Environmental Injury & Standing to Sue


Ex parte Lance R. LeFleur, [Ms. 1190191, Nov. 6, 2020] ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. 2020). The Court (Wise, J.; Parker, C.J., concurs; Bryan, Sellers, Mendheim, and Stewart, JJ., concur in the result; Bolin and Shaw, JJ., dissent; Mitchell, J., recuses) issues a plurality opinion granting a petition for a Writ of Certiorari filed by LeFleur, Director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (“ADEM”), seeking review of the Court of Civil Appeals’ decision in Smith v. LeFleur, [Ms. 2180375, Oct. 11, 2019] __ So. 3d ___ (Ala. Civ. App. 2019), in which that court held that ADEM did not have the authority to amend certain rules under the Alabama Administrative Code permitting the use of alternative-cover materials at landfills.

Concluding the respondents (plaintiffs who lived in proximity to the landfills) did not present substantial evidence establishing they had standing to challenge the alternative-cover materials, the Court reverses the Court of Civil Appeals’ judgment and remands the case for a judgment reflecting that the Montgomery Circuit Court properly granted LeFleur’s motion for summary judgment on the want-of-standing issue.

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