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Kanner & Whiteley and CLF defeat ExxonMobil’s Motion to Dismiss Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Claims for Lack of Standing

On September 12, Kanner & Whiteley and CLF defeated ExxonMobil’s effort to dismiss a citizen suit alleging repeated and ongoing violations of the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). The court agreed that CLF’s members who live and recreate in the area of the Mystic and Island End rivers had demonstrated the existence of an injury in fact, a causal connection to ExxonMobil’s acts and omissions as well as the redressability of the harm sufficient to bring claims to enforce the discharge limitations and other conditions in the Terminal’s discharge permit, including a claim that the conditions at the terminal have created an imminent and substantial risk of harm to its neighbors. The Court granted ExxonMobil’s motion in part, finding that Plaintiffs’ claims must be focused on the conditions at the Terminal itself, including increased precipitation, flooding, sea level rise and storm surge, that have created the near-term risks of which CLF complains as opposed to the general question regarding the cause of such events and their long-term implications. Plaintiffs have been granted leave to amend their Complaint to so focus on the facts at issue.

U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf found that CLF does in fact have standing to sue and denied ExxonMobil’s motion. CLF is currently amending its Complaint to conform to the Court’s direction.

You can read more about the Court’s Order here.

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