Limiting Localized Application Of RCRA Citizen Suits

Law360, New York (March 13, 2012, 1:31 PM EDT) -- A federal district court judge in Nevada has suggested that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution bars application of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to a localized plume of contaminated groundwater.

The case, Voggenthaler v. Maryland Square LLC, presents a new twist on the constitutionality of the citizen suit provision of the RCRA, which had not previously been under serious dispute. In addition, the court's opinion could assist companies facing lawsuits requiring the cleanup of contaminated sites.

The citizen suit provision of RCRA, 42 U.S.C. § 6972(a)(1)(B), permits private citizens to seek injunctive relief against any person "who...

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