The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael M. Mihm United States District Judge
Tuesday, 15 February, 2011 02:56:54 PM
Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD
Now before the Court, is Plaintiffs/Counter Defendants Ethel and Rex Carlson's ("the Carlsons") Motion for Reconsideration [#21] of the Court's ruling in its Order [#20] denying the Plaintiff/Counter Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Strike. For the following reasons, the Motion for Reconsideration [#21] is DENIED.
The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343, as the claim asserted in the Complaint presents a federal question under the citizen suit provision of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. §6972(a)(1)(B) ("RCRA").
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Ethel Carlson purchased the Ameren MGP site ("the Property") in February 2005 from the Defendant. (Answer, ¶ 6). Ethel Carlson's son, Rex Carlson, now operates an excavating and snow removal business on the Property. The Property is located at 151 West Ferris Street in Galesburg, Illinois. Defendant Ameren Corporation, also known as Illinois Power Company ("Ameren"), owned and operated the Property from 1861 to the mid-1940's. Plaintiffs/Counter Defendats allege that Ameren disposed of hazardous and solid wastes on the property, which resulted in soil and groundwater contamination before Plaintiffs/Counter Defendants acquired the property.
The Carlsons allege that, as a result of the hazardous wastes disposed by Ameren and its predecessors, the property and persons on the property are in serious risk of imminent and substantial endangerment. The Carlsons claim that Ameren is liable for the condition of the land pursuant to the RCRA. The Carlsons filed the pending action for injunctive relief with this Court on July 22, 2010. Ameren answered the Complaint and included its affirmative defenses and counterclaims [#12]. The Carlsons filed a consolidated Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Strike, which the Court denied in its Order on January 21, 2011 [#20]. The Carlsons filed the present Motion to Reconsider the Court's ruling on their consolidated motions.
In its Order, the Court found that Ameren had sufficiently pled its counterclaim against the Carlsons under the RCRA by alleging that (1) the Carlsons actively obstructed RCRA's attempts to repair the land, and (2) permitting the continued leaching of contaminates. The Court also denied the Carlson's Motion to Strike Ameren's affirmative defenses on the grounds that Ameren claims that the Carlsons are obstructing access and filing this suit for personal financial gain. The Carlsons filed the present Motion to Reconsider the Court's Order on the Motion to Dismiss [#21] on January 26, 2011, and Ameren filed its Memorandum in Opposition [#25] on February 10, 2011. The matter is fully briefed, and this Order follows.
"Motions for reconsideration serve a limited function: to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Caisse Nationale de Credit v. CBI Industries, 90 F.3d 1264, 1269 (7th Cir. 1996). It is not appropriate to argue matters that could have been raised in prior motions or rehash previously rejected arguments in a motion to reconsider. Id. at 1270.
Plaintiffs first argue that the Court improperly considered Ameren's argument in its Response [#18] that the Carlson's obstructed Ameren's access to the property for financial gain. Plaintiffs further assert that it was unable to file any arguments to counter this accusation as the Local Rules prevent the filing of a sur-reply. Local Rule 7.1(B)(3). First, a plaintiff is permitted to elaborate on the facts and the circumstances surrounding the complaint in its response to a motion to dismiss. See White v. Monohan, 326 Fed.Appx. 385, 386 (7th Cir. 2009). So long as the facts are consistent with the allegations, the Court is permitted to consider them in order to rule on the pending motion. See id. (citing Flying J. Inc. v. City of New Haven, 549 F.3d 538, 542 n.1 (7th Cir. 2008). Here, Ameren alleged in its Counter-Complaint and Affirmative Defenses [#12] that the Carlsons obstructed its access to the property. Ameren elaborated in its ...