The Court determined the decision of the Minister for Planning's to approve a coal mine extension project should be granted, but imposed extensive additional conditions on the approval based upon a precautionary approach. These additional conditions provide for more certain conservation of threatened species and biological diversity, protection of water quality, control of particulate emissions, mitigation of noise generated by the mine and noise and dust generated by the transportation of coal by train.
Complex litigation seeking remediation of environmental damages from large-scale coal mining in which Brazil's Superior Court of Justice held the mining companies strictly liable and the federal government jointly liable with a duty to make the companies pay for remediation while concluding that the owners and managers of the companies have supplemental liability if the companies can't fulfill duty to remedy environmental damages and concluding that collective actions for environmental remediation are not subject to statutes of limitations.
In the Matter of Application of Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (Cliffside), Order Granting Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity with Conditions, NC PUC, Docket No. E-7, Sub 790
The North Carolina Utilities Commission denied Duke Energy's request to build twin 800 MW coal-fired power plants, saying that the utility had failed to prove that both plants were needed to meet demand. (Duke Energy had planned to sell power from one of the plants). Instead, the state commission gave approval for one plant. The Commission also conditioned its approval on the utility’s commitment to retire older coal-fired generating facilities and to invest a small percentage of its annual retail electricity revenues on energy efficiency. Order E-70, Sub.790, p. 9.
The Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC) denied a request by Pacificorp to build two coal-fired electricity facilities to meet a projected increase in demand of 1,109 MW. The PUC determined in part that Pacificorp overestimated its resource needs and that the company failed to establish that constructing new electricity generating plants would best meet increased demand.
Reviewing question of whether an EIA for a coal mine, should have considered the impact to the climate of burning the coal, the judge declared, “I consider there is a sufficiently proximate link between the mining of a very substantial reserve of thermal coal in NSW . . . and the emission of GHG which contribute to climate change/global warming . . . to require assessment of that GHG contribution of the coal when burnt in an environmental assessment….”
The Supreme Court of Montana found that the agency improperly relied on the federal land manager's findings about the impact of a proposed coal-fired power plant. The law required the agency to make an independent inquiry.
Environmental groups challenged an amendment to the provisions of a local planning scheme that was necessary for the expansion of the Hazelwood coal mine in southeastern Australia. The petitioners claimed that the environment effects statement (EES) should have included analysis of the impacts of carbon emissions when the coal is later burned. The terms of reference for the EES stated that “[t]he Panel is not to consider matters related to greenhouse gas emissions from the Hazelwood Power Station - these issues are being addressed through a separate process. ”
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal determined the Panel should have considered concerns about climate impacts from burning the coal after they were raised under the Planning and Environment Act 1987. The Tribunal found that the Panel must “provide a reasonable opportunity to be heard to any party who wishes to make a submission in relation to the environmental impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from the Hazelwood Power Station; and [must] consider those impacts in making its recommendations and report to the planning authority. ” Id. at sec. 1.
Even though the Panel ultimately approved the amendment after considering the GHG emissions from both the mine itself and the later coal combustion, the case is still important for connecting the impacts of GHG emissions from burning coal to the activity of mining the coal.
The failure of the Minister of International Trade and Industry to exercise the authority to implement safety regulations immediately after the enactment of the Pneumoconiosis Law is illegal for the purpose of the Law Concerning State Liability for Compensation. The period of extinctive prescription shall start from the time when all or part of damage has arisen from an unlawful act if the damage, due to its nature, arises after a considerable period of time has passed since the termination of the act of causing the damage.
The Federal Court criticized the environmental assessment review panel for failing to obtain and analyze information about existing and proposed forestry and mining activities in the area surrounding the Cheviot Coal Project, stating that the information was readily available and that the panel had a duty to consider the combined impacts of mining and timber harvesting during the environmental assessment process.