Environmental

  • February 8, 2016

    11th Circ. Denies Ga. County's Appeal Of DOL Admin Ruling

    The Eleventh Circuit on Monday denied an appeal by DeKalb County, Georgia, challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s administrative ruling in a retaliation suit brought under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, finding that application of a different standard would’ve ended in the same outcome.

  • February 8, 2016

    11th Circ. Finds Tax Court's Deduction Valuation Flawed

    The Eleventh Circuit agreed with the U.S. Tax Court's conclusion about the highest and best use for a piece of land donated by a real estate developer but said Friday the court shouldn't have reduced the land's value from $25.2 million to $21 million in a dispute with the IRS over a charitable deduction.

  • February 8, 2016

    2nd Circ. Stays Order Blocking Pa. Tronox Pollution Suit

    The Second Circuit on Monday granted a group of former creosote wood treatment plant workers’ bid for an emergency stay of an order directing them to drop a Pennsylvania state court case against an Anadarko Petroleum Corp. unit that is related to a $5.2 billion Tronox Inc. pollution cleanup deal.

  • February 8, 2016

    Fla. Can't Shirk $15M Destroyed Trees Award, Class Says

    A class of Florida homeowners pushed a state appeals court Monday to enforce their $15 million judgment against the state for removing thousands of residential citrus trees, which the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has refused to pay for years.

  • February 8, 2016

    Gila River Tribal Group Pushes To Block Ariz. Freeway

    The Gila River Indian Community blasted a planned $1.75 billion freeway project near Phoenix in Arizona federal court Friday, calling on a judge to throw out the planned road for taking shortcuts on environmental reviews.

  • February 8, 2016

    NJ Sen. Makes Appellate Bid To Join $225M ExxonMobil Suit

    A New Jersey senator has refueled his fight against New Jersey’s $225 million settlement with ExxonMobil over pollution, urging the Appellate Division on Monday to allow him to join the litigation so he can overturn the deal he says shortchanges the state.

  • February 8, 2016

    US, India Talk Settlement In WTO Solar Row

    A World Trade Organization decision on the legality of India’s solar energy program has been delayed as officials in New Delhi hold meetings with the Obama administration in an attempt to reach a mutual resolution, the U.S. trade representative’s office said Monday.

  • February 8, 2016

    EPA Dodges $40M Suit Over Armed Raid Of Wyo. Business

    A Wyoming federal judge on Monday tossed a lawsuit accusing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of causing $40 million in damages during an unwarranted, armed raid, finding the former owners of a chemical and environmental analysis company took too long to sue.

  • February 8, 2016

    DuPont Asks To Intervene In Renewable Fuel Rule Challenge

    DuPont asked the D.C. Circuit Friday to allow it to intervene in a suit challenging a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule reducing statutory volumes of renewable fuel, arguing that the agency’s decision puts its massive investment in a cellulosic ethanol facility at risk.

  • February 8, 2016

    Pa. Reps. Push Gas Drilling Tax In Advance Of Wolf's Budget

    Two Pennsylvania state representatives pushed plans to impose a new severance tax on natural gas drilling before a House committee Monday, a day before Gov. Tom Wolf introduces his own budget outline for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

  • February 8, 2016

    NJ Bill Would Expand Infrastructure Projects Cost Oversight

    A New Jersey Assembly panel on Monday advanced a bill that would require local governments and authorities wanting to use New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust funds for projects costing $1 million or more to first obtain a financing cost estimate from the trust.

  • February 8, 2016

    EPA Discourages 8th Circ. Review In Ameren Upgrades Suit

    The federal government on Friday asked a Missouri federal judge not to allow the Eighth Circuit to review his refusal to sink the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s lawsuit against a regional utility that allegedly made major upgrades to a coal-fired power plant without the necessary permits.

  • February 8, 2016

    Ex-NJ Public Water Operator Gets 3 Years For Fake Data

    The onetime operator of public drinking water systems for two New Jersey towns was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for submitting false information on water purity tests, according to the state attorney general's office.

  • February 8, 2016

    Paris Deal May Give EPA Another Source Of GHG Authority

    A group of legal scholars says the landmark Paris accord on climate change enhances the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases, citing an oft-ignored provision of the Clean Air Act that allows the agency to regulate pollutants when other countries make similar commitments.

  • February 8, 2016

    Enviros Urge 2nd Circ. To Nix FERC's $683M Pipeline Approval

    Five environmental groups have asked the Second Circuit to review the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of the proposed $683 million Constitution Pipeline, saying that the agency violated both the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

  • February 8, 2016

    CPP Challengers Insist High Court Stay Is Warranted

    Utility and labor groups urging the U.S. Supreme Court to block the Clean Power Plan while it's challenged in court have said that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's argument that issuing a stay would be extraordinary glosses over the sweeping authority being asserted by the agency over existing power plants.

  • February 8, 2016

    1st Circ. Won't Rethink Railroad Facility Preemption Ruling

    A First Circuit panel refused Friday to reconsider a ruling upending a Surface Transportation Board decision that had exempted a Massachusetts Grafton & Upton Railroad Co. facility from state and local zoning and environmental regulations, finding the agency wasn't owed regulatory deference.

  • February 5, 2016

    GCs Name Best Of The Best Attorneys

    More than 60 lawyers have been recognized by corporate counsel for cracking the code of client satisfaction and standing out among their peers for at least two years straight.

  • February 5, 2016

    8 Firms Boast The Most Client-Savvy Attorneys

    The names of eight law firms were repeatedly on the lips of general counsel this year as they reported which attorneys stood out to them as the best of the best in client service.

  • February 5, 2016

    DuPont Pollution MDL's Cancer Cases Get Trial Priority

    An Ohio federal judge has granted priority to 260 cancer lawsuits over thousands of other cases in multidistrict litigation over DuPont Co.'s alleged contamination of drinking water, setting an aggressive schedule for four trials per month beginning in April 2017, according to an order made public this week.

Expert Analysis

  • Litigation In The Marijuana Industry Lights Up

    Abby Sacunas

    The country’s first marijuana products liability class action hit Colorado state court in October, alleging that LivWell Inc. used a pesticide on their plants not approved for use on tobacco products — but while it may be tempting to consider cannabis products in conjunction with tobacco products, the industries are at very different stages of regulation and development, say Abby Sacunas and Leigh Ann Benson at Cozen O’Connor.

  • A Better Real Estate Deal Through Enviro Due Diligence

    Susan P. Phillips

    In any transaction, especially involving real estate, unless environmental due diligence is sufficient to reveal existing issues and provide a basis to determine associated costs, at least one party may end up not getting what it bargained for, say Susan Phillips at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • Re-Evaluating Calif.'s Emergency Drought Regulation

    Lori Anne Dolqueist

    Although California's newly implemented emergency drought regulation includes several opportunities for urban water suppliers to achieve reductions in the conservation mandates, there has been some concern that the extended regulation does not do enough to recognize the value of investments in drought-resilient water supplies and diverse water supply portfolio management, say attorneys at Nossaman LLP.

  • Oklahoma Quakes Trigger Legal Concerns For Energy Cos.

    Daniel M. McClure

    With more than 70 earthquakes shaking Oklahoma since the start of the year, seismicity is staged to remain a focus for the energy industry in 2016. Earthquake litigation appears to be trending up, and a variety of patterns are becoming apparent to ensure that seismic risk mitigation investments are efficiently targeted at a time when the energy industry faces tightening financial pressures, say attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • CPUC Net Metering Decision Is Good News For Clean Energy

    Sheridan J. Pauker

    While the California Public Utilities Commission's approval of a new tariff structure for future net energy metering customers will impose certain fees and increase monthly ratepayer charges, it has been strongly praised by the clean energy industry as largely preserving the economics of a customer's decision whether to install distributed energy resources, say attorneys at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

  • Pa. Methane Rules May Be Tougher Than Federal Standards

    Jennifer A. Smokelin

    Pennsylvania's new plan to reduce methane emissions follows similar proposed rulemaking by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. However, the rule's new general permit requirement is expected to exceed the scope of the federal rulemaking effort and could further increase the burden on industry due to additional preconstruction permitting and the associated time lag and costs, say attorneys at Reed Smith LLP.

  • In Congress: Republican Messaging, Fiscal Year 2017, Flint

    Richard A. Hertling

    A new challenge to bipartisan, comprehensive energy legislation came last week when several Democratic senators introduced an amendment aimed at providing emergency resources to Flint, Michigan, to address severe contamination from lead in the city’s drinking water, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • The CPUC's Realistic Approach Toward Energy Security

    Jeffrey D. Dintzer

    The Sierra Club’s petition asking the court to “set aside” the California Public Utilities Commission's approval of the Carlsbad Energy Center was an unrealistic request that severely lacked legal merit. While such a policy aim does not come as a surprise, it was especially ill-considered given the circumstances of Southern California's energy needs, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • A Step In The Right Direction For Eagle 'Take' Permits

    Barbara D. Craig

    It's no surprise that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided not to appeal a decision that set aside its rule to extend the maximum term for programmatic eagle “take” permits. However, it is an encouraging sign that the service remains committed to fixing the deficiencies in the 2013 rule amendments and to fully developing and implementing the eagle permitting program, say attorneys at Stoel Rives LLP.

  • Management System Standards' Growing Role In Compliance

    Christopher L. Bell

    The big question regarding the International Organization for Standardization's forthcoming anti-bribery management systems standard is whether it will follow in the footsteps of the environmental management systems standard and become a prominent feature in commercial relationships, and whether it will be viewed by the authorities as a credible foundation for an effective compliance program, says Christopher Bell of Greenberg Traurig LLP.