Many people in Michigan may be familiar with the non-profit organization the Sierra Club that prides itself in promoting conservation and preservation of the earth’s ecosystems and resources. Some people can say they know this from looking at the organization’s website, but some know this because of the recent media attention the group has been getting after several judges have turned down injunctions proposed by the group.
An injunction is basically a cease-and-desist notice that can either prevent a party from doing something or tell a party to do something; and according to reports, the group has been filing injunctions against companies across the United States for months. One of these injunctions has been against a Texas waste disposal facility the Sierra Club felt had failed to give the public “reasonable explanation of the immediate and irreparable injury” that could be caused by transporting radioactive waste to the waste facility.
A judge ruled against the Sierra Club’s request for injunctive relief pointing out that the injunction would interfere with the county’s lease agreement with the waste disposal facility. Despite constant arguments against the ruling, the judge is upholding the ruling, further tying the organization’s hands with a temporary restraining order.
But this isn’t the first time in the past few months that the non-profit has been denied an injunction against a company. A Tennessee coal-fired power plant is currently in a legal battle with the Sierra Club after the organization filed for a preliminary injunction in the beginning of November. Like the Texas case, a judge turned down the group’s request.
Both cases effectively highlight how convoluted ligation can get, especially when environmental law clashes with real estate law. Often times, clashes such as this cannot be handled with mere mediation methods and must be handled by a court judge that can take all of the information into consideration and apply the appropriate laws to the issue at hand.
Courthouse News, “Sierra Club Loses Bid to Stop Radioactive Waste,” David Lee, Nov. 29, 2012
WBIR News, “Sierra Club files lawsuit against TVA over records,” The Tennessean, Dec. 2, 2012