Sierra Club to file objection to dismissal of claims in BP MDL

Alejandro de los Rios Jul. 8, 2011, 2:35am


Attorneys for the Sierra Club filed a motion to extend the deadline to submit an objection on an earlier court ruling that barred the environmental group's claims in the BP oil spill multidistrict litigation (MDL).

Sierra Club attorneys Eric Huber and Devorah Ancel filed the motion July 5. The unopposed motion seeks to extend the deadline to file objections until July 25.

In June, U.S. Judge Carl Barbier dismissed a pleading bundle containing environmental law claims.

Barbier ruled that the third party environmental law claims seeking injunctive relief lack standing.

"[T]he injunction at this stage would be useless, as not only is there no ongoing release from the well, but there is also no viable offshore facility from which any release could possibly occur," Barbier wrote in his ruling.

The environmental plaintiffs were seeking relief under several environmental laws including the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, as well as state law.

The motion claims the "adverse impacts of the oil spill hinder the Sierra Club members' use and enjoyment of [the Gulf Coast region], and impacts their recreational, business, scientific and aesthetic interests."

The Sierra Club claims it is trying to ensure that BP and other defendants are given the maximum possible legal penalties and that those funds go "directly to Gulf Coast restoration."

The motion claims that the Sierra Club and the federal government "are adversaries" and that the Sierra Club's claims implicate the federal government as a responsible party because of their approval of BP's "woefully inadequate" oil spill response plan.

The federal government also has conflicts of interests through their contracts with oil companies, the motion claims.

"Because of its business interests, worth billions of dollars, the government has a disincentive to maximize penalties against BP," the Sierra Club states.

Federal MDL 2:10-md-2179

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