1 Midwest Suspension and Brake supplied rebuilt brake shoes for
1. Midwest Suspension and Brake supplied rebuilt brake shoes for heavy- duty trucks. During an EPA inspection, numerous emissions of asbestos were documented, and detectable amounts of asbestos were found on the shop floor. The EPA then issued a “finding” that the company had violated the Clean Air Act by releasing hazardous air pollutants. The EPA issued an administrative order (AO) requiring that (1) wastes fall into a sturdy cardboard box, instead of falling to the floor; (2) the box be securely closed and wrapped so that it would not leak when discarded; and (3) the box bear a warning label. The AO also required that the floor be vacuumed, not swept, and that the vacuum residue be tightly sealed before disposal. Finally, the AO mandated that asbestos waste be separately disposed of, without compacting, at a landfill. Midwest agreed to comply with the Clean Air Act and the AO.
Later EPA inspections found that the conditions at the Midwest facility had not been materially corrected. Asbestos-containing materials were being dropped on the shop floor, and the floor was being broom cleaned rather than vacuumed. Because Midwest had failed to correct the problems, the EPA filed suit against it in federal court, seeking injunctive relief as well as civil penalties of up to $ 25,000 per day for each violation. The federal district court found that Midwest had violated the Clean Air Act and ordered it to pay a $ 50,000 civil penalty. Midwest appealed, contending, among other things, that it did not fall under the Clean Air Act. Should Midwest be bound by the dictates of the Clean Air Act?
2. Bronx Reptiles, Inc. imported live animals, including reptiles, into the country approximately twice per week. Edelman, the owner, knew of the International Air Transport Association guidelines for importing wildlife—how specific species should be shipped and the container requirements. Yet over the years, his company has been cited, and civil fines had been paid for numerous violations. Dead animals included iguanas and boa constrictors from Colombia and small mammals from Egypt. When frogs from the Solomon Islands were found dead, Bronx Reptiles Inc. was convicted of a misdemeanor for violating a statute that made it illegal to “knowingly caus(e) a ‘wild animal’ to be transported to the U. S. under inhumane or unhealthful conditions.” Edelman countered that because frogs were reptiles, and not wild animals, they were not covered by the statute. The judge ruled that frogs are, in fact, amphibians and, in any event, fall within the statutory proscription. Given Edelman’s belief that the statute did not apply to frogs, is it possible to prove that Edelman “knowingly” caused the inhumane conditions?
3. The Forest Service planned extensive timber cutting in a part of the Green Mountain National Forest but did not prepare an environmental impact statement. A coalition of conservation organizations and environmentalists, believing that the action would have potential negative impact on black bears, whose habitat would be disturbed, and endanger the Neotropical bird population, filed a lawsuit to compel the Forest Service to prepare the EIS. The district court found that the Forest Service had failed to consider all relevant factors when determining the environmental significance of its proposed action and was directed to prepare a site-specific EIS and enjoined from further timber harvesting and road building until completion of the EIS. Is it likely that the court will rule in favor of the coalition?
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