Environmental

  • October 20, 2014

    Enviros Say Ky. Can't Enforce EPA-OK'd Selenium Standards

    Environmental groups seeking to overturn Kentucky’s new water quality standards for selenium said Friday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency improperly relied on the state’s promise to measure water quality through fish tissue analyses, even though some waterways no longer have fish because of the contaminant — a coal-mining byproduct.

  • October 20, 2014

    Quebec Government OKs Innergex Plan for $356M Wind Farm

    Canadian company Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. and community partners have obtained approval from the Quebec government to prepare for construction on a $365 million wind farm expected to power 30,000 households.

  • October 20, 2014

    EPA Watchdog Slams Weak Clean Air Act Revenue Oversight

    Air quality regulators in some of the most heavily permitted areas in the country are failing to collect enough money from businesses and jeopardizing effective state and local Clean Air Act program implementation, a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General report said Monday.

  • October 20, 2014

    EPA Watchdog To Audit Calif. Enviro Board Laser Purchase

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Inspector General will audit the California Air Resources Board’s purchase of a laser used to monitor air pollution and review allegations that the board is misreporting pollution data, the watchdog recently said.

  • October 20, 2014

    DOD Seeks Contractors For Fort Hood Green Energy Project

    The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency on Friday issued a solicitation for proposals to allow the Fort Hood military base in Texas to generate 100 percent of its power needs from renewable energy sources.

  • October 20, 2014

    Scotts Says Rejected Deals Should Kill Toxic Bird Food Suit

    The Scotts Company LLC on Friday asked a California federal judge to toss a proposed class action accusing the company of illegally selling wild bird food that contained toxic pesticides, arguing that the plaintiffs’ refusals to accept individual settlements made the dispute moot.

  • October 20, 2014

    Supreme Court Wants SG's Take On Miss., Tenn. Water Fight

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday asked the solicitor general to weigh in on Mississippi’s $615 million claim that Tennessee is stealing its groundwater through a large commercial water well that pumps fields near the states’ border.

  • October 20, 2014

    Philippines Energy Co. Secures $315M Loan For Wind Project

    Philippines-based Energy Development Corp. said Monday it has signed a 15-year, $315 million agreement with foreign and local banks to build a 150-megawatt wind farm in the coastal province of Ilocos Norte, projected to be the country’s largest.

  • October 20, 2014

    Judge Sets Cleanup Cost Formula For Long Island Gas Plants

    A New York state judge has ruled that Century Indemnity Co. must use a pro rata allocation formula to determine cleanup costs for polluted manufactured gas plant sites on Long Island, New York, in a 17-year-old dispute pitting Century and others against current policyholder KeySpan Corp.

  • October 20, 2014

    High Court Won't Consider State Claims In BP Spill

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by several Louisiana parishes asking the high court to revive their state-law claims against BP PLC and others over pollution-related wildlife damage linked to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

  • October 17, 2014

    Laredo Petroleum Leak Settlement Spurs Possible Sanctions

    A Texas federal judge on Friday said counsel for Flat Rock Land LLC may face sanctions for what she said was a misleading legal argument about whether it should have been served with a copy of a settlement reached by Compass Bank and defendants including Chevron USA Inc. and ExxonMobil Corp. in a case involving a petroleum leak that contaminated downtown Laredo.

  • October 17, 2014

    Ill. Fracking Holdup Violates Property Rights, Suit Says

    A group of oil and gas rights owners filed a proposed class action against Illinois in state court, saying its denial of fracking permits is an unconstitutional taking of their property.

  • October 17, 2014

    GOP Grills DOI On Sage Grouse Endangered Species Review

    A group of House Republicans on Thursday chastised the U.S. Department of the Interior for its “closed-door” review of scientific data relating to the listing of the greater sage grouse as an endangered species, and demanded information about details of the process.

  • October 17, 2014

    ATP To Pay $1M For Hiding Gulf Oil And Chemical Spill

    ATP Infrastructure Partners LP agreed to pay a $1 million fine to settle allegations that it violated federal environmental laws by surreptitiously discharging oil and chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and two other federal agencies announced Thursday.

  • October 17, 2014

    EPA Ozone Rule Cost Concerns May Be Tough Sell: Study

    Industry groups looking for a fight over whether the benefits justify the costs of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's expected revisions to its ozone air quality standard are likely to face an uphill battle, according to a new study commissioned for Congress.

  • October 17, 2014

    Groups Tell Supreme Court To Ban Pollution Nuisance Claims

    A coalition of trade groups has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss a class action accusing an Iowa corn company of releasing harmful chemicals onto nearby properties, arguing that the Clean Air Act preempts state tort clams involving air pollution.

  • October 17, 2014

    Reid Blasts NRC's Approval Of Yucca Nuclear Waste Site

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Friday that dumping nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain is a failed policy, following a recent U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission report that concluded the proposed nuclear waste depository site meets environmental and safety requirements.

  • October 17, 2014

    Enviros Ask Obama To Curb Methane Pollution From Fracking

    More than 100 local, state and national environmental organizations urged the Obama administration in a letter Thursday to begin a rulemaking process to curb methane pollution from fracking, saying the gas is more potent than carbon dioxide and presents serious health and environmental risks, according to environmental group Earthworks. 

  • October 17, 2014

    Enviros Ask FDA To Ban 2 Food Packaging Chemicals

    The Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups on Thursday called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban two chemicals used in food packaging, saying they harm fetal development and reproductive systems and cause cancer.

  • October 17, 2014

    Duke Units File 3rd Spent Nuclear Fuel Suit Against DOE

    Two Duke Energy Inc. units on Thursday sued the U.S. Department of Energy claiming the government breached a contract to collect spent nuclear fuel and waste between 2011 and 2013 from four power plants in the Carolinas and Florida.

Expert Analysis

  • EPA Emissions Proposal May Spur Greater Enforcement

    Nancy MacKimm

    If finalized, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to prohibit excess emissions during periods of startup, shutdown or malfunction in state implementation plans under the Clean Air Act could result in additional enforcement actions for violations of emission limitations during periods of malfunction, say attorneys at Jones Day.

  • Putting Calif.'s $1.4B Fine Against PG&E In Perspective

    Michael C. Dotten

    What constitutes an excessive fine has been articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court as a proportionality test, and, as Pacific Gas & Electric Co. argued in its brief before the California Public Utilities Commission, courts sometimes measure excessiveness in penalties by reference to fines levied in other, like circumstances, says Michael Dotten of Marten Law PLLC.

  • What Litigators Can Learn From Novelists

    Michael H. Rubin

    Many legal briefs are written in impenetrable jargon and begin with an introduction telling the court what it already knows, using words that stem from the 18th century, such as “hereinafter.” Instead, we should approach briefs the way novelists approach their writing, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

  • Work Plan Signals Expanded Calif. Green Chemistry Program

    Joshua A. Bloom

    California's Safer Consumer Products Regulation will be closely watched given the potential for its broad application — indeed, following its enactment, Congress attempted to develop nationwide green chemistry initiatives, say Joshua Bloom and Christopher Jensen of Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp LLP.

  • Information Governance: A Missed Opportunity For Lawyers

    Ann Snyder

    Today, information intersects every practice area, making all lawyers effectively information governance practitioners in one way or another. The issue is whether you will consciously embrace this emerging discipline — and capitalize on it to the benefit of your clients and your practice, says Ann Snyder of the Information Governance Initiative.

  • CAFA Removal Procedure At Center Stage In Dart Cherokee

    Archis A. Parasharami

    If Public Citizen's amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens is correct in arguing that an appellate court can insulate questions arising under the Class Action Fairness Act from Supreme Court review by denying leave to appeal then that will create perverse incentives for lower courts and may hamper the development of uniform rules governing CAFA removals, says Archis Parasharami of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • RCRA Citizen Suits No Longer Option In Regulating Diesel

    Kirsten L. Nathanson

    The Ninth Circuit's ruling in Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice v. BNSF Railway Co. has potentially broad implications for all diesel exhaust emitters — it may even serve to foreclose future Resource Conservation and Recovery Act citizen suit challenges to air emissions beyond diesel, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • E&P Wetlands Compliance Strategy: Nationwide Permits

    Robert E. Holden

    Despite being confusing — and violations expensive — the exploration and production industry should utilize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' nationwide permitting program as a way to streamline and simplify wetlands permit requirements when seeking approval of on-shore activities, say Robert Holden and Lesley Pietras of Liskow & Lewis.

  • A Primer On 'Bad Faith' In Federal Removal Jurisdiction

    Ugo Colella

    The Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act grants a federal district court discretion to permit removal after the one-year period if it finds a plaintiff has “acted in bad faith” to prevent removal, but it didn’t come with a clear definition of "bad faith." Recent case law offers some minimal guidance on how the exception should be interpreted, say Ugo Colella and Todd Seaman of Thompson Hine LLP.

  • Crowdfunding Models Proliferate For Clean Energy Projects

    Kristen Young

    Solar and distributed generation offer asset attributes and capital investment profiles that are well-suited to crowdfunding. Important regulatory pronouncements over the coming months, however, could enhance or hinder the crowdfunding marketplace, say Jim Wrathall and Kristen Young of Sullivan & Worcester LLP.