Environmental

  • May 5, 2016

    Alaska Natives, Feds Settle On Fees In Drilling Permit Row

    A group of Alaskan natives reached a settlement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over attorneys’ fees and costs after losing a case over a drilling permit that was granted to ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc., according to a Wednesday court filing.

  • May 5, 2016

    EPA Won't Revise Tougher Carbon Rule For New Power Plants

    The Environmental Protection Agency will not reconsider its rule strengthening limits on carbon emissions from new power plants, according to an agency notice filed with the Federal Register, saying despite five petitions for reconsideration, the standards can be met with existing technology.

  • May 5, 2016

    Prosecutor Fraud Behind $122M Wildfire Deal, 9th Circ. Told

    Sierra Pacific Industries on Wednesday continued urging the Ninth Circuit to reverse a district court’s refusal to unwind a $122.5 million settlement over a severe California wildfire, saying claims that the deal came about from prosecutors’ “egregious” fraud and misconduct cannot be ignored.

  • May 5, 2016

    FAA Urges 3rd Circ. To Uphold Dismissal Of NJ Airport Suit

    The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday pushed back against a Pennsylvania-area community organization’s effort to revive in district court a lawsuit accusing the agency of failing to issue environmental reviews of increased Frontier Airlines flights out of a New Jersey airport, saying the matter can only be heard by a federal appeals court.

  • May 5, 2016

    Tire Cos. Wants New Judge After 8th Circ. Partial Reversal

    Titan Tire Corp. and parent company Dico Inc. asked an Iowa federal judge Tuesday to recuse himself from a partial retrial in a $3 million PCB-contamination case, arguing their witnesses have an uphill battle since he has already found their credibility lacking.

  • May 5, 2016

    Ex-EPA Criminal Chief Says Enforcement Is Short-Changed

    The former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigations Division and the current chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s sister section said Thursday the Obama administration has thrown its weight behind regulatory initiatives and wildlife matters at the expense of pollution prosecutions.

  • May 5, 2016

    9th Circ. Keeps Boeing Pollution Class Action In Wash. Court

    A group of Washington residents can keep their chemical contamination suit against Boeing and a local environmental consultant in state courts, the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday, rejecting the Chicago-based aircraft giant’s argument that it was the proposed class action’s real target and that a federal court should take the case.

  • May 5, 2016

    BREAKING: Monsanto Beats $20M PCB Cancer Claims In Calif. Trial

    A Los Angeles jury on Thursday found Monsanto not liable in a $20 million trial brought by two men alleging they developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to the company's polychlorinated biphenyls, saying the company was negligent in designing and distributing the chemical but did not cause the men's cancer.

  • May 5, 2016

    Fla. Must Pay $15M Judgment Over Citrus Trees, Court Says

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday said the state must pay a $15 million judgment to a class of homeowners whose residential citrus trees were cut down by the state agriculture agency, but stopped short of declaring the state's payment of judgments statute unconstitutional.

  • May 5, 2016

    Official Can't Be Sued To Compel FWS Action, 9th Circ. Says

    The Ninth Circuit said in a Wednesday published opinion that government officials in their individual capacities can’t be the target of suits seeking to compel official government agency action, striking down claims against a wildlife refuge director over a Nevada stream diversion.

  • May 5, 2016

    NASA Dismissed From Subcontractor’s Paint Job Suit

    A Louisiana federal judge approved on Wednesday the dismissals of a supervising company and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration from the lawsuit of a subcontractor claiming wrongful termination from a painting project, leaving the project's primary contractor as the sole remaining defendant in the suit.

  • May 4, 2016

    Suit Alleging Gov't Conspiracy To Seize NJ Landfill Thrown Out

    A New Jersey federal judge on Wednesday dealt another blow to a landfill owner recently indicted on charges of lying to a state environmental regulator about plans for the site, signing off on two dismissal motions in litigation accusing the agency and others of illegally conspiring to seize the property.

  • May 4, 2016

    Paper Co. Denied Sanctions Bid In Wis. Superfund Spat

    A Wisconsin federal judge on Wednesday dealt a blow to paper company P.H. Glatfelter in its defense of a cleanup cost recovery suit related to a Wisconsin Superfund site, saying documents the company sought were irrelevant and denying its motion for sanctions.

  • May 4, 2016

    Private Jet Seller Asks Court To Toss $1.4M Award

    Private jet seller Toptree Aviation Ltd. on Wednesday urged a New York federal court to hold off on affirming a more than $1.38 million arbitration award against a Nigerian maritime environmental solutions company in a dispute over a broken agreement to buy a Bombardier aircraft from a U.S. firm.

  • May 4, 2016

    Enviros Press Case Against DOT On Oil Spill Response Plans

    The National Wildlife Federation asked for a quick win Wednesday in its lawsuit over what it calls insufficient government review of pipeline operators’ spill response plans, saying the U.S. Department of Transportation’s top official shirked legal obligations to personally review such plans for pipelines that cross the country’s inland waterways.

  • May 4, 2016

    10th Circ. OKs Suit Over Utah's Roads Fight With Feds

    The Tenth Circuit on Tuesday swept aside a federal court order that was blocking a wilderness advocacy group from suing the Utah attorney general in state court over Utah’s sweeping litigation campaign against the federal government for legal rights to thousands of roads.

  • May 4, 2016

    Flint City Official Cops Plea In Tainted Water Case

    A Flint, Michigan, official on Wednesday pled no contest to a neglect of duty charge after he was accused of altering and falsifying reports to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in the latest fallout from the city’s lead-tainted drinking water crisis.

  • May 4, 2016

    5th Circ. Urged To Nix 'Hostile' Judge In $266B BP FCA Row

    Whistleblowers asked the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday to revive a $266 billion False Claims Act suit involving BP PLC’s Gulf of Mexico-based Atlantis facility, saying a Texas federal judge erred by favoring the company and demonstrated “remarkable and unacceptable hostility” toward them while doing so.

  • May 4, 2016

    Chicago Mayor Pins Lucas Museum Hopes On 7th Circ.

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is asking the Seventh Circuit to step in and dismiss a lawsuit challenging the location of an upcoming museum dedicated to the art collection of "Star Wars" creator George Lucas, saying Wednesday that the city can't abide any further delays as Lucas threatens to take his business elsewhere.

  • May 4, 2016

    Calif. Agencies Unveil Zero-Emission Freight System Draft

    Several California agencies on Tuesday released the first draft of their plan to reform regulations on the state’s freight industry, aimed at increasing efficiency and zeroing-out carbon emissions by 2050 while keeping the $740 billion-per-year industry competitive in relation to other states'.

Expert Analysis

  • The Legal Barriers To Off-Grid Solar Photovoltaic Systems

    Molly L. Zohn

    As solar plus battery off-grid systems become more technologically feasible and economically viable, analysts and public utilities have struggled to predict whether a “utility death spiral” will eventually occur. However, technological innovation is only part of the equation. Another critical factor is whether off-grid systems are legal, says Molly Zohn at Klinedinst PC.

  • What Is Your Squirm Factor?

    Ross Laguzza

    The fact that jurors are a captive audience doesn’t mean they are any more invested in your presentation than people who walk out of a boring movie. Jurors can’t physically leave, but they can and do mentally check out. If you are a trial lawyer, you should think about whether your squirm factor is high, moderate or low — and what, if necessary, you can do to change it, says Dr. Ross Laguzza of R&D Strategic Solutions.

  • A Smarter Approach To Renewable Energy Reliance In Calif.

    Jeffrey D. Dintzer

    Pressure from nongovernmental organizations to close the storage facility at Porter Ranch in California is just one example of a concerted effort to damage the state's oil and gas businesses. Instead of badgering the industry, environmental groups should focus on lobbying for legislation to streamline the permitting process for renewable energy projects, say Jeffrey Dintzer and Dione Garlick at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • OPINION: Engaging The Media May Help Your Client

    Liz Mair

    While I am confident that the decisions in Windsor and Obergefell were made on the basis of the dictates of the Constitution, I am also confident that the communications efforts undertaken gave the justices additional comfort to make the right call, and ensured that these decisions were not treated as a Roe v. Wade redux, says Liz Mair, former online communications director for the Republican National Committee and president of Mair Strategies.

  • Public Trust Doctrine Suit Could Clear Procedural Hurdles

    Lauren Sidner

    An Oregon magistrate judge's findings and recommendation in Kelsey Cascade Rose Juliana v. U.S. has the potential to allow this controversial climate change suit to overcome jurisdictional challenges. If the judge's recommendations are eventually adopted, the case could have a major impact on the trajectory of climate litigation going forward, say Lauren Sidner and George Wilkinson at Vinson & Elkins LLP.

  • Using The New Federal Rules To Rein In Discovery

    Martin J. Healy

    The 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure present a fertile opportunity for defendants to leverage the rules' renewed focus on reasonableness and proportionality to rein in rampant discovery abuse. Courts' application of the amended rules has already shown promise in this regard, say Martin Healy and Joseph Fanning of Sedgwick LLP.

  • Dentons: A New Kind Of Network?

    MarkACohen.jpg

    Dentons is two different law firm networks in one. So even if the Swiss verein structure should eventually fail and Dentons is forced to operate as a network of independent law firms, it could still be a significant market force, says Mark A. Cohen, a recovering civil trial lawyer and the founder of Legal Mosaic LLC.

  • Compromise In Congress Over Bipartisan Energy Reform

    Henry A. Terhune

    The Energy Policy Modernization Act was recently approved by the U.S. Senate, and although it contains some potentially controversial provisions, the bill reflects significant bipartisan cooperation that has been somewhat rare in Congress in recent years, especially with respect to energy and environmental policy, say attorneys at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

  • Statutes Of Repose In Environmental Litigation After CTS

    Anthony B. Cavender

    A recent Fourth Circuit decision, Stahle v. CTS Corp., has again focused attention on the unique role that statutes of repose can play in environmental litigation, says Anthony Cavender at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • In Congress: Trade, Privacy, Fiscal Year 2017

    Hertling_Richard_Covington.jpg

    Before both chambers adjourn at the end of this week, the Senate will continue working its way through fiscal year 2017 appropriations bills, with final consideration of the Energy and Water bill expected Tuesday. The House will tackle a number of legislative items, including several related to trade and business practices. Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP share the weekly congressional snapshot.