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Recent Clinic News


Water Transfer Rule Challenge

United States District Judge Kenneth Karas issued a decision and order on 3/28/14 granting our clients summary judgment in our challenge to the U.S. EPA's "Water Transfers Rule." Under this illegal and misguided rule, salt water could be transferred into fresh water, sediment-laden water could be sent into clear drinking water reservoirs, warm waters could be pumped into cold water habitats, chemical laden waters could be dumped into waters employed in farm and ranch irrigation, and invasive species could be transferred into waters not yet infested—all without the human health and water quality protections guaranteed by a CWA discharge permit.

The Clinic has been working on this case since the rule was finalized by EPA in 2008. We will report on this development in more detail, but wanted to share this important news!



Front Page of the New York Law Journal

January 7, 2014 New York Law Journal (front page) article about the Clinic's recent victory in the Spring Creek Park case. The article can be found on pages 1 and 7 of the linked PDF.



Spring Creek Park

Kings County (Brooklyn) Supreme Court Justice Bernard Graham granted a motion for summary judgment that we filed in April and argued in June. The court ruled that the City of New York’s use of 20 acres of Spring Creek Park in southern Brooklyn as a solid waste management (composting) facility without State legislative approval violates the common law public trust doctrine. The decision can be accessed by clicking the link below.

In its decision and order, the court granted our clients preliminary injunctive relief, enjoining the operation of the facility unless and until State legislative approval is obtained (we view this as unlikely). The court also gave the City six months to obtain such legislative approval, at which point we may renew our clients' application for an order enjoining the City to remove the fences and bulldoze the berms that surround the illegal facility to return the encumbered parkland to the public for recreational uses.

This is a huge win for NY/NJ Baykeeper and the members of the East New York/New Lots community that our clinic represents in this case. We do not know at this point whether the City will appeal.

More than a dozen of our clinical interns have worked on various aspects of this case (including a two year DEC adjudicatory permit hearing) over the past nine years. We tip our hats to two Clinic interns in particular—Adam Weiss (’13) and Nicole Sasaki (’14)—who did the lion’s share of research and drafting of these motion papers. Nicole also argued the summary judgment motion before Justice Graham in June.