On May 31, 2018, WLF filed a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Montana Supreme Court ruling that allows private landowners to challenge the EPA’s cleanup plan at one of the nation’s largest Superfund sites. In its brief, WLF argues that the Montana Supreme Court should have treated the case as a classic instance of conflict preemption. Instead, in allowing the landowners’ case to proceed, the state court gutted at least five discrete parts of CERCLA, including a provision that bars legal challenges to an EPA cleanup plan and a provision that bars cleanups conducted without EPA approval. As WLF explains in its brief, the Montana Supreme Court’s decision imperils the EPA’s work at Montana’s many Superfund sites. At each site, plaintiffs may now seek to implement various competing cleanup plans, each of which may impede and uproot the others. WLF’s brief asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case and restore CERCLA’s uniform application across the country.
On October 1, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court called for the views of the Solicitor General of the United States as to whether the Court should grant the certiorari petition.