Environmental

  • July 1, 2016

    City Of Lansing Sues Insurer For Coverage Of Sewage Overflow

    The city of Lansing, Michichan, has sued Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. in a suit removed to federal court Friday, saying Starr won’t pay for defense against a class action by a Lansing resident who says sewage overflowed onto her property.

  • July 1, 2016

    China Links Enviro Compliance With Ability To Issue Stock

    China’s securities watchdog used its bite Friday to force companies to comply with environmental regulations, saying firms with violations wouldn't be allowed to issue stock.

  • July 1, 2016

    Ex-Flint Official Say They're Immune From Contamination Case

    Two former emergency managers for the city of Flint told a Michigan federal judge that they’re immune from a proposed class action seeking to peg more than a dozen city and state officials with liability for injuries to children from the city’s lead contamination crisis.

  • July 1, 2016

    FDA Wants Claims Cut From Modified Salmon Dispute

    The federal government urged a California federal court Friday to toss two claims brought by advocacy groups challenging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a genetically engineered salmon for human consumption, including one taking issue with another agency's advisory letter.

  • July 1, 2016

    Pattern Energy Pays $269M For NM Wind Farm

    Pattern Energy Group Inc. will pay $269 million to acquire a majority interest in a 324-megawatt wind facility and a 35-mile transmission line in New Mexico, the company said in a Thursday statement.

  • July 1, 2016

    Oil Giants Settle Suit Over Leaks Into Maine River

    Several oil companies, including Chevron USA and Texaco Inc., asked a Maine federal judge on Thursday to approve a $922,000 settlement of claims that oil products on properties they once owned leaked into the Penobscot River and damaged the ecosystem there.

  • July 1, 2016

    Bay Area Greenhouse Gas Plan Upheld By Appeals Court

    A California appeals court on Thursday ruled that Bay Area regulators did not have to consider statewide car and truck emissions reduction goals in crafting their own program to reduce greenhouse gases, finding that doing so would have been inconsistent with state law.

  • July 1, 2016

    Seventh Generation Settles 'Natural' Claims For $4.5M

    Seventh Generation Inc. has agreed to pay $4.5 million to settle a class action in New York federal court that claimed it deceptively labeled its cleaning products as “natural” even though they contained synthetic preservatives.

  • July 1, 2016

    Lawmakers Urge EPA To Bolster Lead And Copper Water Rule

    A bipartisan group of lawmakers called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday to strengthen a water rule designed to protect the public from lead and copper contamination

  • July 1, 2016

    SunEdison Looks To Gain $5M From Solar Farm Equity Sale

    Bankrupt renewable energy firm SunEdison Inc. asked for court permission Friday to sell its equity interests in a joint venture to develop a 2,400-acre solar farm in California’s Imperial Valley, aiming to pocket $5 million in net proceeds that will go to satisfy a portion of its $300 million debtor-in-possession financing.

  • July 1, 2016

    Alpha Inks $7.5M Deal To Resolve Enviro Ch. 11 Objections

    Alpha Natural Resources has agreed to pay up to $7.5 million to fund land and stream restoration projects as part of a settlement with environmental protection groups that have agreed in exchange to drop objections to the coal mine operator's reorganization plan, according to documents filed Thursday in West Virginia.

  • July 1, 2016

    Top Texas Supreme Court Cases Of 2016: Midyear Report

    The Texas Supreme Court this term made clear cities can’t step into the shoes of state environmental regulators, cemented a line of reasoning that treats groundwater like oil and gas and raised the bar for scuttling an arbitration award as the court again cleared its plate of argued cases. Here, Law360 looks back at five notable decisions from the high court term.

  • July 1, 2016

    5th Circ. Upholds La. Frog Habitat Decision

    The Fifth Circuit on Thursday rejected timber giant Weyerhaeuser Co.’s appeal of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to declare 1,600 acres of private property in Louisiana as a refuge for the endangered dusky gopher frog.

  • July 1, 2016

    Uranium Mill Says Enviros Lack Standing In Radon Suit

    The operators of a uranium mill told a Utah federal judge on Thursday that an environmental group suing over claimed radon emissions lacks standing because it can’t show that its members were harmed by the alleged pollution.

  • July 1, 2016

    6th Circ. Tosses Business Owners' Refinery Expansion Suit

    The Sixth Circuit on Thursday nixed a lawsuit by a group of Michigan business owners who claimed Marathon Petroleum Co. LP’s expansion of an oil refinery robbed them of their customer base and caused increased air pollution that interfered with their operations.

  • July 1, 2016

    Brazilian Court Blocks $2.3B Dam Collapse Settlement

    A Brazilian appeals court halted the ratification of an approximately $2.3 billion settlement for BHP Billiton Ltd. and Vale SA to cover damages from a dam collapse at a jointly owned mine that killed more than a dozen people, the companies said in press releases on Friday.

  • July 1, 2016

    Sierra Club Loses 6th Circ. Forest Pipeline Challenge

    The Sixth Circuit on Thursday shut down a Sierra Club appeal challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to renew Enbridge Energy Partners LP's permit for a crude oil pipeline through Michigan’s Huron-Manistee National Forest without an environmental analysis.

  • June 30, 2016

    Insurer Ducks Pollution Coverage Citing 'Scrivener's Error'

    A New Jersey federal judge on Thursday ruled that Indian Harbor Insurance Co. has no duty to defend an affiliate of a lead pigment maker in a suit over river contamination, saying it was clear the insurance policy failed to exclude the company in a "scrivener's error," or a genuine mistake made in drafting the language of the policy.

  • June 30, 2016

    Canada's 1st Nations Get Enbridge Pipeline OKs Tossed

    Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal on Thursday overturned approvals for Enbridge Inc.'s $7.9 billion North Gateway pipeline, finding that although the go-aheads were reasonable, the government fell short in its obligations to consult with First Nations groups.

  • June 30, 2016

    Wash. Tribe Says Judge Misinterpreted Fishing Rights Ruling

    The Nisqually Indian Tribe pressed a Washington federal judge Wednesday to rethink a recent ruling that interpreted a decades-old landmark decision to find that it didn't prohibit the Squaxin Island Tribe from fishing in a contested part of southern Puget Sound.

Expert Analysis

  • When Successor Liability And Bankruptcy Principles Collide

    Michael H. Reed

    The efficacy of a bankruptcy sale to cut off pre-existing debts and claims will depend, in part, on the adequacy of the notice of the sale given to interested parties. Special problems are presented by so-called “future claims” and certain types of environmental liabilities, says Michael Reed of Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  • BLM Fracking Decision Is Narrow, But With A Vast Impact

    Norman F. Carlin

    Assuming the the Wyoming federal court's decision in Wyoming v. Department of Interior is upheld on appeal, it is arguably a narrower holding than many have suggested. It rests on the fact that Congress spoke with unusual clarity and specificity in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, when it substantially curtailed federal authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing, say attorneys at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • RFP Lessons: A General Counsel's List Of Law Firm Mistakes

    Dave Sampsell

    All too often, law firm financial proposals are too complicated, making them contingent on a host of different assumptions. This makes determining the value of the proposal extremely difficult, and the odds increase dramatically that the proposal will be disregarded, says Dave Sampsell, general counsel of Digi International Inc.

  • NY Should Unify Standards For Atty Fees Against State Agency

    Matthew T. McLaughlin

    Two bills introduced in the recently ended New York legislative session, if adopted into law, will provide government entities and Freedom of Information Law practitioners with the mooring of predictable and consistent outcomes in FOIL proceedings by changing the standard for determining attorneys’ fee awards, say Matthew McLaughlin and Benjamin Argyle of Venable LLP.

  • The DOJ’s Increased Focus On Environmental Criminal Cases

    Barak Cohen

    The U.S. Department of Justice has voiced its commitment to prosecuting more criminal environmental cases. In some instances, this effort may result from more investigations or resources committed to bringing such cases. More startling, though, is that other instances reflect a change in prosecutorial discretion, so that more serious criminal cases may be brought in new contexts, say attorneys at Perkins Coie LLP.

  • Clean Energy Incentive Program Creates More CPP Confusion

    Charles T. Wehland

    The U.S. Environmental Agency's position regarding its recently proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program makes it challenging for states and the regulated community to understand and implement Clean Power Plan requirements, and is also contrary to relevant precedent, say attorneys at Jones Day.

  • Appeals Court Saves Private Partnerships In California

    Norman F. Carlin

    In a pair of recent decisions, a California appeals court endorsed a practical approach to California Environmental Quality Act compliance for public-private partnerships, which could be applied to a wide range of agreements between public agencies and private entities, say Norman Carlin and Emily Burkett at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • How To Manage Your Law School Debt After Graduation

    Andrew Josuweit-headshot.jpg

    Student loan debt can feel overwhelming to new lawyers, especially when just getting started post graduation. Andrew Josuweit, co-founder and CEO of Student Loan Hero Inc., reviews the loan repayment plans available and discusses the best path forward for recent grads shouldering law school debt.

  • New Pipeline Safety Law Needs A Push From Industry

    Michael K. Friedberg

    The Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 allows very little time to act before the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's next authorization period will ramp up. Furthermore, a change in administration will undoubtedly give rise to new initiatives, priorities and pushes for additional requirements, which may cause existing unfulfilled mandates to remain unresolved, say attorn... (continued)

  • The Cloud And Ethical Considerations For Lawyers

    Bradley S. Shear

    Despite regular news stories detailing the need to update our digital privacy laws and increase our cybersecurity protections, law firms and in-house legal departments should feel confident that utilizing cloud providers with strong privacy and security protections will not breach their ethical obligation to clients, says Bradley Shear of the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear LLC.