Clinic Current Public Docket

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To give you some sense of the variety of projects the Clinic handles, here is the current list of matters in which the Clinic has publicly appeared on behalf of one or more Clinic clients:

 

WIDENER SCHOOL OF LAW’S ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES LAW CLINIC

 PENDING PUBLIC DOCKET – Second Quarter 2021

Administrative Proceedings

Lynda Williams v. DEP, No. 2018-067-C Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board) – Appeal of NPDES Permit issued for 8-house subdivision on grounds of failure to comply with regulatory requirements re riparian forest buffers.  3-day evidentiary hearing held in February 2021.  Post-hearing briefing complete.  Status:  Awaiting Decision.

Keep Our Wells Clean et al. v. DNREC, Nos. 2020-04 and 2021-03 (Delaware Environmental Appeals Board) – Two separate appeals of operating permits granted to Artesian Wastewater Management, Inc. (2020-04) and Allen Harim Foods, LLC (2021-03) for Onlot Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems in which partially treated wastewater from Allen Harim’s chicken processing operation in Harbeson, DE would be sent to Artesian for spray irrigation on a number of fields near Milton, DE.  Grounds for challenge relate to failure to comply with numerous regulatory requirements.  Status:  Hearing currently set for September 2021.

Delaware Audubon v. DNREC, No. 2017-01 (Delaware Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board) – Challenge to Coastal Zone Act permit authorizing Delaware City Refinery Co. approval for the transfer of ethanol from the Delaware City refinery to other refineries.  After dismissal for lack of standing, the Superior Court reversed and remanded, and after remand, the Board found standing.  Status:  Awaiting hearing on merits.

Recent Results

Attorney General Opinion No. No. 2021-IB12 (May 12, 2021) –  Opinion of DE Attorney General Office in connection with a challenge under Delaware FOIA to DE Department of Agriculture’s refusal to produce certain documents in response to FOIA requests.  Violation of FOIA found.

Food & Water Watch v. DEP, 2021 WL 1344772 (Pa. Cmwlth. April 12, 2021) – Decision in cross appeals from final decision of PA Environmental Hearing Board that found Clinic client had standing but rejected challenge that nutrient trading provisions of NPDES permit violated Clean Water Act.  Commonwealth Court affirmed EHB ruling in both aspects.

Keep Our Wells Clean et al. v. DNREC, 243 A.3d 441 (Del. 2021) – Decision in appeal of construction permit issued to Artesian Wastewater Management for spray irrigation facility (related to pending challenge listed above).  Original appeal challenged permit on grounds of failure to perform Hydrogeological Suitability Report (HSR) and Surface Water Assessment Report (SWAR) required under 2014 Regulations for amendment to permit originally issued in 2013.  Decision affirmed Environmental Appeals Board and Superior Court rejection of appeal, though on different grounds. 

In addition, although not litigation, the Clinic recently authored (thanks to a generous grant from the Inland Bays Foundation) a Citizens Guide to Environmental Advocacy in Delaware, a 206-page guide on how to be an effective citizen advocate.  The Clinic is currently working on an update that will include guidance on zoning and land use issues.

 

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