Justia Connecticut Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Energy, Oil & Gas Law
Burton v. Department of Environmental Protection
In this action brought under the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act of 1971 (CEPA), Conn. Gen. Stat. 22a-14 et seq., seeking an injunction requiring a nuclear power plant in Waterford to convert to a closed-cycle cooling system, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the trial court in favor of Defendants, holding that there was no error.Plaintiff sued the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and the owner and operator of the power plant, claiming that a previous permit approval proceeding was inadequate to protect the rights recognized by CEPA and that the current operation of the power plant would result in unreasonable pollution. The trial court granted Defendants' motions to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiff could not prevail on her claim that the administrative proceeding was inadequate; and (2) this Court declined to review Plaintiff's claim that she established that unreasonable pollution would result from the power plant's operation as permitted. View "Burton v. Department of Environmental Protection" on Justia Law
Posted in: Energy, Oil & Gas Law
Burton v. Commissioner of Environmental Protection
Plaintiff filed a complaint against the Commissioner of Environmental Protection (Commissioner) and Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. (Dominion) alleging that the operation of the Millstone Nuclear Power Station owned and operated by Dominion was causing unreasonable pollution of the state’s waters in violation of the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act of 1971. The trial court dismissed the complaint on the ground that Plaintiff lacked standing. The Supreme Court reversed, concluding that Plaintiff had standing to bring her action under Conn. Gen. Stat. 22a-16. The Court ordered the trial court to conduct a hearing to determine whether the pending administrative permit renewal proceeding for the nuclear power station’s operation was inadequate to protect the rights recognized by the Act. The administrative proceeding then terminated when the Commissioner issued a renewal permit for Millstone. The trial court granted Defendants’ motions to dismiss, concluding that Plaintiff’s action was moot. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Plaintiff’s claims were not moot because a determination that the renewal proceeding was inadequate to protect the rights recognized under the Act could result in the invalidation of the permit under which Millstone is currently operating. View "Burton v. Commissioner of Environmental Protection" on Justia Law
FairwindCT, Inc. v. Conn. Siting Council
BNE Energy, Inc. submitted two petitions for declaratory rulings seeking the Connecticut Siting Council’s approval for the construction and operation of three electric generating wind turbines on two separate properties in the town of Colebrook. Plaintiffs intervened in the proceedings. The Council approved the petitions with conditions, and Plaintiffs appealed. The trial court dismissed Plaintiffs’ appeals. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not err in concluding that the Council (1) had jurisdiction over BNE’s petitions; (2) was authorized to attach conditions to its approval of the petitions; (3) was authorized to approve the petitions even though it had not determined that the proposed projects comply with state noise law; (4) properly approved of shorter hub heights for one of the projects; and (5) did not deprive Plaintiffs of their right to fundamental fairness during the hearings on the petitions. View "FairwindCT, Inc. v. Conn. Siting Council" on Justia Law
Burton v. Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc.
Pro se Plaintiff-Appellant Burton sought an injunction against Defendant-Appellee Dominion Nuclear to halt operation of a power plant, claiming that the plant would cause unreasonable radioactive pollution to Long Island Sound and to an estuary located near her property. Plaintiff also filed an ex parte application for a temporary restraining order to stop Defendant from using a stretch power uprate increase unless Defendant could do so without an increase of radioactive discharge. The Court affirmed the lower court's decision to dismiss Plaintiff's case on grounds that she lacked standing under state environmental protection laws, common law nuisance principles, and federal preemption. Holding that Plaintiff's ex parte application "does not contain allegations of substantive violations giving rise to unreasonable pollutionâ¦ in excess of that permitted under the regulatory scheme," the Court upheld the lower courts's decision to dismiss this claim for lack of standing.