CLC Prevails in IKEC v Citizens Groups; IKEC Appeals
The Conservation Law Center is representing three Indiana environmental groups in litigation filed by the Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corporation (IKEC), the operators of the Clifty Creek power station in southern Indiana. The groups -- Save The Valley, Hoosier Environmental Council, and Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana -- are defending a 2005 opinion by the Indiana Court of Appeals that non-profit corporations and other organizations can rely on the doctrine of "associational standing" to challenge actions of state agencies when, for example, they issue the permits corporations need to discharge pollution into the environment. "Associational standing" is well-established in the federal court system and in most states and is critical for environmental organizations' watchdog role, but IKEC is fighting to overturn the Court of Appeals' 2005 decision that brought Indiana into line with the majority rule. With staff attorney Jeff Hyman in the lead, CLC and Clinic interns prevailed against IKEC in the trial court. After voluminous briefing and a hearing on the case, Hon. Judge Michael Keele of the Marion County Superior Court dismissed IKEC's petition and complaints in their entirety in October of 2010. IKEC subsequently filed an appeal in the Indiana Court of Appeals, and appellate briefing is now in progress.