Environmental RSS

  • April 16, 2014

    Patton Boggs Taps Morvillo Abramowitz Aces In Chevron Row

    Patton Boggs LLP, which Chevron Corp. accuses of perpetrating a scheme to shield evidence that a $19 billion judgment in litigation in Ecuador was obtained illegally, has enlisted experienced white-collar attorney Elkan Abramowitz of Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC in its New York federal suit, he confirmed Wednesday to Law360.

  • April 16, 2014

    EPA, TCEQ Issue First Joint GHG Permit For Texas Plant

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday the greenhouse gas permit issued to Equistar Chemicals is the first ever drafted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, as the agencies work together to transition GHG permitting to the state and clear a backlog of requests.

  • April 16, 2014

    Feds Asked To Regulate 'Orange Clouds' Caused By Mining

    The environmental group WildEarth Guardians on Monday asked the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement to clamp down on mining activity that leads to the creation of so-called orange clouds of gas, saying experts have found the clouds to have concentrations of nitrogen oxides that exceed safety limits.

  • April 16, 2014

    En Banc 9th Circ. Flips ESA Ruling For Calif. Water Deals

    An en banc Ninth Circuit panel overturned the appeals court's earlier decision supporting dozens of 25- and 40-year water supply contracts in California, ruling Wednesday that federal officials, in violation of the Endangered Species Act, ignored potential harm to fish populations when they renewed the agreements.

  • April 16, 2014

    Energy Cos. Wary As Calif. Fracking Moratorium Gains Favor

    Hydraulic fracturing in California is at a crossroads, as mounting pressure from citizens and environmental groups pushes lawmakers toward a moratorium that would dismantle a new regulatory framework that allows energy developers to continue working, clouding the future of projects around the state.

  • April 16, 2014

    Coal Plants See Sliver Of Hope In EPA Mercury Rule Win

    The D.C. Circuit's decision Tuesday to uphold the Obama administration's rule limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants is another blow to the coal industry, but experts say a judge's dissent over the administration brushing aside the rule's costs provides the roadmap for a likely industry appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • April 16, 2014

    Pa. DCNR Outlines Fracking Impact On Public Lands

    The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources revealed Wednesday that 1,486 acres of state forest have been converted to roads, pipelines and well pads for Marcellus Shale natural gas development as of 2012.

  • April 16, 2014

    Rising Star: Morrison & Foerster's William Tarantino

    William Tarantino pioneered a game-changing defense that could stem a flood of litigation under California’s controversial toxins warning law, and helped fend off a challenge to a sustainable development plan championed by the city of Berkeley, earning the Morrison & Foerster LLP partner a spot on Law360’s list of five top environmental attorneys under age 40.

  • April 16, 2014

    Colo. House Backs 'Advanced Industries' Tax Credit

    The Colorado House of Representatives on Tuesday approved legislation that would create a new tax credit for individuals investing in aerospace, bioscience, information technology and energy startups within the state.

  • April 16, 2014

    Fed. Agencies Don't Track Costs Of NEPA Reviews: Report

    Federal agencies are not maintaining adequate records or routinely tracking costs associated with environmental reviews required by the National Environmental Policy Act, the U.S. Government and Accountability Office said in a report released Tuesday.

  • April 16, 2014

    Feds Extend Deadline For Offshore Renewable Project Plans

    Renewable energy operators are getting an additional six months to craft site development plans for projects off the U.S. coast, according to a final rule published by the U.S. Department of Interior's offshore energy arm on Wednesday.

  • April 16, 2014

    DOE Lays Out Criteria For $4B Clean Energy Loan Program

    The U.S. Department of Energy is committing up to $4 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, releasing a draft solicitation Wednesday to help develop clean energy technologies.

  • April 16, 2014

    Solar Co. Hit With TCPA Suit Over Alleged Robocalls

    A California man on Tuesday brought a class action in federal court against American Solar Solution Inc. for allegedly making marketing robocalls to his cellphone in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

  • April 16, 2014

    Jamaica Grants License For 381-MW Gas-Fired Plant

    Jamaica's energy ministry on Monday granted a license to Hong Kong-based Energy World International Ltd. to build a 381-megawatt natural gas plant project that will eventually supply power to major utility Jamaica Public Service Co. Ltd.

  • April 15, 2014

    The Great Persuader: 7th Circ. Chief Judge Diane Wood

    Seventh Circuit Chief Judge Diane Wood talks to Law360 about managing a court in crisis, surviving two U.S. Supreme Court near-misses, and tailoring crafty dissenting opinions that can change the mind of even the staunchest of ideological opponents.

  • April 15, 2014

    Donziger Owes Atty Fees Despite No Damages, Chevron Says

    Chevron Corp. on Monday reiterated a demand for $32 million in attorneys' fees it spent discrediting an Ecuadorian court’s $9.5 billion pollution judgment, contending that its victory on racketeering claims against opposing attorney Steven Donziger triggers a fee award automatically.

  • April 15, 2014

    US Can't Block Nuke Waste Facility's Construction, SC Says

    South Carolina on Monday pushed for early resolution of its claims that the Obama administration flouted congressional authority by using money earmarked for construction of a nuclear waste facility in the state to mothball it instead, arguing it is entitled to summary judgment.

  • April 15, 2014

    Europe To Spend €2B In Carbon Credits On Clean Energy

    The European Commission will invest about €2 billion in carbon capture and storage projects, using money it raised under a carbon allowances sale scheme, the European Investment Bank said Tuesday.

  • April 15, 2014

    Gas-Fired Power, Less Energy Use Drove GHG Drop, EPA Says

    The transition from coal-fired to gas-fired electricity and decreased energy consumption drove a 3.4 percent decrease in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from 2011 to 2012, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report released Tuesday.

  • April 15, 2014

    EPA Pins 5 Major Methane Emissions Sources

    The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday asked the public for comment on a series of reports targeting five major methane emissions sources, including hydraulic fracturing, in the first stage of the Obama administration's campaign to slash emissions of the natural gas component.

Expert Analysis

  • Beware 'Jewel' Risks In Lateral Partner Hiring

    Pamela Phillips

    Jewel litigation has been filed after every major law firm bankruptcy in the past 10 years, including Lyon & Lyon, Brobeck, Coudert, Thelen, Heller and Howrey. These lawsuits have produced years of litigation, with similar suits expected in the Dewey bankruptcy. Despite the legal uncertainties surrounding such claims, hiring firms can take steps now to minimize their Jewel risk for any lateral hire, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • Sweet Or Sour Development? EPA Tightens Tier 3 Gas Program

    Brenna K. Finn

    Gasoline sulfur levels have dropped up to 90 percent from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 2 Gasoline Sulfur Program, and the EPA's recently issued notice for the Tier 3 Program will further reduce gasoline sulfur content. However, it does not take much for a refinery to exceed the 10 ppm sulfur standard, and a stronger incentive may exist for refiners to generate and bank credits for their own future use, say Laura Riese and Brenna Finn of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP.

  • Heartbleed Rains On The Legal Cloud Parade

    David Houlihan

    While the actual breaches are unknown, Heartbleed has the potential to expose all of a lawyer's files stored or transmitted online. The bug raises professional responsibility questions and offers confirmation of the greatest anxieties that the legal industry has about online practice. In fact, the timing is poor for many legal tech providers, following a general industry warming to cloud offerings, says David Houlihan of Blue Hill Research Inc.

  • Inside Calif.'s De Facto Moratorium On Well Stimulation

    Michael N. Mills

    California's SB 4 requires the state's Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources to develop a permitting scheme to regulate the use of well-stimulation practices, including hydraulic fracturing. However, the division's interim regulations have created more problems than they've solved and established a de facto moratorium that the state Legislature and governor rejected in 2013, say Michael Mills and Chelsea Huffman of Stoel Rives LLP.

  • India Is Moving In Right Direction On Int'l Arbitration

    Talat Ansari

    A 2012 Indian Supreme Court decision effectively reversed the trend of Indian courts’ judicial intervention in international arbitrations. A spate of judgments since then makes it apparent that Indian courts are adopting a less interfering role and are willing to enforce arbitration agreements between parties in accordance with the UNCITRAL model law and the New York Convention, say Talat Ansari and Ila Kapoor of Kelley Drye LLP.

  • Keep Your Audience From Checking Email: 5 Legal Talk Tips

    Michael H. Rubin

    Why do the majority of speakers get polite claps at the end of their talks while a few select others receive rousing applause? Having given more than 375 presentations to legal groups, bar associations, Fortune 500 companies and corporate gatherings, I’ve learned a few things about what not to do. Remember, great speakers don’t tell “war stories.” They don’t even give examples from their own practice, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

  • NY Medical Monitoring Cases Are Ones To Watch

    Kristie Tappan

    A New York state appeals court recently refined the New York Court of Appeals' ruling in Caronia v. Philip Morris USA Inc., allowing plaintiffs to pursue medical monitoring as a form of damages where they had an existing tort cause of action. Parties can expect further litigation on the issue of what constitutes physical injury sufficient to seek damages for medical monitoring since injury can be an entryway for such damages, says Kristie Tappan of Sedgwick LLP.

  • Troubled Waters Ahead: CWA Rule Sure To Rock The Boat

    Radcliffe Dann IV

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' recently proposed rule defining the jurisdictional “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act attempts to clarify the regulatory impact of Rapanos v. U.S. Since a few courts have held that groundwater hydrologically connected to regulated waters of the U.S. can be regulated under the CWA, the rule is important to stakeholders — the current proposed rule contains no such exception, say attorneys at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP.

  • Directors And Officers: Take Heed Of New DC Nonprofit Law

    John C. Eustice

    As part of an effort to update District of Columbia law and make the district more business friendly, the city council has passed amendments to the D.C. Business Code, including the Nonprofit Corporation Act of 2010. While the new act does not create additional publicly available information for D.C. nonprofit corporations organized in 1963 and after, it does create a larger paper trail for all active D.C. nonprofits, says John Eustice of Miller & Chevalier.

  • 6th Circ.'s Impact On EPA Review Of Source Modifications

    Stacie Fletcher

    The Sixth Circuit's ruling in United States v. DTE was the first on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2002 New Source Review program. While the decision recognized the EPA can bring enforcement actions absent postconstruction actual emissions data, a fair reading of the court indicates that enforcement without evidence of an actual increase in emissions should be limited, say Stacie Fletcher and David Fotouhi of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.