State AG Database – Natural Resources

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The following is a list of major actions taken by state attorneys general to address natural resource damages and to ensure that natural resource laws are fully implemented and enforced:

Lawsuits v. Federal Government

Michigan v. United States Army Corps of Engineers (2014): Multi-state lawsuit to compel the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to take action to prevent Asian carp from crossing from the Mississippi River Basin into the Great Lakes.

Lawsuits v. Other Public Entities

Illinois Coal Mine Permitting Process Reforms (2014): Illinois AG sued and entered into settlement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requiring DNR to improve transparency and public participation in the coal permitting process.

Lawsuits v. Private Actors

New Jersey v. Centennial Land & Development Corp. (2016): New Jersey AG represented New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in action against developer, holding company for developer, and company’s owner seeking to enforce prior directives to effect repairs and maintenance as required by the Safe Dam Act.

Settlement, Deepwater Horizon Lawsuit (2016): Multi-state consent degree settling civil claims between gulf states and BP for civil penalties and damages to natural resources.

Tennessee v. Chevron (Davidson Cty. Cir. Ct., 2015): Tennessee AG filed lawsuit against Chevron alleging that the company illegally used taxpayer funds to pay for spill clean-up costs.

Kalamazoo River Oil Spill (2015): Michigan AG pursued enforcement action against Enbridge Energy in response to their actions which caused over 1 million gallons of heavy crude oil to spill into the Kalamazoo River.

Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd. (2006): Washington State intervened and multiple states submitted Amicus Briefs in lawsuit filed by Native American tribe against Canadian smelting company for polluting the Columbia River and Lake Roosevelt.

Criminal Cases

Criminal Investigation of the Refugio Oil Spill (2016): California AG indicted Plains All American Pipeline on criminal charges resulting from the Refugio Oil Spill.

Administrative Proceedings

Opposition to St. Clair River Pipelines (2016): Michigan AG submitted letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to deny the permit application for the St. Clair River oil pipelines.

Other Interventions

Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force (2014): Michigan AG convened the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force to investigate the safety of the Straits pipelines and other pipelines in the state.