but fortunes were spent litigating it.
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Indiana regulators revoke coal-gasification plant's permit

March 10, 2015
 Associated Press
State regulators have revoked an air permit for a proposed $2.8 billion coal-gasification plant in southwestern Indiana at the request of the plant's developer.
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Lawsuit over Covanta recycling center plan set for hearing

March 6, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
A lawsuit prompted by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s controversial recycling-plant deal is set for hearing March 10.
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State appeals ruling blocking fenced hunting preserve rules

March 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office is appealing a court ruling that state wildlife officials overstepped their authority in trying to shut down Indiana’s high-fenced deer-hunting preserves.
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7th Circuit affirms Michigan law applies to Visteon pollution claims

January 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal court in Indianapolis properly dismissed a lawsuit Visteon Corp. filed against its insurer seeking to recover damages resulting from toxic pollution at its former Connersville plant that also contaminated neighboring properties.
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Prosecutor in dust-up over asbestos threat in office

January 13, 2015
 Associated Press
Like the sands of time, dust regularly falls on offices of the Lake County prosecutor, who hopes it isn't laced with asbestos.
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Tennessee company sues Tippecanoe County over proposed quarry

January 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A Tennessee company has sued officials in Tippecanoe County, saying they didn't have the authority to pass an ordinance meant to block a proposed limestone quarry project along the Wabash River.
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Owner can seek separate claim for property damage coverage

December 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite having agreed to pay $1.7 million, an insurance company may have to provide more money to satisfy a claim from the owner of a contaminated property.
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Divided appeals panel reverses judgment against Thomson

December 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court improperly ruled in favor of an insurer on Thomson Inc.’s claims for the cleanup of toxic chemicals at two consumer electronics manufacturing sites.
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Appeal aims to block planned 4,000-hog facility

November 11, 2014
 Associated Press
A group of homeowners wants a county judge to block a southern Indiana farmer from being allowed to build a facility that would house 4,000 hogs.
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Smith: What to do when the EPA sends an Information Request

October 8, 2014
Even the best companies occasionally attract the attention of regulators. Recently, the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will be focusing on addressing noncompliance issues and vigorous enforcement. EPA commonly investigates compliance and potential enforcement with an “Information Request.”
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Court erred in ordering insurer to pay costs of cleanup

September 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court misinterpreted a previous ruling involving an insurance coverage dispute for environmental cleanup costs, and as such, erred when it ordered the insurer to pay costs that were incurred as a result of a settlement, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Second suit filed over Wal-Mart PCB contamination

September 25, 2014
IL Staff
A second lawsuit has been filed as a result of toxic contamination discovered at an Indianapolis Wal-Mart return center.
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Neighbors file suit to block 2,000-hog facility

September 22, 2014
 Associated Press
A central Indiana farmer faces a lawsuit from neighbors who want to block plans for a facility where some 2,000 hogs would be raised.
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Issues of material fact allow Environmental Legal Actions claim to proceed

September 19, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals is allowing a claim under Indiana’s Environmental Legal Actions statute to move forward, ruling there are many questions for the lower court to examine about the former landlord’s role in the contamination of the soil.
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Lawsuit filed against Wal-Mart after PCB found at Indy facility

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A proposed class-action lawsuit alleges Wal-Mart and its corporate entities were negligent after PCB was found at a returns facility located in Indianapolis.
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Omitted information in notice does not bar entry of summary judgment

September 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Failure in a notice of dissolution to describe information that must be included in a claim filed against the company does not make the notice invalid, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. Since the notice was valid, a convenience store owner’s lawsuit is time-barred. 
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State can exclude fuel ethanol plants from ‘chemical process plant’ classification

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the decision by state environmental agencies to no longer consider fuel ethanol plants to be a “chemical process plant” under the Clean Air Act. By removing fuel ethanol plants from this classification, those plants may not be subject to stricter regulations.
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7th Circuit declines to overturn mine’s fine for safety violation

August 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the petition for judicial review filed by a company that runs a southern Indiana mine, finding sufficient evidence supports fining the company for violating federal regulation requiring a protective mound along an elevated roadway.
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Appellate panel upholds dismissal in bridge case

August 12, 2014
 Associated Press
The dismissal of a lawsuit over the $2.3 billion Ohio River bridges under construction at Louisville has been upheld.
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Court clarifies ‘known claim’ exclusion applies in insurance coverage dispute

August 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted rehearing to a case involving a dispute over coverage for environmental contamination and found that the "known claim” exclusion applies, not the known loss doctrine.
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Mom can’t receive damages based on daughter’s injuries caused by mold

July 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a compensatory damage award of $20,000 to the parents of an adult daughter who was sickened by mold growing in her apartment after finding the facts of the case don’t support the amount awarded.
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COA clarifies and affirms original opinion in environmental cleanup case

July 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted the request of the city of Indianapolis and the Department of Environmental Management to take another look at its opinion issued in April that allowed businesses that neighbored a contaminated property to intervene in the cleanup case. But the judges affirmed the court’s original decision in all respects.
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COA: Dispute with camp should be heard in White County

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The YMCA Camp Tecumseh’s quest to stay a zoning decision that allows a confined feeding operation to set up shop next to the camp’s property should be heard in White County, not Carroll County where the camp is located, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Judge gives final OK of recycling settlement

June 16, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge has given his final approval to a class-action settlement calling for the operators of a northern Indiana wood-recycling plant to clean up and shutter the site within five years.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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