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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

MULTI-STATE AMICUS FILINGS

DateNameAction ItemSubject/IssuesStates involvedStatus/Outcome
9/14/2021Mayor and City of Baltimore v. BP P.L.C., et al., No. 1644, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth CircuitCONSUMER PROTECTION

CLIMATE CHANGE
Supplemental multi-state amicus brief supporting Baltimore’s position that its action against fossil fuel companies should be heard in state court and that federal jurisdiction supporting removal does not exist. MD, CA, CT, DE, HI, ME, MN, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA, MA, D.C.Filed 09/14/2021
9/3/2021State of Rhode Island v. Shell Oil Products Company, LLC, et al., No. 19-1818, United States Court of Appeals for the First CircuitCLIMATE CHANGE

STATE COURT
The brief supports remand of Rhode Island state law claims against fossil fuel companies , contending that states’ have an interest in maintaining their state courts’ authority to adjudicate claims brought under state statutory and common law against entities causing harm to and within their jurisdictions, and that the state law claims do not raise substantial questions of federal law or otherwise provide a basis for removal to federal court.MN, MA, CA, CT, DE, HI, ME, MD, NJ, NM, NY, OR, PA, VT, WA, WI, D.C.Filed 09/03/2021
8/26/2021State of Minnesota v. American Petroleum Institute, et al., No. 21-1752, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth CircuitCLIMATE CHANGE

CONSUMER PROTECTION

STATE COURT JURISDICTION
The brief supports the position of the State of Minnesota that its state law consumer protection claims against fossil fuel companies related to climate change should be litigated in state court and do not raise substantial questions of federal law or otherwise provide a basis for removal to federal court. WA, CA, CT, DE, D.C., HI, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, NM, NY, OR, PA, VT, WIFiled 08/26/2021
8/13/2021California State Water Resources Control Board v. FERC, No. 20-72432 (L), United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitCLEAN WATERMultistate amicus brief supporting California State Water Resources Control Board’s petition to vacate FERC orders that the Board waived its authority to issue 401 certifications for four hydroelectric projects.WA, CT, MA, ME, MI, MN, NJ, NM, NC, OR, VT, VA, DCFiled 8/13/2021
7/06/2021Juliana v. United States, Docket No. 6:15-cv-01517-AA
United States District Court for the District of Oregon
CLIMATE CHANGEBrief describes the serious harms posed to state resources and residents by climate change, and rebuts assertions that states entered into collusive settlements with the federal government involving challenges to the Title X and Public Charge Rules.NY, DE, HI, MN, OR, VTFiled 7/06/2021
12/22/2020Northern Plains Resource Council v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, Docket No. 20-35412 United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitENDANGERED SPECIES ACT

CLIMATE CHANGE
The amicus brief argues that consultation under the Endangered Species Act is required for reauthorization of Clean Water Act Nationwide Permit 12, which covers construction, maintenance, repair and removal of utility lines, including oil and gas pipelines such as the Keystone XL Pipeline, and cannot be deferred until site specific action is taken.CA, CT, DE, MD, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA, MA Filed 12/22/2020
12/21/2020National Audubon Society, et al. v. Bernhardt, Docket No. 3:20-cv-00205-SLG United States District Court for the District of AlaskaCLIMATE CHANGE

WILDLIFE
The amicus briefs, filed in three related cases, support the motions filed by environmental NGOs and native Alaskan communities requesting the court to temporarily restrain and/or preliminarily enjoin the federal government's plans to hold a lease sale and issue leases for oil and gas development on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's Coastal Plain, due to alleged violations of the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act and other applicable law.WA, CA, CT, DE, IL, MI, MN, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, VT, MAFiled 12/21/2020
12/21/2020GWICH'IN Steering Committee, et al. v. Bernhardt, Docket No. 3-20-cv-00204-SLG United States District Court for the District of AlaskaCLIMATE CHANGE

WILDLIFE
The amicus briefs, filed in three related cases, support the motions filed by environmental NGOs and native Alaskan communities requesting the court to temporarily restrain and/or preliminarily enjoin the federal government's plans to hold a lease sale and issue leases for oil and gas development on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's Coastal Plain, due to alleged violations of the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act and other applicable law.WA, CA, CT, DE, IL, MI, MN, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, VT, MAFiled 12/21/2020
12/21/2020Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government, et al. v. Bernhardt, Docket No. 3:20-cv-00223-SLG United States District Court of the District of AlaskaCLIMATE CHANGE

WILDLIFE
The amicus briefs, filed in three related cases, support the motions filed by environmental NGOs and native Alaskan communities requesting the court to temporarily restrain and/or preliminarily enjoin the federal government's plans to hold a lease sale and issue leases for oil and gas development on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's Coastal Plain, due to alleged violations of the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act and other applicable law.WA, CA, CT, DE, IL, MI, MN, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, VT, MAFiled 12/21/2020
12/7/2020Center for Food Safety v. Wheeler Docket No. 19-72109 US Court of Appeals for the 9th CircuitPESTICIDESThe brief contends that the Ccurt should not remand EPA's registration decision allowing use of the pesticide sulfoxaflor to allow EPA to correct its admitted failure to comply with the Endangered Species Act without vacating the registration decision.CA, HI, MD, MN, NJ, NY, NM, OR, VT, WA, MAFiled 12/07/2020
10/2/2020NCDEQ v. FERC Docket No. 20-1655 US Court of Appeals for the 4th CircuitCLEAN WATER

Multistate amicus brief
Opposing FERC's determination that North Carolina waived its authority to issue a water quality certification to McMahan Hydroelectric under the Clean Water Act § 401.VT, CA, CT, ME, MI, MN ,NJ, OR, VI, WAFiled 10/02/2020
9/23/2020Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, et al. v. United States Army Corps of Engineers and Dakota Access, LLC Docket Nos. 20-5197 & 20-5201 US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia CircuitNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACTThe States' brief supporting district court's decision to vacate permit approval and halt operation of Dakota Access Pipeline based on violation of National Environmental Policy Act.MA, CA, CN, DE, IL, ME, MD, MI, NV, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, VT, WN, D.C., Territory of Guam, and Harris County, TX Filed 09/23/2020
9/3/2020Center for Food Safety, Center for Biological Diversity et al. v. US EPA and Andrew Wheeler US Court of Appeals, 9th CircuitTOXINS, ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT, FIFRA

Joined the Amicus Brief in support of Petitioners against EPA's applications to register sulfoxaflor, which poses risks to pollinators due to its toxicity.
States submit this brief to explain the harms to our States of the Environmental Protection Agency's improper sulfoxaflor registration process and failure to comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA).CA, HI, MD, MN, NJ, NY, NM, OR, VT, WAFiled 09/03/2020
5/26/2020The United States of America v. The State of California et al US District court for the Eastern District of CACLIMATE ACTION, GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

Joined the Amicus Brief in support of CA's motion to dismiss the final claim in the federal government's lawsuit against CA's agreement with Quebec to coordinate their cap-and-trade programs.
The States' brief explain that if the federal governments claims against CA were accepted, the federal affairs preemption doctrine would expand and threaten states' ability to address climate change and other international and interstate issues. VT, CT, DE, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NJ, OR, RI, WAFiled 06/29/2020
2/18/2020The United States of America v. the State of California et al US District Court for the Eastern District of CACROSS-JURISDICTIONAL AGREEMENTS

Joined the Amicus Brief in support of California and to maintain cross-jurisdictional agreements with other states or countries to better manage regulatory programs.
The States' brief offers the court a collective experience of entering into cross-jurisdictional agreements with other states and occasionally other nations without encroaching on Federal authority.VT, OR, CT, DE, IL, ME, MD, MS, MN, NJ, NY, RI, WA, MAFiled 02/18/20

Pending
1/22/2020U.S. Forest Service, et al. v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al. Docket No. 18-1584 and 181587 US Supreme CourtPROPOSED PIPELINE APPALCIAN NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL

Vermont (lead Amici state) and the other Amici States have an interest in protecting our natural assets while fostering responsible development of energy infrastructure. Vermont benefits economically, environmentally, culturally and health wise from the Appalachian Trail being preserved through the National Park System.
The State's brief argues that the Mineral Leasing Act's jurisdiction is limited and that the US Forest Service does not have the authority to grant a right-of-way for the proposed pipeline across the Appalachian Trail.VT, CT, DE, HI, IL, MD, MA, MN, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, D.C.Field 01/22/2020
12/6/2019League of United Latin American Citizens et al v. US EPA and Andrew Wheeler US Court of Appeals, 9th CircuitTOXINS

Joined the Amicus Brief to support the petitioner for the EPA to determine that chlorpyrifos tolerance levels are safe. Chlorpyrifos is a widely used pesticide that has numerous short- and long-term health effects when exposed.
The Final Order in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) leaves chlorpyrifos tolerance in effect without finding them safe. The State's brief requests for the EPA to determine that chlorpyrifos is safe and for the Court to grant mandamus relief to compel the EPA to comply. VT, NY, CA, WA, MD, HI, OR, MA, D.C.Filed 12/06/19
10/23/2019Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, et al v. US EPA Appeal No. 19-1042(L), etc. US Court of Appeals for 2nd CircuitTOXINS

Joined Amicus Brief in support of NGO petition opposing the EPA's refusal to ban the manufacture and distribution of paint removers containing methylene chloride for commercial use
Methylene chloride is highly toxic. Deaths from short term exposure to methylene chloride fumes have been documented. Long term exposure may cause cancer, liver failure, kidney failure and other health effects. Affected workers are disproportionately foreign-born.VT, NY, CT, MD, MA, MN, NJ, OR, WAFiled 10/23/19

Pending
10/22/2019Atlantic Richfield Company v. Gregory A. Christian, et al. Docket No. 17-1498 US Supreme CourtCERCLA

Joined the Amicus Brief to ensure that citizens are compensated for injuries caused by hazardous materials and to preserve the State's authority to remediate harm caused from environmental contamination.
The State's brief argues that the federal law CERCLA does not preempt state laws aimed at remediating environmental harms. CERCLA preserves the State's role to address environmental contamination.VT, MT, VA, CA, CT, DE, HI, ME, MD, MS, NJ, NY, OR, RI, WA, WIUS Supreme Court issued decision 4/20/2020.
9/3/2019Mayor and City of Baltimore v. BP PLC et al Appeal No. 19-1644 US Court of Appeals for 4th CircuitCLIMATE CHANGE

Joined multi-state Amicus Brief in support of the City of Baltimore

States seeking to maintain state courts' authority to develop and enforce requirements of state statutory and common law - including monetary remedies - in cases brought against commercial entities causing harm to and within our jurisdictions.
States' brief supports City and Mayor of Baltimore as they oppose efforts by the defendant company to remove climate change litigation to federal courtVT, MD, CA, CT, NJ, NY, OR, RI, WAFiled 9/3/2019

Pending
7/19/2019County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund et al Docket No. 18-260 US Supreme Court
Brief of the States ... as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents
CLEAN WATER

Joined multi-state Amicus Brief supporting respondents
Appropriate application of the Clean Water Act's NPDES permit program and the Act's prohibition against unpermitted discharges to navigable waters. The State's brief argues that, where pollutants are traceable from a point source to navigable waters through groundwater or other conduits, the discharge falls within the scope of the Clean Water Act's NPDES program VT, MD, CA, CT, IL, ME, MI, NJ, WA, MA, D.C. On 4/23/2020, the US Supreme Court held a permit is required if "the addition of the pollutants through groundwater is the functional equivalent of a direct discharge from the point source into navigable waters."
4/12/2019Portland Pipe Line Corporation v. City of South Portland, Maine
Appeal No. 18-2118 US Court of Appeals for 1st Circuit
PORTLAND PIPELINE

Joined multi-state Amicus Brief in support of the City of South Portland, Maine as it defends a city ordinance that prohibits bulk-oil loading activities in certain harbor districts.
The City of South Portland, Maine's ordinance effectively prevents the Portland Pipeline from transporting tar sand oil from Canada - through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine - to ships in the South Portland Harbor. The states' amicus brief argues that the city ordinance is not preempted by federal law and does not violate the dormant Commerce ClauseVT, MA, CA, CT, DE, ME, MD, MN, NY, OR, PA, RI, WA, and DCFiled 4/12/2019
3/20/2019City of Oakland and City and County of San Francisco v. BP PLC, et al.
Appeal No. 18-16663 US Court of Appeals for 9th Circuit Nos. 3:17-cv-06011-WHA and 3:17-cv-06012-WHA - ND CA, San Francisco
CLIMATE CHANGE

Joined multi-state Amicus Brief supporting preservation of state's rights and concrete interest in the ability of state courts to adjudicate climate change-related claims
State courts' authority to adopt and enforce requirements of state common law-including monetary remedies in cases involving fossil fuel producers and sellers. Here, the district court's Order Denying Motions to Remand may divest state courts of authority to adjudicate a broad class of state common-law actions-those related to climate change. VT, CA, CT, MD, MN, NJ, NY, OR, RI, WA and DCPending
3/18/2019Hoopa Valley Tribe v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, American Rivers, et. al, Intervenors for Respondent
US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit Docket No. 14-1271
CLEAN WATER

Joined multi-state Amicus Brief supporting petition for rehearing of DC Circuit decision.
Under the CWA, certain applicants for federal licenses must obtain a 401 Certification from the state ensuring the activity will comply with water quality standards. A state must act on the application within one year or it is deemed to have "waived" its 401 authority. The State's brief argues that a state does not waive its 401 authority when an applicant withdraws and then resubmits its application after the one-year timeframe. WA, CA, HI, MA, MD, NM, NY, OR, RI, VTD.C. Circuit denied rehearing. US Supreme Court denied cert.
1/29/2019County of San Mateo v. Chevron Corporation, et al.
US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit Docket No. 18-15499
CLIMATE CHANGE

Joined multi-state Amicus Brief in Support of Plaintiff-Appellees in San Mateo Climate Change Case Remand Issue
Amici States submit this brief in support of Plaintiffs to preserve the applicable law of removal jurisdiction and the states' broad authority and important role in addressing climate change.VT, CA, NY, MD, NJ, OR, RI, WA, and DCPending
11/19/2018CONSOLIDATED CASES:
Hopi Tribe, et al. v. Donald J Trump 17-cv-02590 (TSC) Utah Diné Bikéyah, et al. v. Donald J. Trump 17-cv-02605 (TSC) Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., et al. 17-cv-02606 (TSC) US District Court, Disctrict of Columbia
ANTIQUITIES ACT

Joined multi-state Amicus Brief In Support of Plaintiffs' Opposition to Federal Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
Amici States submit this brief as amici curiae in support of Plaintiffs to ensure the integrity of the Antiquities Act in protecting our nation's archeological, cultural, historic, and scientific resources. VT, WA, CA, HI, MA, ME, MD, NM, NY, OR, RIPending
11/15/2018City of New York v. Chevron Corporation, Conoco Philips, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, BP PLC
US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit Docket No. 18-2188
CLIMATE CHANGE

Joined multi-state amicus brief in support of Appellant City of New York
Amicus Brief arguing that City of New York's state common law claims regarding climate change are not preempted by federal lawVT, NY, CA, MD, NJ, OR, RI, WA, DCPending
7/26/2018Honeywell v Mexichem Fluor, NRDC v. Mexichem Fluor
US Supreme Court Dkt Nos. 17-1703 & 18-2 Brief of States as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioners
CLEAN AIR

A coalition of 18 Attorneys General filed an amicus brief challenging Appellate court ruling on HFC prohibition, asking the Supreme Court to overturn a divided U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Mexichem Flour vs. EPA (2017).
Review the DC Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in Mexichem Fluor, Inc. v. EPA. A 2-1 decision issued by the DC Circuit, vacating, in part, a 2015 EPA rule prohibiting the use of HFCs as a substitute for ozone depleting substances based on HFCs status as potent greenhouse gases.VT, MA, CT, DE, HI, IL, IA, ME, MD, MN, NJ, NY, NC, OR, PA, VA, WA, DCPending
7/24/2018State of Ohio et al. v US EPA et al
US Dist Court, Southern Dist of OH Docket No. 2:15-cv-02467-EAS-KAJ Amicus Curiae Brief of the States - in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction
CLEAN WATER

Joined multi-state amicus brief opposing preliminary injunction of 2015 WOTUS Rule.
In 2015 EPA promulgated a rule defining "waters of the United States" - these are the waters that receive protection under the federal Clean Water Act. The Rule is being challenged in several courts. In this case, the plaintiff states moved for a preliminary injunction against the WOTUS Rule. Our amicus brief opposed the preliminary injunction. VT, NY, CA, MA, MD, NJ, OR, RI, WA, DCCourt denied preliminary injunction 3/26/19. Appeal of PI denial was dismissed as moot by the Sixth Circuit when EPA repealed the Rule.
5/30/2018State of Georgia, et al. v. Pruitt, et al.
US Dist Court, Southern Dist of GA, Brunswick Division Dkt No.2:15-cv-00079-LGW-RSB Amicus Curiae Brief by the States In Opposition to Plainfiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction Filed 5/30/2018
CLEAN WATER

Joined multi-state amicus brief opposing preliminary injunction of 2015 WOTUS Rule.
In 2015 EPA promulgated a rule defining "waters of the United States" - these are the waters that receive protection under the federal Clean Water Act.  The Rule is being challenged in several courts.  In this case, the plaintiff states moved for a preliminary injunction against the WOTUS Rule.  Our amicus brief opposed the preliminary injunction.VT, NY, CA, CT, MA, MD, NJ, OR, RI, WA, DCOUTCOME
Court granted preliminary injunction 6/8/18.
2/15/2018Texas Alliance for Responsible Growth, Environment and Transportation v. US EPA, Pruitt, Army Corp of Engineers, James US Dist Court, Southern Dist. of TX, Galveston Division Docket No. 3:15-cv-162CLEAN WATER
Joined multistate amicus brief opposing nationwide preliminary injunction against WOTUS Rule
Several business interests are challenging the WOTUS Rule in federal district court in Texas. They've moved for a nationwide preliminary injunction to stop the WOTUS Rule from being implemented. VT joined a multistate amicus brief challenging the motion.VT, NY, CA, CT, MA, MD, NJ, OR, RI, WA, and DCCourt granted preliminary injunction 9/12/2018.
1/31/2018USA v. Harley-Davidson, Inc. et al
US Dist Court DC Docket No. 1:16-cv-01687 (EGS) Brief of State and Local Government Amici in Opposition to United States' Motion to Enter Consent Decree
CLEAN AIR
Joined Amicus Brief opposing elimination of mitigation project included previously in the consent decree
Brief submitted in opposition to US' Motion for Entry of Consent Decree. The proposed Consent Decree eliminates the $3 million mitigation project that was included in a proposed Consent Decree previously lodged with the Court, and does not add any alternative mitigation requirement to compensate for either its elimination or the one-sided benefit Harley-Davidson will receive from its elimination. VT, IL, IA, ME, MD, MA, NY, OR, RI, WA, DC and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
12/12/2017USA v. Harley-Davidson, Inc. et al
US Dist Court, Dist of GA Docket No. 1:16-cv-1687 (EGS) Notice of Intent to File Amicus Brief
CLEAN AIR
A coalition of state AGs say the proposed Consent Decree does not satisfy the applicable standard for entry of a consent decrees and does not serve the public interest.
States provide notice of their intent to file an amicus brief in opposition to the United States' Motion for Entry of Consent Decree. The proposed Consent Decree does not satisfy the applicable standard for entry of a consent decree and is not in the public interest.VT, IA, ME, MD, MA, NY, OR, RI, WA and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
9/27/2017Mexichem Fluor, Inc. et al. v. US EPA, and Intervenor Respondents
US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit Docket No. 15-1328, 15-1329
CLEAN AIR
Joined Motion for Invitation to file Brief of States as Amici Curiae in Support of Intervenor-Respondents' Petitioner's for Rehearing or Rehearing En Banc
Motion for Invitation to File Brief of States as Amici Curiae in Support of Intervenor-Respondents' Petitions for Rehearing or Rehearing En BancVT, CA, CA Air Resources Board, CT, DE, IL, MD, NY, OR, WA, MN/MN Pollution Control Agency, PA
9/27/2017Mexichem Fluor, Inc. et al. v. US EPA, and Intervenor Respondents
US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit Docket No. 15-1328, 15-1329 Brief of the States as Amici Curiae in Support of the Interventor-Respondents' Petitions for Reharing or Rehearing en Banc
CLEAN AIR
Joined Multi-State Amicus Brief
To ensure that courts preserve established deference to reasonable agency interpretations, and that this Court permits the US EPA to effectuate its statutory mandate under Section 612 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. § 7671k) to replace ozone-depleting substances with less harmful alternatives. CA, CA Air Resources Board, CT, DE, IL, MD, NY, OR, VT, WA, MN/MN Pollution Control Agency, PAOUTCOME
Granted in part and denied in part. "In sum, we grant the petitions and vacated the 2015 Rule to the extent it requires manufacturers to replace HFC's with a substitute substance. We remand to EPA for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. We reject all of Mexichem and Arkema's other challenges to the 2015 Rule."