District Court Dismisses Third Party Suit Finding Standing Allegations Inadequate in Climate Adaption Case

November 2022

California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter, Volume 32, Number 2

On September 20, 2022 U.S. District Court for Connecticut dismissed, without prejudice, allegations brought in a citizen suit where the plaintiff relied on future negative impacts of climate change to allege injury in fact for purposes of standing. The District Court found that nonprofit organization Conservation Law Foundation (Foundation) failed to allege injury in fact (and therefore failed to demonstrate Article III standing) when charging a Gulf Oil Limited Partnership bulk petroleum storage facility with inadequate infrastructure to weather future negative impacts of climate change. The September 2022 decision highlights a vital aspect of citizen suit standing when allegations rest on the future effects of climate change; flagging to plaintiff organizations that an injury alleged cannot merely rely on the future occurrence of major and foreseeable weather events but must particularize how those weather events would result in violations of the underlying environmental statutes.

Subscribers to the California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter can read the full article here.