Environmental

  • July 2, 2015

    White House Orders Updated GMO Rules Amid Criticism

    The White House on Thursday ordered three federal agencies to overhaul the government’s regulations on genetically modified organisms, saying current rules are excessively complex and confusing and need updating to boost public confidence in federal oversight of biotech crop products.

  • July 2, 2015

    BP Out Of Deepwater: The 5-Year Path To A Record Settlement

    BP Exploration & Production Inc.'s $18.7 billion global settlement Thursday caps a five-year court battle over the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. Here's a timeline of the case that fell just short of the U.S. Supreme Court and ended in the largest environmental settlement in U.S. history.

  • July 2, 2015

    Without A Deal, BP Would Have Faced Harsher Penalties

    Despite the magnitude of Thursday’s $18.7 billion settlement that ends most of the litigation over BP Exploration & Production Inc.’s liability in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, experts say the company could have been hit even harder had the overseeing judge been able to hand down a penalty of his own.

  • July 2, 2015

    Oklahoma Sues EPA Over Clean Power Plan

    Oklahoma’s attorney general on Wednesday filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging that its Clean Power Plan is an abuse of power that, despite a D.C. Circuit court’s ruling, can’t wait until its final stage to be stopped.

  • July 2, 2015

    Platinum Power Inks Deal For $845M Hydro Plant In Cameroon

    Private equity-backed Platinum Power SA, a Moroccan renewable energy company, said Wednesday it has reached a deal with the Cameroonian government to build a 500 billion CFA franc ($844.9 million) hydroelectric power plant in the country’s Centre Region.

  • July 2, 2015

    Enviros Move To Revoke Shell's Seattle Port Lease

    Environmental groups asked a Washington state judge Thursday to vacate the Port of Seattle’s lease approving a home port for Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s Arctic drilling fleet, saying it doesn’t meet the exemptions to bypass public hearings and an environmental review.

  • July 2, 2015

    Navajo Leaders Call Water, Infrastructure Top Priorities

    The Navajo Nation has named water rights and infrastructure as its top two concerns after a meeting of its branch chiefs and the 23rd Navajo Nation Council, the tribe’s leaders announced Wednesday, raising the possibility of establishing property taxes in the face of a budget shortfall.

  • July 2, 2015

    Oil Pollution Act Case Over Texas Barge Spill OK'd For Trial

    The U.S. government's Oil Pollution Act claims against two industrial corporations will head to trial, after a Texas federal judge denied dueling summary judgment bids Tuesday in the suit over a barge's oil spill.

  • July 2, 2015

    Norfolk Southern Wants Out Of NJ Train Wreck Litigation

    Norfolk Southern Railway Co. on Wednesday urged a federal judge to dismiss it from a slew of lawsuits over a 2012 train derailment and chemical spill in Paulsboro, New Jersey, arguing that it can’t be held liable for an accident involving its affiliate, Consolidated Rail Corp.

  • July 2, 2015

    NRC Revives License Renewal Process For Calif. Nuke Plant

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced it is reviving the long-suspended environmental review process for a California nuclear power plant’s license renewal, requesting public comment on the planned environmental impact statement.

  • July 2, 2015

    Emissions Pacts Pave Way To Keystone Approval, US Told

    TransCanada Corp. has continued pushing the U.S. Department of State to speed up its review process for the cross-border Keystone XL pipeline, telling the department that recent commitments by the Canadian government and others to cut carbon emissions only further the pipeline’s cause.

  • July 2, 2015

    Energy Groups Knock Exemption To Rule On Threatened Bat

    Two energy industry groups say that an exemption to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule protecting the northern long-eared bat should apply to oil and gas activities if it applies to the timber industry, and urged the agency to amend its decision.

  • July 2, 2015

    BP Reaches $18.7B Deal To Settle Deepwater Claims

    BP Exploration & Production Inc. on Thursday reached an $18.7 billion global settlement — the largest in U.S. history — over its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, a deal that follows the company’s failure to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider its liability under the Clean Water Act.

  • July 1, 2015

    EPA Tells DC Circ. Challengers To GHG Rules Lack Standing

    Petitioners seeking an en banc rehearing of a judgment partially upholding greenhouse gas rules will actually experience further harm if they get what they want, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday, saying the petitioners lack standing.

  • July 1, 2015

    Utility Can't Avoid Suit Over Pollution Control Project

    A Texas appellate court on Wednesday gave Casey Industrial Inc. another shot at suing San Antonio power utility CPS Energy for cost overruns on a pollution control project at a CPS coal-fired power plant, saying the case was wrongly dismissed on governmental immunity grounds.

  • July 1, 2015

    DOI Wants Chickasaw, Choctaw Trust Land Claims Tossed

    The federal government urged an Oklahoma federal court Tuesday to toss a complaint brought by the Chickasaw Nation and Choctaw Nation alleging the government failed in its responsibility to protect the tribes’ trust land, saying a trial wasn’t needed because the court lacked jurisdiction over the case.

  • July 1, 2015

    Fishing Groups Ask Court To Halt Ocean Seismic Testing

    A coalition of fishing groups filed suit Wednesday against the federal government and various aquatic research groups to halt a seismic study off the New Jersey coast, saying the use of underwater airguns that blast sound waves at levels louder than a space shuttle launch is disturbing aquatic life.

  • July 1, 2015

    Feds Say Tribe Can't Prove Irreparable Harm In Fracking Row

    The federal government asked a Wyoming federal court Wednesday to deny the Ute Indian Tribe's bid for a preliminary injunction in litigation over a controversial new hydraulic fracturing rule, saying any alleged injury to the tribe that could result from its implementation is speculative.

  • July 1, 2015

    4th Circ. Revives Baltimore Casino Pollution Suit

    The Fourth Circuit on Wednesday revived a lawsuit alleging the city of Baltimore, developers and operators of the Horseshoe Casino failed to prevent hazardous materials and contaminated groundwater from seeping from the casino’s construction site into the nearby waterfront area.

  • July 1, 2015

    Toyota, Nissan, Honda Blazing Path For Fuel Cell Vehicles

    Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. said Wednesday they have agreed on the details of a plan to build hydrogen fueling stations in Japan as the companies look to steer the global automotive market toward fuel cell vehicles.

Expert Analysis

  • Regulators Are Cracking Down On Drug Disposal

    William J. Walsh

    Given several recent environmental developments indicating greater effort by regulators to minimize the release of pharmaceutical waste, the health care industry may need to adopt new tracking and disposal methods, say William Walsh and Greg Narsh at Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  • Haze Of Uncertainty Surrounds EPA Vapor Intrusion Rules

    Donald D. Anderson

    Thirteen years after releasing an initial draft and two years after issuing a draft for public comment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at last released its final vapor intrusion guidance document, though how the guidance will be used — or misused — in environmental and tort litigation is uncertain, say attorneys at McGuireWoods LLP.

  • 9th Circ. Gives Growers Relief In Preserving Exemption

    James M. Sabovich

    The Ninth Circuit's ruling in Association of Irritated Residents v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency preserving a long-standing exemption for emissions from certain pre-2004 agricultural sources granted growers a small reprieve this summer in an otherwise trying year for agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley, say attorneys at Bick Law Group.

  • A Possible Pattern In EPA Cases Before The High Court

    Thomas R. Wood

    What's so striking about the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Michigan v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is its similarity to the court's ruling last year in Utility Air Regulatory Group, which struck down, in part, the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases under the prevention of significant deterioration program, says Thomas Wood of Stoel Rives LLP.

  • Hot Environmental Issues In Real Estate Transactions

    Susan P. Phillips

    Since its inception in the 1970s, environmental law with respect to real estate has evolved as our understanding of how contaminants impact human health and the environment has changed. Several areas are important to consider in property transfer or financing transactions, say Katy Ward and Susan Phillips of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • Midpoint 2015: What To Expect From State AGs

    Joseph W. Jacquot

    Whether on competition in the solar energy market, oversight of professional occupations or the safety of electronic payment systems, businesses should proactively engage with state attorneys general as they fulfill their consumer protection role, says Foley & Lardner LLP's Joseph Jacquot, a former Florida deputy attorney general and chief of staff of the attorney general’s office.

  • Flawed Federal Oversight Hinders Tribal Energy Development

    Ryan A. Smith

    Indian tribes and their members are together the third-largest owner of domestic mineral resources, including oil, gas and coal. Until the federal review process is significantly streamlined and made more predictable, tribes will continue to have difficulty developing their resources, and potential private partners will be less inclined to make the necessary investments, say Ryan Smith and Teddy Tanzer of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • The Top 3 New Do’s And Don’ts For Law Firm Websites

    Stephan Roussan

    In legal marketing circles, there are few topics peddled about more than “hot tips” for improving your law firm’s website. Google it. You’ll find more advice than you could ever digest. However, there are larger trends in technology, culture and user behavior that are impacting firms in very significant ways and are not being talked about nearly as much as they should be, says Stephan Roussan, founder of consulting and web developm... (continued)

  • What To Include In Your Calif. Project’s Enviro Baseline

    Gina Gribow

    The recent California state appeal's court decision in CREED-21 v. City of San Diego is an important milestone in California Environmental Quality Act jurisprudence, defining what should or should not be included in a project's environmental baseline for CEQA purposes, say Roger Grable and Gina Gribow of Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP.

  • Tracing The Supreme Court's Treatment Of CERCLA

    Colin G. Van Dyke

    From Key Tronic Corp. v. U.S. to CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, the U.S. Supreme Court's consistent position that courts should be guided by the plain meaning of CERCLA's text stands in stark contrast to lower courts' historical tendency to be guided instead by the act's supposedly "broad remedial purpose," says Colin Van Dyke of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.