Ninth Circuit review editor's note.

AuthorMatson, Jeffrey T.

I am very proud to present the 2011 Ninth Circuit Environmental Review. This review contains thirty-one summaries of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decisions on environmental and natural resources topics, issued between March 2011 and March 2012. The review also includes two chapters authored by Ninth Circuit Review members that closely examine issues arising from two of the summarized opinions.

In the first chapter, Ricky Nelson examines how parties injured by environmental contamination from federal facilities might seek compensatory damages for Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) violations under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). Historically, such claims were either barred by the discretionary function exception (DFE) of the FTCA or were dismissed for attempting to indirectly enforce RCRA using the FTCA. Yet, the plaintiff in the Ninth Circuit's recent decision in Myers v. United States overcame the DFE, circumvented indirect enforcement, and brought an FTCA claim against the government for compensatory damage. The chapter discusses the enforcement mechanisms of RCRA and the FTCA, the obstacles posed by the DFE and indirect enforcement, and how Myers provides a means for overcoming these obstacles and achieving covert RCRA enforcement using agency guidelines.

In the second chapter, Andrew B. Erickson explores the conservation of Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bears, focusing particular attention on the Endangered Species Act's (ESA)...

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