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Court of Appeals dismisses fly-ash petition

Court of Appeals dismisses fly-ash petition

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The Court of Appeals has changed its mind about getting involved in a dispute over a fly-ash storage facility in southern Maryland.

The top court, which heard argument on Friday, decided Monday that it should never have agreed to review the matter.

The one-page per curiam order says simply that the petition for a writ of certiorari is “dismissed with costs, the petition having been improvidently granted.”

The case began in 2008, when the Environmental Integrity Project, Potomac Riverkeeper and five individuals who live along the Potomac or Wicomico rivers notified the state that they intended to file suit in federal court over the operation of the Faulkner Fly Ash Storage Facility.

The Maryland Department of the Environment filed its own action against the facility’s operators, Mirant Maryland Ash Management LLC and Mirant Mid-Atlantic LLC, in Charles County Circuit Court. MDE sought injunctive relief and penalties under state law.

The environmental groups and the individuals, who lived within 15 miles of the facility, filed a motion to intervene. The circuit court found they lacked standing, and the Court of Special Appeals affirmed in December 2010.

Monday’s action leaves that decision in place.

The case is Environmental Integrity Project et al. v. Mirant Ash Management LLC et al., Court of Appeals No. 70, Sept. Term 2011.

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