Environmental

  • January 23, 2015

    Visteon's Bid For $8M Pollution Coverage Axed By 7th Circ.

    The Seventh Circuit refused on Friday to order National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh to cover auto parts supplier Visteon Corp. for $8 million in cleanup and litigation costs over pollution from an Indiana plant, saying a key carveout from the pollution exclusion does not apply.

  • January 23, 2015

    Garlock Claims Of Dirty Tactics To Renew Transparency Push

    Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC's adversary suits unsealed this month target prominent asbestos plaintiffs attorneys with detailed allegations about their misconduct — including that they persuaded mesothelioma victims to lie about their asbestos exposure — a development attorneys say will fuel the defense bar's push for transparency that has lagged since last year's landmark ruling in the gasket maker's bankruptcy case.

  • January 23, 2015

    Obama Nominates EPA Deputy Chief, Other Posts

    President Barack Obama on Thursday said he would tap the Environmental Protection Agency’s acting second in command to officially service as deputy administrator, along with a series of other nominations, including filling one of six vacancies on Internal Revenue Service’s oversight panel.

  • January 23, 2015

    Ethanol Industry Urges DC Circ. To Review EPA's Gas Rule

    Representatives for the ethanol industry urged a DC Circuit judge to review a new fuel emissions rule, saying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has flip-flopped on its interpretation of a provision in the rule which runs counter to the spirit of the agency’s original rule change.

  • January 23, 2015

    NJ Enviro, Planning Groups Seek Veto Of Meadowlands Bill

    Smart growth, environmental and conservation groups on Friday urged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to veto plans to consolidate an agency that has overseen development and environmental improvements in the Meadowlands and overhaul a regional tax sharing system, contending that the changes would undermine decades of balanced planning.

  • January 23, 2015

    Feds Say BP, Anadarko Can Handle Max Deepwater Penalties

    The federal government on Friday wrapped up its case against BP Exploration and Production Inc. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in the penalty phase trial over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, closing with testimony that the companies won’t suffer long-term harm if they’re hit with the maximum penalties.

  • January 23, 2015

    Industry Lacks Standing In CO2 Waste Suit, DC Circ. Told

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday told the D.C. Circuit its rule properly interprets carbon dioxide emissions transported in pipelines and stored in geological formations as “solid waste" and that industry groups challenging the rule don’t have standing.

  • January 23, 2015

    DOI Eyes 300K Acres Off NC For Offshore Wind Leasing

    The U.S. Department of the Interior said Friday that it's tabbed more than 300,000 acres of federal waters off the coast of North Carolina that could be suitable for offshore wind leasing, the latest push by the Obama administration to encourage offshore wind development on the Atlantic coast.

  • January 23, 2015

    ARCO Says $43M Agreement Frees It Of Superfund Cleanup

    Atlantic Richfield Co. is fighting in federal court to keep the U.S. government and a Native American tribe from forcing it to fork over money for the cleanup of a New Mexico uranium mining site, arguing that it washed its hands of responsibility for the site following the signing of a $43 million agreement in 1986.

  • January 22, 2015

    Ex-Contractor For NJ Watershed Agency Cops To Bribery

    A former contractor for the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corp. admitted in federal court Thursday to conspiring with a former NWCDC employee in a bribery and kickback scheme that defrauded the agency of hundreds of thousands of dollars, also pleading guilty to a tax charge. 

  • January 22, 2015

    ‘Whale Wars’ Host Can’t Sink Ship Owner’s $3M Libel Suit

    A California federal judge on Thursday rebuffed a bid by the host of reality series “Whale Wars” to jettison a $3 million defamation suit over his claim that the owner of a ship that sank on the show is an animal killer.

  • January 22, 2015

    NJ High Court Boosts Towns In Enviro Zoning Fights

    A New Jersey Supreme Court decision on Thursday that backed a municipality's ability to designate property as environmentally sensitive to restrict higher-density development could empower more towns to make such zoning changes and make it tougher for landowners to fight them, attorneys said.

  • January 22, 2015

    Industry Groups Fire Back At EPA Over Small Boiler Rules

    A coalition of industry groups on Wednesday countered the Environmental Protection Agency’s defense of new rules limiting toxic emissions from small-sized boilers, telling the D.C. Circuit that two key elements of the regulations lack a basis in the Clean Air Act and should be thrown out.

  • January 22, 2015

    Feds Highlight Economic Harm To Gulf In BP Penalty Trial

    The federal government on Thursday hammered away at BP Exploration and Production Inc. for the economic harm caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and tried to establish that parent company BP PLC should be on the hook for any penalty.

  • January 22, 2015

    Insurers Say Chemtura Can't Tap Predecessors' Policies

    A London market insurance company group sued Chemtura Corp., its affiliates and insurers in New York state court Thursday, disclaiming responsibility for environmental remediation costs and food industry employee suits relating to dangerous chemical exposure.

  • January 22, 2015

    Ex-Im Bank Escapes Enviro Suit Over $90M Export Guarantee

    A Washington, D.C., federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a challenge to a $90 million guarantee issued by the Export-Import Bank of the United States for an Xcoal Energy & Resources LLC coal export loan, ruling the environmental groups challenging the guarantee lacked standing for their suit.

  • January 22, 2015

    DOE Unveils $56M In Electric Car Development Loans

    U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced Thursday that the U.S. Department of Energy has opened up $56 million in loans to develop fuel- and cost-efficient technologies in cars and trucks, saying the program will help propel the “electrification” of the American automobile landscape.

  • January 22, 2015

    Corps Can't Stop PortMiami Dredging Suit, Enviros Say

    Several environmental organizations Wednesday slammed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ bid to toss a lawsuit critical of the dredging of PortMiami, insisting a 2012 settlement amending the project permit to protect staghorn coral doesn’t preclude further legal action against the Corps.

  • January 22, 2015

    5 Ways Technology Is Driving Real Estate Development

    Changing online shopping preferences, heightened attention to energy conservation and a proliferation of smartphone uses are affecting where new real estate projects are happening and how they are being designed, as developers react to marked changes in technology and consumer behavior. Here, Law360 looks at five ways technology is impacting real estate development.

  • January 22, 2015

    Hess Drains Well Pollution Suit After Excluding Expert

    Hess Corp. is off the hook for allegations that it polluted a competitor's well in the Eagle Ford Shale, causing $1.7 million in damages, after a Texas federal judge ruled Wednesday that expert testimony provided by the competitors was not persuasive.

Expert Analysis

  • 11 Ways To Reform NY's Brownfield Cleanup Program

    Lawrence P. Schnapf

    All stakeholders agree the Brownfield Cleanup Program has significantly driven the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties in New York state. There is also broad consensus that the program should be extended, but with changes to better target tax credits to sites that need them most. A number of recommendations are now on the table, say co-chairmen of the New York State Bar Association's Brownfield Task Force.

  • A Data Security Checklist For Companies Hiring Law Firms

    Jenn Topper

    We trust our law firms with huge amounts of data, whether in or out of discovery, investigations or litigation. All too often, we have relied on privilege, confidentiality and attorney ethics as a proxy for data protection and information security. But in fact, law firms ought to be held to a much more stringent standard — and in-house counsel would be wise to begin with a number of specific inquiries, says legal industry consultan... (continued)

  • Tracking The Transparency Of Enviro Justice Policies

    Mark R. Ter Molen

    The execution of recent state and federal regulatory agency initiatives over environmental justice raises legal questions regarding transparency. While some mapping and screening tools and their underlying methodologies are publicly accessible, others are not, and the regulated community is unable to “audit” assessments when faced with seemingly arbitrary decision-making, say attorneys at Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Top 10 Trade Secrets Developments Of 2014: Part 2

    Randy Kahnke

    While the world of patentable subject matter shrinks, the world of trade secret protection may be expanding, say attorneys with Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • EPA Methane Strategy May Sit On Policy Back Burner

    Cynthia AM Stroman

    While it remains to be seen whether Congress will act to disapprove the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's methane emissions reduction strategy, at a surficial level, its limitation to “new” sources might place it lower on Capitol Hill’s priority list, says Cynthia Stroman of King & Spalding LLP.

  • Wis. High Court Case Will Impact Farm Insurance Policies

    Cameron F. Field

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court's ruling in Wilson Mutual Insurance Co. v. Falk, which holds that manure contaminating a well is a “pollutant” and is not covered under a farm's general liability insurance policy, should prompt policyholders to understand how a policy defines pollutant. The case may be informative in states that have yet to hear a similar case, say attorneys at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.

  • Fracking Bans May Trigger Civil Authority Coverage After All

    Walter J. Andrews

    A recent Law360 guest article suggests a number of reasons why civil authority coverage will not be implicated by local fracking bans. The article does not, however, fully address three important issues that will impact the question of whether civil authority coverage is, in fact, triggered, say attorneys with Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Changes To Japan's Feed-In Tariff Scheme Are Coming

    Joshua R. Isenberg

    While the proposed amendments to Japan's feed-in tariff scheme remain subject to public comment, policymakers are sympathetic to change and the risk of reduction to a previously secured rate may be increasing for solar projects that are not presently, or likely to soon be, shovel-ready, say attorneys at Paul Hastings LLP.

  • Whirlpool Case Is Instructive Of Rule 23(a) Requirements

    Ruben F. Reyna

    Day v. Whirlpool Corp. underscores the importance of Rule 23(a) criteria for class certification and the rigorous analysis district courts will undertake when certification is sought for settlement. Since movants made short shrift of numerosity and adequate representation, they failed to satisfy Rule 23(a) requirements, says Ruben Reyna of Sedgwick LLP.

  • Fukushima Case May Impact Global Nuclear Liability Law

    Lynn K. McKay

    Although laws addressing nuclear risk in both Japan and the U.S. provide for liability channeling and consolidation of claims in the court where a nuclear incident occurs, the ruling in Cooper v. Tokyo Electric Power Company leaves open the possibility that the lawsuit could be tried outside the country under state common law instead of nuclear liability law, say Lynn McKay and Scott Greer of King & Spalding LLP.