Environmental

  • July 25, 2014

    EPA Drops GHG Permits Covered By High Court Ruling

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday informed its 10 regional administrators that it would no longer require certain types of permits, to stay consistent with a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that scaled back the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

  • July 25, 2014

    Residents’ Bid To Block New Sacramento Kings Arena Nixed

    A California state judge on Friday refused to block construction of the Sacramento Kings' new arena, saying arena opponents' arguments that the project was unconstitutional and would harm the environment were "without merit."

  • July 25, 2014

    Feds, Alaska Agree To $450K Settlement Over BP Oil Spills

    BP’s Alaska unit has agreed to settle a civil complaint with the U.S. government and the State of Alaska totaling $450,000 regarding four allegedly unauthorized oil discharges of more than 400 barrels into waters from North Slope pipelines between 2007 and 2011, according to court documents.

  • July 25, 2014

    EPA Must Move On Delayed Boiler Emissions Rules: Judge

    A D.C. federal judge on Friday ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin a long-stalled process to set limits on emissions of three air pollutants released by industrial boilers and sewage incinerators, finding the agency had shirked a court ruling on the matter for years.

  • July 25, 2014

    ITC Plans Anti-Dumping Duties On China's Solar Products

    The U.S. Department of Commerce on Friday said it is planning to levy preliminary anti-dumping import duties of roughly 42 percent on crystalline silicon solar panels from China and about 36 percent on solar cells made in Taiwan.

  • July 25, 2014

    Alaska Judge Rejects Bearded Seals' 'Threatened' Status

    An Alaska federal court on Friday vacated a National Marine Fisheries Service rule declaring a population of bearded seals in the state “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, saying the listing was based upon speculation and isn't supported by evidence.

  • July 25, 2014

    Ex-NJ Water Official Cops To Hiding Contamination

    A former high-ranking official with a New Jersey water agency pled guilty on Friday to participating in a scheme to rig water quality tests and hide contamination by a probable carcinogen, Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said.

  • July 25, 2014

    Texas Court Kicks Deepwater Investor Suit To Switzerland

    A shareholder trying to sue the directors of Transocean Ltd. in a derivative suit in Texas over their alleged mishandling of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and its aftermath will have to take her case to Switzerland if she wants to continue, a Texas appeals court ruled on Thursday.

  • July 25, 2014

    OIG Faults EPA For Failing To Stem Methane Emissions

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is not doing enough to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that poses safety and climate hazards, from natural gas pipelines, according to a Friday report from the Office of Inspector General.

  • July 25, 2014

    Green Group Demands Feds Peg PVC As Hazardous Waste

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was hit with a legal petition on Thursday asking the government to classify as a hazardous waste a chemical substance found in plastic that is linked to cancer and birth defects.

  • July 25, 2014

    GSE Gets Nod For Ch.11 Plan With $173M Debt-For-Equity Deal

    GSE Environmental Inc., which makes containment products for industrial work sites, won the blessing of a Delaware bankruptcy judge Friday for a Chapter 11 plan that will hand control of the reorganized company to secured lenders in a $173 million debt-for-equity swap.

  • July 25, 2014

    Ranchers, Tribe Lose Challenge To $1.2B Nev. Mine

    A federal judge has turned back a bid by ranchers and Native Americans to block a $1.2 billion molybdenum mine planned by General Moly Inc. in central Nevada, unpersuaded by claims that the project will drain scarce water supplies and cause other environmental damage.

  • July 25, 2014

    REITs Broaden Investor Base With Green Bonds

    As investors become more concerned about climate change and other environmental issues, real estate investment trusts and other corporations are taking a lesson from the World Bank and issuing so-called green bonds focused on environmentally friendly projects to open up their investor base.

  • July 24, 2014

    Colo. City's Fracking Ban Preempted By State Law, Judge Says

    A Colorado judge threw out the city of Longmont’s voter-approved ban on hydraulic fracturing, finding Thursday that the city did not have the authority to ban state-authorized fracking.

  • July 24, 2014

    Calif. Panel Slams Brakes On CEQA Suit Over Rail Plan

    A California appeals court on Thursday ruled the state had properly conducted environmental analysis of its proposed route for high-speed rail connecting San Francisco and Merced, California, affirming the dismissal of a 2008 suit by several cities alleging it violated the California Environmental Quality Act.

  • July 24, 2014

    Calif. City Fracking Ban Faces Industry Challenge

    An oil and gas industry group is taking the California city of Compton to court over a ban on hydraulic fracturing, claiming that city officials illegally pushed through the ordinance without giving those directly affected by the prohibition a chance to voice their concerns.

  • July 24, 2014

    The Biggest Environmental Cases Of 2014: Midyear Report

    Courts sent a clear message to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal regulators during the first half of 2014: Stick to the letter of the law or risk having your policies shot down. Whether the issue is climate change, Superfund sites or endangered species protections, the big winners in court have focused on the statutory language.

  • July 24, 2014

    Ferrostaal, Ventiveste Invest $296M In Portugal Wind Farms

    Germany-based industrial service developer Ferrostaal GmbH and Portuguese engineering and energy consortium Ventiveste are investing €220 million ($296 million) in four wind farms in Portugal, the companies announced Thursday.

  • July 24, 2014

    SunEdison Buys Colorado’s Largest Solar Power Plant

    Solar energy company SunEdison Inc. has purchased the 156 megawatt Comanche Solar project in Colorado, the largest solar plant in the state, from fellow renewable energy company Community Energy in a deal that will supply electricity to utility supplier Xcel Energy Inc., the companies said Thursday.

  • July 24, 2014

    2nd Circ. Sides With FDA In Livestock Antibiotics Spat

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t need to launch hearings on whether to ban certain antibiotics from animal feed, the Second Circuit ruled Thursday, dealing a blow to consumer groups that claim rampant use of the drugs is fueling the rise of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Expert Analysis

  • EPA Unit Rule's Impact Hinges On State Implementation

    Alison M. Nelson

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule regarding modified and reconstructed units will potentially affect all fossil fuel-fired electric generating units, and the rule's impact on existing units could be significantly more far-reaching depending on the approach states take toward emission reduction, say Robert Wilkinson and Alison Nelson of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • 6 Years In, Why Haven't FRE 502(d) Orders Caught On?

    John A. Rosans

    In this e-discovery era, why aren't more litigants using Federal Rule of Evidence 502(d) orders and affording themselves basic protection of their most sensitive information? Or, if they are moving for such orders, why are they doing it wrong? asks John Rosans of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

  • Opportunities In Russia's Renewable Energy Program

    Alex Blomfield

    For corporate lawyers, Russia’s renewable energy incentive program may provide opportunities given significant need among Russian companies to establish joint ventures and their inexperience with successfully and cost-effectively executing renewable energy projects, say Alex Blomfield and Alexandra Rotar of King & Spalding LLP.

  • Trial-Ready In 180 Days: Prepare For SDNY's Rocket Docket

    Isaac S. Greaney

    A growing trend in the Southern District of New York akin to a sua sponte rocket docket can provide defendants with an opportunity to set the tone of discovery and shift the burden and risks of the schedule to their adversaries, say Isaac Greaney and Jackie Lu of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Wind River Reservation May Shape Tribal CAA Jurisdiction

    Bart J. Freedman

    Public and private entities, including the state of Wyoming, have raised an issue of first impression as to whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to determine an Indian reservation's boundaries under the Clean Air Act — the result could lead to a departure from established regulatory principles and should be of interest to entities operating on or near reservations, say attorneys at K&L Gates LLP.

  • When You Are Responsible For Your Book Of Business

    Jennifer Topper

    Finding prospective clients and retaining them has little to do with your legal training and expertise, and yet you have no practice without successful client acquisition and retention. There is no reason you cannot apply your basic legal training to successful sales efforts hinging upon your practice strength and experience, says independent law firm consultant Jennifer Topper.

  • Combating Calif. Drought With More Recycled Water

    Alison B. Torbitt

    The obvious participants in California's recycled water program will be municipal wastewater treatment plants that already have the equipment and expertise to comply with treatment regulations — the program may even prove a good source of extra income for such facilities while they save scarce freshwater sources, says Alison Torbitt of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • An Inventive Way To Remove Pure State Court Claims

    Michael E. Blumenfeld

    Nondiverse state court defendants facing purely state law claims that seek to secure federal jurisdiction should determine whether a good faith basis exists to pursue a third-party action against a federal actor in order to trigger the representative U.S. Attorney’s certification and remove such claims under the Westfall Act, say Michael Blumenfeld and Jonathan Singer of Miles & Stockbridge PC.

  • EPA May Threaten Reverse Distribution Of Pharmaceuticals

    Jonathan E. Wells

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may adopt starkly different approaches toward regulating nonhazardous pharmaceuticals and pharmaceuticals containing hazardous ingredients, with additional inconsistencies between health care facilities and other retailers — a regulatory nightmare for industry, say Jonathan Wells and Elise Paeffgen of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • Powerful Tools For Discovery And Litigation Strategy

    Nathalie Hofman

    Analytics offer opportunities for refining both discovery strategy and overall litigation strategy by providing information to support better informed decisions. As an added bonus, they can result in significant cost savings, say Nathalie Hofman and Carolyn Southerland of Huron Consulting Group Inc.