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November 30, 2015

MSCI Files Amicus Brief In Texas Supreme Court

Working with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the American Chemistry Council and several other groups, MSCI this month filed an amicus curiae letter with the Texas Supreme Court in the case of Sciscoe v. Enbridge Gathering

Sciscoe concerns the preemption of tort claims for permitted emissions and, as NAM explains, it arose after residents near four natural-gas compressor stations alleged that the stations interfered with their rights by creating noise and fumes. The district court ruled against the plaintiffs, who appealed the ruling to a Texas court of appeals. The court of appeals reversed the lower court’s ruling and found in favor of the plaintiffs. The Texas Supreme Court will now decide the matter. 

The Texas Supreme Court will decide whether the federal Clean Air Act and the Texas Clean Air Act preempt state tort claims for damages against facilities that otherwise operate lawfully and in compliance with issued permits. The letter submitted by MSCI and its partners urged the court to grant review and clarify the respective roles of federal and state environmental authorities. The letter argued that accepting the plaintiffs’ position would subject businesses to “uncertain, unpredictable, unforeseeable and potentially unbearable liabilities.” 

Please contact MSCI if you are interested in seeing a full copy of the amicus curiae letter.