CASES

Summaries of cases implicating the environmental right follow, along with a selection of the most relevant case filings. Additional filings may be available and, for cases in New York State courts, can be found on the New York State Electronic Court Filing system (NYSCEF).

Fresh Air for the Eastside, Inc. v. New York

Date filed: January 28, 2022

Description:  Claim that odors, fugitive emissions, and climate change impacts from the operation of High Acres Landfill violate the environmental rights of nearby property owners and residents.

Documents:

    1. FAFE complaint
    2. FAFE NYS motion to dismiss
    3. FAFE NYSDEC motion to dismiss
    4. FAFE Waste Management motion to dismiss
    5. FAFE resp NYSDEC mot dismiss
    6. FAFE resp NYC motion to dismiss
    7. FAFE resp Waste motion to dismiss
    8. Amended Decision, Motion to Dismiss
    9. Appellants Brief NYS & NYSDEC
    10. Appellant-Respondent Brief Waste Management
    11. Oral Argument Before the Appellate Division 4th Dept. 5/20/24

Renew 81 For All v. New York State Department of Transportation

Date filed: September 30, 2022

Description: Article 78 Petition seeking to annul approvals for the Interstate 81 Viaduct Project on numerous grounds, including that the failure to conduct adequate environmental review and the selection of an alternative that would cause unmitigated adverse environmental impacts violated Petitioners’ rights under the New York Environmental Right.

Documents:

    1. Matter of Renew 81 for All v NYSDOT – petition
    2. Memorandum of Law in Support of Petition
    3. Memorandum of Law in Opposition to the Petition
    4. Amicus Brief of New York Civil Liberties Union
    5. Petitioners’ Reply Memorandum in Support of Verified Petition
    6. Decision and Order Requiring SEIS

Seneca Lake Guardian v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Date filed: October 13, 2022

Description: Article 78 Petition challenging the issuance of a Solid Waste Management Permit for the construction and operation of a waste transfer facility on numerous grounds, including that NYSDEC failed to consider how granting the permit would affect Petitioner’s members’ rights under the Environmental Right Amendment where the permit application failed to address how produced leachate containing PFAS would be managed.

Documents:

    1. Verified Petition
    2. Memorandum of Law in Support of Petition
    3. NYSDEC Motion to Dismiss
    4. County Line Motion to Dismiss
    5. Decision on Motion to Dismiss

Marte et al. v. City of New York

Date filed: October 21, 2022

Description: Action seeking to annul approvals for and enjoin construction on the Two Bridges Project in part on the ground that inadequate environmental review and a failure to mitigate adverse environmental impacts violate neighboring residents’ rights under the New York Environmental Right

Documents:

    1. Two Bridges complaint
    2. Decision

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NY et al. v. NORLITE, LLC.

Date filed: December 19, 2022

Description: Action brought by the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic on behalf of neighbors and not-for-profit group Lights Out Norlite. The Complaint seeks tort claims against Norlite, an operator of a hazardous waste incineration facility in Cohoes, NY. The State had previously brought an enforcement action against Norlite, and LON seeks to intervene in that action. The Complaint also brings a declaratory Judgment claim against DEC, arguing that continued operation of the Norlite facility violates the neighbors’ constitutional right to clean air and a healthful environment.

Documents:

    1. Notice of Motion for Motion to Intervene
    2. Affirmation of Todd Ommen
      1. Ex A Norlite Nuisance Complaint
      2. Ex B FAFE GA Decision
    3. LON Memo of Law in Support of Intervention
    4. Decision on Motion to Intervene
    5. State of N.Y. Memo of Law in Support of Partial Motion to Dismiss
    6. Decision and Order on Motion to Dismiss
Norlite Plant in Cohoes, N.Y.
Water dripping into a glass from a faucet.

ABDULLAHI et al. V. CITY OF BUFFALO et al.

Date filed: January 30, 2023

Documents:

    1. Complaint

Ass’n of Prop. Owners of Sleepy Hollow Lake, Inc. et al. v. Greene Cnty. Indus. Dev. Agency et al.

Date filed: August 11, 2023

Description: Hybrid Article 78/DJ action to set aside the Greene County IDA’s determination to provide financial support for the Flint Mine Solar project on numerous grounds, including that the IDA failed to consider how granting the incentives would impact petitioners’ right to clean drinking water under the Environmental Right Amendment. The Complaint also seeks a declaratory judgment that the IDA determination violates the Sleepy Hollow APO and Sleepy Hollow Water Company’s constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment.

Documents:

    1. Complaint with Exhibits
Picture of solar panels
Picture of Fort Greene Park

Friends of Fort Greene Park, Inc. v. N.Y.C. Parks and Recreation Dep’t et al.

Date filed: September 29, 2023

Description: Hybrid Article 78/DJ action to set aside the New York City Park Department’s determination to issue a Negative Declaration of Environmental Significance for the Fort Greene Park Infrastructure Reconstruction Project on numerous grounds, including that the Parks Department failed to consider how the Project would impact petitioners’ right to clean air and a healthy environment under the Environmental Right Amendment. The Complaint also seeks a declaratory judgment that the Parks Department determination violates petitioner’s constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment.

Documents:

    1. Complaint

People of the state of new york v. PepsiCo, Inc. et al.

Date filed: November 15, 2023

Description: Action brought by the State Attorney General’s Office alleging that PepsiCo’s single-use plastic packaging has created a public nuisance since the company’s packaging far exceeds any other plastic pollution in the Buffalo River. Additionally, the action claims that PepsiCo fails to warn the public or consumers of its potential to contribute to plastic pollution found in waterways and does not warn about the dangers of such. The Green Amendment right to clean air, water, and a healthful environment is cited within the public nuisance claim.

Documents:

    1. Complaint
River Bank Covered with plastic bottles
photo of Owasco by Photo by kuhlmannkatie0

City of Auburn v. N.Y. State Dep’t of Health & N.Y. State Dep’t of Agriculture & Markets

Date filed: January 5, 2024

Description: Article 78 action brought by the City of Auburn, Town of Owasco, and Owasco Watershed Lake Association, Inc. seeking to invalidate the DOH’s determination that it lacks the authority to promulgate regulations to protect drinking water supplies from nutrient pollution and seeking a declaration that the DOH’s denial of the request to propose new regulations and removal of regulations existing since 1985 were improperly taken and arbitrary and capricious. Further, petitioners seek an injunction to prevent the DOH from taking any further action to promulgate their new Watershed Rules and Regulations without agreement from the suppliers of water or without considering the impacts  of their deregulatory actions on petitioners’ environmental rights.

Documents:

    1. Petition
    2. Petitioners’ Memorandum of Law

Neighbors for a True Oasis v. Village of Port Washington North

Date filed: May 30, 2024

Description: Action brought by residents of Port Washington North to stop the Village from selling 7.45 acres of forested park area to a private developer who plans to build a residential community on the land.

Documents:

    1. Petition and complaint
Picture of Mill Pond Historic District Sign, Port Washington North, NY September 1, 2022