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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ind. Decisions - One Indiana 7th Circuit decision today; and an environmental decision of note

In U.S. v. Deloney (ND Ind., Judge Lozano), a 7-page opinion, Judge Bauer writes:

In 2007, Dwight D. Deloney pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to deliver crack cocaine and was sentenced to 87 months’ imprisonment. On appeal, Deloney claims that the sentence was unreasonable; he argues that the district court failed to give meaningful consideration to the statutory sentencing factors and, moreover, should have sentenced him according to the then-impending amendment to the Sentencing Guidelines, which later reduced the penalties for most crack cocaine offenses. We affirm.

The environmental law decision is U.S. v. Apex Oil, out of Illinois, a 12-page opinion by Judge Posner that begins:

Apex Oil Company appeals from the grant of an injunction, at the behest of the Environmental Protection Agency and on the authority of 42 U.S.C. § 6973 (a part of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, 42 U.S.C. §§ 6901 et seq.), that requires Apex to clean up a contaminated site in Hartford, Illinois. In a 178-page opinion following a 17-day bench trial, the district judge made findings that millions of gallons of oil, composing a “hydrocarbon plume” trapped not far underground, are contaminating groundwater and emitting fumes that rise to the surface and enter houses in Hartford and in both respects are creating hazards to health and the environment. The judge deemed it Apex’s legal responsibility to abate this nuisance because the plume was created by an oil refinery owned by a corporate predecessor of Apex. Apex challenges these findings and conclusion, but the challenge has no possible merit.

The principal question presented by the appeal is unrelated to the district judge’s findings and conclusions; it is whether the government’s claim to an injunction was discharged in bankruptcy and therefore cannot be renewed in a subsequent lawsuit—this suit.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 25, 2009 12:05 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions