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Monitoring Property and the Built Environment

Residents of Gordon Plaza v. Cantrell


Residents of Gordon Plaza v. Cantrell (U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Cir., Feb. 1, 2022): Residents of Gordon Plaza, Louisiana, sued the city under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”), claiming that the city did not disclose the presence of hazardous chemicals originating from a landfill under their homes and ignored its obligations to remedy chemical contamination. A district court found that the city was taking proper steps to protect the health of its citizens. A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court decision, ruling that the RCRA prevented citizen suits when “a responsible party is diligently conducting a removal action,” and that the city had been actively working at the site. The panel further determined that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has never authoritatively defined an RCRA “removal” action, and that, following regular reviews and reports, the EPA had determined that the city was in compliance. Read the full decision here.

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