Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

State of Ohio ex rel. (Dave Yost), Ohio Attorney General v. Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft d.b.a. Volkswagen Group and/or Volkswagen AG, et al., Case no. 2020-0092
Tenth District Court of Appeals (Franklin County)

Siltstone Resources, LLC v. State of Ohio, Public Works Commission et al., Case no. 2020-0031
Seventh District Court of Appeals (Belmont County)

State of Ohio ex rel. Dave Yost, Ohio Attorney General v. Rover Pipeline, LLC, et al., Case no. 2020-0091
Fifth District Court of Appeals (Stark County)

Does Federal Clean Air Act Bar Ohio’s Suit against VW for Emissions Software Tampering?

State of Ohio ex rel. Ohio Attorney General v. Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft d.b.a. Volkswagen Group and/or Volkswagen AG et al., Case No. 2020-0092
Tenth District Court of Appeals (Franklin County)

ISSUE: Is Ohio’s lawsuit regarding Volkswagen’s updates to its emissions control software expressly or implicitly preempted by the federal Clean Air Act?

The federal Environmental Protection Agency issued violation notices to Volkswagen in 2015 for manufacturing and installing “defeat devices” in 47 of its vehicle models sold in the United States from 2009 to 2015. The defeat devices detected whether the vehicle was being driven on the road or was being tested for exhaust emissions. If the device sensed a testing environment, it controlled the vehicle’s emission of air pollutants to stay within EPA standards. But, if on the road, the vehicle would deactivate the emission controls, releasing more nitrogen oxides into the air than allowed by EPA standards. According to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, on the road the vehicles emitted up to 35 times more than the permitted standard.

In legal action against Volkswagen, the EPA argued Volkswagen violated the federal Clean Air Act by selling approximately 580,000 vehicles with the emissions defeat devices. During a recall, Volkswagen also distributed software updates designed to fix the defeat device settings, yet the devices still lowered vehicle emissions if a testing environment was sensed.

The EPA and Volkswagen came to an agreement in federal court that was detailed in three consent decrees. According to Volkswagen’s brief, the car company pled guilty and was subject to $1.45 billion in civil penalties and injunctive remedies, and was required to offer buybacks or an approved engine modification and cash compensation to affected customers. The company states it also had to establish a $2.9 billion trust for payments to the states to mitigate the environmental harm caused by Volkswagen’s actions, invest substantially in zero emission technology in the United States, implement compliance reforms, and pay a $2.8 billion fine.

Ohio Seeks Monetary Compensation for Volkswagen’s Tampering
The Ohio attorney general, on behalf of the Ohio EPA, sued Volkswagen in October 2016, alleging the carmaker violated the state’s anti-tampering law. The state’s initial lawsuit in Franklin County Common Pleas Court raised tampering claims based on the installation and operation of the emissions defeat devices in the 580,000 vehicles, including 14,000 in Ohio, and was later amended to include allegations of tampering related to the software updates.

In December 2018, the trial court dismissed Ohio’s claim about the factory installation of the defeat devices, finding the federal Clean Air Act expressly preempted the claim because the conduct took place before the vehicles were sold to the consumers. The tampering allegation about the later software updates, though, wasn’t explicitly banned by federal law, the trial court ruled. But the court dismissed those claims, too, determining that Congress intended for only the federal government to regulate this type of model-wide tampering.

Ohio appealed the ruling on the later software updates to the Tenth District Court of Appeals, which reversed the trial court.

Volkswagen filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court, which agreed to review the issues. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court will hear arguments by videoconference, which will be livestreamed.

Auto Manufacturer Argues Ohio Can’t Sue for Model-Wide Software Update
Volkswagen – which refers collectively to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Volkswagen Group of America, Volkswagen of America, Audi of America, Porsche AG, and Porsche Cars North America – contends that Congress gave the federal EPA the exclusive power to regulate manufacturer compliance with emissions standards, and that authority lasts throughout the life cycle of vehicles.

The relevant federal law, which Volkswagen’s brief refers to as section 209 of the Clean Air Act and others cite as 42 U.S.C. 7543, states that “no State … shall adopt or attempt to enforce any standard relating to the control of emissions from new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines subject to [the law].” This law expressly preempts Ohio from suing over the company’s software updates, Volkswagen argues. It maintains that the software updates simply modified the factory-installed software used in the original emissions defeat devices, which “relates” to the emissions controls in new vehicles.

Another section 209 provision reads, “Nothing in this part shall preclude or deny to any State … the right otherwise to control, regulate, or restrict the use, operation, or movement of registered or licensed motor vehicles.” Volkswagen argues a state’s control over the use, operation, or movement of vehicles has nothing to do with enforcing vehicle emissions standards.

Because the federal EPA has responsibility for regulating a manufacturer’s compliance with emissions standards at the time of manufacturing and through the life of the vehicles, permitting state and local governments to enforce manufacturer compliance as well would put federal and state laws in conflict and allow endless claims against manufacturers, Volkswagen argues. Given that the Clean Air Act imposes federal oversight throughout a vehicle’s life, the act also implies that it preempts Ohio’s claim because such a claim acts as an obstacle to Congress’ purpose in enacting the law, the company asserts.

The company maintains that states can regulate only local conduct, and Ohio’s anti-tampering law applies only to individuals, such as mechanics and car owners, not to manufacturers.

State Counters It Can Sue for Automaker’s Post-Sale Tampering
The states and the federal government share authority for environmental regulation, including controlling air pollution, and states have a significant role in the effort, the attorney general states. In Ohio, the state regulates vehicle emissions through its E-check program and its anti-tampering statute. The anti-tampering law states that “[n]o person shall knowingly … [t]amper with any emission control system installed on or in a motor vehicle after sale, lease, or rental and delivery of the vehicle.”

The attorney general notes that Ohio’s lawsuit focuses on Volkswagen’s alteration of software in vehicles that weren’t new cars, but instead had been on the road for months or years. The office maintains that the federal Clean Air Act divides pre-sale conduct that causes later pollution and post-sale conduct that causes pollution when the vehicles are in use on the road. Once a new car is sold to a consumer, the car is no longer new, and states may regulate any conduct that disables the car’s emissions controls, the attorney general argues. The federal law “is therefore no barrier to Ohio’s sovereign right to enforce its own laws,” the state’s brief maintains.

The federal provision giving states authority over vehicle operation and use means Ohio can pursue this action against Volkswagen for altering their vehicles post-sale to allow for impermissible emissions of pollutants in violation of Ohio laws protecting air quality, the attorney general contends. The office argues that nothing in the Clean Air Act distinguishes between an individual mechanic tampering with a car and Volkswagen enlisting mechanics nationwide to install software on a model-wide basis that the company knew still violated emissions standards.

While Volkswagen stresses that the software updates performed during the recall cut down on air pollution, the attorney general notes those emissions still exceeded federal limits, countering, “It is unclear how Volkswagen is helped by insisting that its second round of illegal conduct was less immoral than its first.” The attorney general adds that the federal consent decrees between the EPA and Volkswagen specifically allowed states, including Ohio, to seek penalties for Volkwagen’s conduct.

Business Groups, Trade Association Back Auto Manufacturer
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, and Alliance for Automotive Innovation have filed a joint amicus curiae brief supporting Volkswagen.

Kathleen Maloney

Docket entries, memoranda, briefs (including amicus briefs), and other information about this case may be accessed through the case docket.

Representing Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft et al.: Jacalena Jewell, 614.232.2491

Representing the Ohio Attorney General’s Office: Benjamin Flowers, 614.466.8980

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Did Development Group Violate State Conservation Program by Selling Property’s Oil and Gas Rights?

Siltstone Resources LLC v. State of Ohio, Public Works Commission et al., Case No. 2020-0031
Seventh District Court of Appeals (Belmont County)


  • Can courts enforce a deed restriction that prohibits a state program’s grantee from transferring property without consent unless the state legislature has clearly allowed such a restraint on the property’s transfer?
  • Does the provision in R.C. 164.26(A) requiring grant repayment and liquidated damages if a grant recipient fails to comply with the Ohio Public Works Commission’s (OPWC’s) ownership requirements prohibit equitable relief (a nonmonetary penalty)?
  • Can the OPWC director include a provision allowing for equitable relief in a deed that transfers property purchased with a Clean Ohio Fund grant?

The Guernsey County Community Development Corporation applied for a grant in October 2005 from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund to help purchase 228 acres in Belmont County. The Clean Ohio initiative, approved by the voters in 2000 as an amendment to the Ohio Constitution, allows the sale of bonds for projects to protect water and other natural resources; to conserve and preserve natural areas and open spaces; and to enhance the availability, public use, and enjoyment of natural areas and resources.

The state legislature enacted laws to govern the fund’s operation. The Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) was put in charge of administering the fund.

In its application for a $430,200 grant from the fund, the Guernsey County Community Development Corporation stated it would preserve a corridor along Leatherwood Creek, from Belmont County to Wills Creek in Cambridge. The property had been thoroughly strip-mined. The project would address the buildup of silt from coal mining, preserve or restore wetlands, protect endangered species, and reforest the land – all with the goal of creating a public park. The briefs note there are no structures on the property.

The OPWC approved the grant. In February 2007, the property was deeded to the community development corporation.

Development Group Transfers Oil and Gas Rights to Multiple Companies
In 2011, the community development corporation leased the property’s oil and gas rights to Patriot Land Company, which assigned the rights to Gulfport Energy Corporation a year later. In December 2013, the community development corporation sold substantial mineral rights under the Gulfport lease to Siltstone Resources. A smaller portion of the mineral rights was sold to Triple Crown Energy, which later assigned its interests to American Energy-Utica Minerals. Interests were also assigned to various other entities, including Eagle Creek Farm Properties.

Gulfport stopped paying Siltstone royalties, leading Siltstone to file a lawsuit in March 2017 against Gulfport, the community development corporation, and the OPWC. Siltstone wanted a clarification of its rights. American Energy was added to the suit.

The OPWC argued that all of the parties had violated restrictions in the deed with the community development corporation and that every transfer of the property’s mineral rights was void. The commission requested money damages and an injunction enforcing the deed’s restrictions and reuniting the property’s mineral and surface rights.

Deed Defines Restrictions on Park Property
The deed with the community development corporation contains certain restrictions.

One restriction, referred to as the “use restriction,” states that the “property will not be developed in any manner that conflicts with the use of the Premises as a green space park area ….”

Another restriction, called either the “transfer restriction” or the “alienation restriction” depending on the party, requires the community development corporation to retain ownership and control of the property and bans the transfer of any interest in the property without OPWC’s prior approval. It states, in part, “Accordingly, Grantee shall not voluntarily or involuntarily sell, assign, transfer, lease, exchange, convey or otherwise encumber the Property without the prior written consent of OPWC, which consent may be withheld in its sole and absolute discretion.”

If the agreement is breached, the OPWC is entitled to “liquidated damages” and repayment of the grant, according to R.C. 164.26(A). When parties agree in a contract that a party who breaches a contract will pay compensation to the other party, that compensation is called “liquidated damages.”

Trial Court Decides in Favor of Mineral Rights Transfers
The trial court concluded that the community development corporation and the oil and gas companies didn’t violate the use restriction because the restriction applies to only the surface property given that “green space isn’t underground.” The court also ruled the transfer restriction wasn’t enforceable because it was an illegal restraint on a property owner’s right to transfer its property to another. This legal right, described as a centuries-old tenet of the common law, is referred to as the “right to alienation.”

The OPWC appealed to the Seventh District Court of Appeals, which reversed the lower court. The Seventh District agreed with the trial court that the use restriction applied only to the surface property, but ruled that a mineral rights holder has an implied right of access to the surface property, though accessing it would violate the deed. The appeals court severed the relevant language from the lease and prohibited any activity by the companies on the surface property.

The Seventh District also determined that the community development corporation violated the deed’s transfer restriction by selling the mineral rights. The court ruled the OPWC was entitled to liquidated damages and an injunction to enforce the deed restrictions.

Siltstone, American Energy, and Eagle Creek appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, which agreed to review the issues. The community development corporation and Gulfport submitted late motions for reconsideration with the Seventh District. As a result, they filed amicus briefs rather than merit briefs in this case. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court will hear arguments by videoconference, which will be livestreamed.

Development Group Was Free to Transfer Mineral Rights, Companies Argue
In a joint brief, Siltstone and American Energy write that an 1881 Ohio Supreme Court decision found that “the absolute owner of real property has the power to control and dispose of such property” and terms restricting this right are contrary to public policy and void. However, the OPWC deed contained just such an illegal limitation in its deed restriction for the Belmont County property, the companies maintain.

They contend that neither the Ohio Constitution nor the state laws about the program explicitly prohibit recipients of the conservation fund grants from transferring the properties. Without an explicit ban in the constitution or statutes, the OPWC can’t contractually require grant recipients that purchase property with grant funds to obtain OPWC’s consent before selling, leasing, assigning, or transferring the property, the companies argue.

Eagle Creek’s brief makes arguments similar to those from Siltstone and American Energy.

Deed Supersedes Typical Right to Transfer Property, Agency Asserts
The public works commission, which is represented by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, argues that courts must uphold the plain language in a deed. Although the Ohio Supreme Court’s interpretation of deeds has promoted the free use and transfer of property, the Court hasn’t done so when a deed’s provision clearly provides otherwise, the OPWC maintains.

The community development corporation transferred a property interest in the park property each time it transferred the property’s oil and gas rights – all without notifying or obtaining the OPWC’s consent, as the deed requires, the commission states. It notes that this case doesn’t involve an individual with a private property interest. Instead, the deed restrictions are part of a program governed by state law and designed to protect the public’s interest, the OPWC explains. The commission argues that restraints on the right to transfer property usually will be upheld when the property is conveyed to a trustee for charitable or other public uses, according to the Court’s 1963 decision in Ohio Society for Crippled Children & Adults Inc. v. McElroy.

Oil and Gas Leases Didn’t Conflict with Park, Development Group Contends
In its amicus brief, the Guernsey County Community Development Corporation maintains it wasn’t required to obtain the OPWC’s consent to sell the property oil and gas rights because those sales and mineral leases didn’t interfere with the property’s use as a green space park area. The entity also notes that it used OPWC conservation grant funds to purchase other properties subject to oil and gas leases and with oil and gas wells on the properties. The OPWC approved these purchases, the community development corporation asserts.

State Agency Not Permitted to Seek Injunction, Companies Argue
R.C. 164.26(A) states, “The director of the Ohio public works commission shall establish policies related to the need for long-term ownership, or long-term control through a lease or the purchase of an easement, of real property that is the subject of an application for a grant ….” According to the statute, the policies are to provide for liquidated damages and repayment of the grant if an entity fails to comply with these requirements.

Siltstone and American Energy maintain that, when a grant recipient doesn’t comply with the policies, the OPWC is entitled to no more than the liquidated damages and grant repayment. The commission also cannot seek equitable (nonmonetary) relief – such as the injunction to force the return of all of the Belmont County property interests to the community development corporation – because that goes beyond what the statute provides, the companies insist.

They note that the deed’s liquidated damages provision requires payment of the greater of 200% of the grant amount plus interest or 200% of the property’s fair market value. The companies maintain that this compensation would make the OPWC “whole.” More than that is an improper expansion of OPWC’s powers, they contend.

Legal Remedies Include Injunctions, State Agency Maintains
The deed states the OPWC can enforce the deed’s terms “by any proceedings at law or in equity.” The commission argues that this means it can ask for an injunction. An injunction is a well-established legal remedy for a violation of a deed restriction, the OPWC states. It maintains that injunctions protect against future harm and liquidated damages compensate for actual harm that occurred.

While instructing the OPWC to provide for liquidated damages and grant repayment, the General Assembly never stated those were the exclusive legal remedies for a violation of the grant program’s requirements, the commission argues. Rather, its brief contends, R.C. 164.26(A) “expands rather than contracts” the OPWC’s potential legal remedies for program violations.

Role of Public Policy for Oil and Gas Development
Gulfport Energy and two other companies that join its amicus brief raise another argument. They contend that the deed’s transfer restriction violates Ohio’s public policy favoring oil and gas development, even on property owned or controlled by the state. Their brief maintains that nothing in the Clean Ohio programs is an exception to or repeals this public policy.

The OPWC agrees that oil and gas development is the state’s public policy. It counters, “It does not follow, however, that these policies trump all other policies – including conservation – to such a degree that they override the clear language in a deed adopted as part of a constitutionally established conservation program.”

Gulfport has asked the Court to allow it to participate in oral argument and to expand the time allotted for the appellants.

Groups Waive Oral Argument

A number of parties in the case – Patriot Land Company, James Coffelt, Windsor Ohio, and Bank of Nova Scotia – forfeited their right to participate in the Court’s oral arguments because they didn’t file briefs in the case.

Kathleen Maloney

Docket entries, memoranda, briefs (including amicus briefs), and other information about this case may be accessed through the case docket.

Representing Siltstone Resources LLC: Andrew Lycans, 330.264.4444

Representing American Energy-Utica Minerals LLC: Christopher Rogers, 412.513.4329

Representing Eagle Creek Farm Properties Inc.: Scott Zurakowski, 330.497.0700

Representing the Ohio Public Works Commission from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office: Benjamin Flowers, 614.728.0768

Representing the Guernsey County Community Development Corporation: Maribeth Meluch, 614.221.2121

Representing Gulfport Energy Corporation et al.: Daniel Gibson, 614.227.2324

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Did State Miss Deadline to Enforce Pipeline’s Drilling Fluid Spill?

State of Ohio ex rel. Ohio Attorney General v. Rover Pipeline LLC et al., Case No. 2020-0091
Fifth District Court of Appeals (Stark County)

ISSUE: If the state doesn’t issue a Clean Water Act certification as part of a federal natural gas pipeline permit within one year of request, is the state precluded from enforcing any violations of pollution discharges associated with the pipeline’s construction?

The Rover Pipeline is a 713-mile interstate natural gas pipelines that crosses 18 Ohio counties. During its construction, Rover hired several contractors to help build segments of the pipeline. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office, on behalf of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, filed a lawsuit in Stark County Common Pleas Court based on drilling fluid spills that occurred in several counties.

The complaint defined two types of spills. Those of 50,000 gallons or less containing drilling fluid of water and bentonite clay, a fluid that was permitted, with the idea that these spills would occur in small quantities. The other type was a spill in April 2017 in Stark County where millions of gallons of diesel fuel-laced drilling fluid spilled into a what the state categorized as high-quality wetlands. Rover didn’t have authorization to use diesel fuel in the drilling fluid used to construct pipelines under Ohio waterways.

The state charged Rover and six subcontractors with water pollution violations. The state’s legal arguments have evolved as the case moved to the Ohio Supreme Court.

In this case, Rover and the subcontractors make separate legal arguments based on the type of spill involved. Rover has filed a brief jointly with subcontractors Pretec Directional Drilling and Mears Group. Pretec and Mears are accused of participating with Rover in the diesel fuel-laced drilling fluid spill in Stark County.

Subcontractors Laney Directional Drilling, B&T Directional Drilling, and Atlas Trenchless submitted separate briefs. The three companies state they took part in the spills regarding the water and clay mixture. They assert that under the state’s arguments before the Supreme Court, the state no longer is claiming it can act on those spills. The three contractors ask to be dismissed from the case.

To construct the pipeline, Rover needed a permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). As part of that process, it was required to receive a water pollution permit under the federal Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act gives states, not the federal government, primary authority to enforce water pollution violations. Under what is known as a Section 401certification, the state has the right to outline the conditions a permit applicant must follow to protect against water pollution. As part of the FERC pipeline process, a state can voluntarily participate in the granting of the Section 401certification or defer to federal authorities. The FERC process requires the state to issue a Section 401 certificate within one year of the application.

Rover applied for a permit from FERC in February 2015. Ohio EPA received a Section 401 certification request from Rover in November 2015. The EPA didn’t act on the permit within a one-year period and, at one point, informed Rover that its application was incomplete. After conferring with Rover about the permit, it asked the company to refile for Section 401 certification in February 2017. The day after it refiled, EPA granted the certificate.

In April 2017, Rover and its contractors began spilling drilling fluid into Ohio waterways as it constructed the pipeline, including the spill of millions of gallons of diesel fuel-laced fluid into wetlands adjacent to the Tuscarawas River. FERC was made aware of the spills by the Ohio EPA and halted construction of the pipeline until corrective action was taken.

State Seeks Penalties for Spills
The state expressed concerns that FERC’s actions were insufficient and asked the federal agency to require Rover to secure additional state permits to prevent future pollution discharges. Dissatisfied with the federal response, the Ohio attorney general filed a complaint seeking to penalize Rover and six contractors for the spills.

The contractors argued that because the Ohio EPA failed to approve its Section 401 certificate within one year, the state waived its rights to enforce any laws against illegal activities associated with the pipeline construction. The pipeline builders ague the state left all oversight to FERC, which was monitoring construction and requiring corrective action.

The trial court dismissed the case, and the state appealed to the Fifth District. The Fifth District affirmed the trial court’s decision .

The state appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court will hear arguments by videoconference, which will be livestreamed.

State Asserts Right to Regulate
The attorney general notes the federal law indicates that if the state “fails or refuses to act on the request for certification,” the certification requirements “shall be waived with respect to such Federal application.”

The attorney general argues the law acts as a limitation on the state’s power with respect to the requirements granted to Rover in the permit. If the state missed the deadline, it simply means the Ohio EPA was unable to add any further requirements to Rover’s permits regarding water pollution. But the language doesn’t take away any right of the state to take enforcement actions for violations of the permit, it maintains.

Even if the law did limit EPA’s right to charge Rover with violations for exceeding pollution limits allowed in the permit, the state still has authority to charge Rover for violations that are prohibited by the permit, the attorney general asserts.

Rover never indicated it would use diesel fuel in its drilling fluid, which the state maintains isn’t allowed under the law, and neither FERC nor the EPA were aware prior to the spill that the illegal substance was in use. A federal government permit cannot prevent the state from acting under the authority granted by the Clean Water Act to punish Rover for polluting the waters with a substance not even mentioned in the permit, the state maintains.

The attorney general also asserts the EPA may have acted within a year based on one interpretation of the phrase in the law requiring a state “to act on the request for certification.” The state maintains a “request” means a valid request, which required Rover to submit a complete application. EPA indicated that Rover’s November 2015 application was incomplete and additional information was required.

The attorney general argues that EPA received all the necessary information by July 2016. Because it then issued the certification in February 2017, the certificate was issued within a year, the attorney general argues. The office notes that at the time of issuance, Rover never objected or argued that certification was invalid because the deadline passed, and only made the claim it was invalid after the state filed its complaint.

State Waived Enforcement, Pipeline Builders Assert
Rover, and the two contractors accused of the diesel discharge, Pretec and Mears, maintain the lower courts correctly noted that when Ohio waived its rights to setting limits and monitoring requirements with a Section 401 certification, it waived its authority to enforce those rights. The companies claim the waiver didn’t relieve them of oversight that would allow them to freely pollute Ohio waters, but rather placed the enforcement authorities with the federal government, namely FERC.

Rover notes the federal law gives the state the power to impose additional conditions and limits on the “activity as a whole.” The law doesn’t limit the Section 401 certification to merely the parameters of the permit, but to all “activity” undertaken by Rover while it constructed the pipeline. By not acting on the certification in a timely manner, the state waived its right to oversee Rover’s activity and left the enforcement duties to FERC, which Rover maintains addressed the pollution concerns raised by the EPA.

Rover also disputes the claim that the one-year clock to issue the permit restarted once EPA declared it received a complete application. The company notes the law states the one-year limit begins once the company requests certification, which it did by written communication in November 2015. Rover argues that the “complete application” argument has been made and rejected in other federal court cases regarding pipeline permitting, and the federal government has abandoned the argument that the clock starts only when the application requirements have been fully submitted. Rover concludes the state missed the deadline, leaving the project solely to federal oversight.

Friend-of-the-Court Brief Submitted
An amicus curiae brief supporting the attorney general’s position has been submitted jointly by the Ohio Environmental Council and the Sierra Club.

Dan Trevas

Docket entries, memoranda, briefs (including amicus briefs), and other information about this case may be accessed through the case docket.

Representing the State of Ohio from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office: Benjamin Flowers, 614.466.8980

Representing Rover Pipeline LLC: Erin McDevitt-Frantz, 216.367.1402

Representing Pretec Directional Drilling LLC: Joseph Koncelik, 216.696.2373

Representing Mears Group Inc.: Frederic Shadley, 513.698.5014

Representing Laney Directional Drilling Co.: Thomas Knoth, 937.443.6777

Representing Atlas Trenchless LLC: Kevin Murphy, 859.360.1123

Representing B&T Directional Drilling Inc.: Grant Keating, 440.352.3391

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