Environmental

  • July 31, 2014

    NJ Lawmakers Poised To Tackle Open Space Funding

    Chances for a ballot question in New Jersey this November that would ask voters to constitutionally dedicate a rising percentage of corporate business tax revenues to open space preservation remain very much alive, with lawmakers scheduling a vote on the proposal for Monday.

  • July 31, 2014

    Activists Appeal To Block $477M Sacramento Kings Arena

    Just days after a California judge refused to block construction of the Sacramento Kings' new $477 million arena, environmental activists on Thursday gave notice of an appeal and accused the basketball team and city of wrongfully pushing the project forward with the help of an unconstitutional law.

  • July 31, 2014

    Pro-Enviro Pipeline Decision Won't Doom Pa. Sunoco Project

    A Wednesday decision by two Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission administrative law judges that a Sunoco Inc. subsidiary cannot avoid local zoning approval for components of a pipeline that would ferry natural gas from western Pennsylvania to a Philadelphia-area refinery will not be the last word on the fate of the project, experts told Law360. 

  • July 31, 2014

    EPA Delays Renewable Fuel Standards Compliance Deadline

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday extended the deadline for the third time for refiners to show they are complying with the 2013 renewable fuel standards, a change that drew criticism from the oil industry. 

  • July 31, 2014

    Wind Co. Antitrust Claims Not 'Feeble,' 7th Circ. Says

    An attempt by a company that maintains wind turbines to undermine its own antitrust allegations in order to claim an Illinois federal court lacked jurisdiction over it has failed with the Seventh Circuit's finding that the lower court rightly dismissed the underlying case and denied leave to add new claims.

  • July 31, 2014

    Elgin Mining Pays $3.2M To Settle Ky. CWA Cleanup Claims

    Elgin Mining Co. has agreed to pay $3.2 million to settle Clean Water Act issues related to its alleged failure to clean up former mining sites in Kentucky, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Kentucky said Thursday.

  • July 31, 2014

    House Bill Would Cut Out Duplicate Pesticide Permits

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday that would eliminate what its backers say are costly and redundant Clean Water Act permits for pesticides that were imposed five years ago by a federal appeals court.

  • July 31, 2014

    CCMP To Pay $890M For Belgian Chemical Co.'s US Biz Unit

    Belgian chemical company Solvay SA has agreed to sell its U.S. sulfuric acid production business to private equity firm CCMP Capital Advisors LLC in a $890 million deal that allows Solvay to refocus on its core businesses.

  • July 31, 2014

    2nd Circ. Revives JinkoSolar Sludge Dumping Suit

    The Second Circuit on Thursday revived a shareholder suit alleging JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. failed to disclose that employees at one of the Chinese energy company's plants were dumping toxic sludge into a nearby river, finding a lower court had improperly dismissed the complaint.

  • July 31, 2014

    FERC Preliminarily OKs Relicensing 3 Hydropower Projects

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has preliminarily signed off on relicensing three dam projects in Pennsylvania and Maryland that are collectively known as the Susquehanna River Hydroelectric Projects, according to a draft environmental impact statement issued Wednesday.

  • July 30, 2014

    Katten Snags Enviro Litigator Duo From Beveridge

    Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP said Thursday it lured two Beveridge & Diamond PC white collar and environmental crimes lawyers, bringing on a former assistant U.S. attorney and a former lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice to strengthen its environmental litigation practice.

  • July 30, 2014

    Exxon Denied Court-Supervised Trust For $104M MTBE Verdict

    A New York federal judge denied Exxon Mobil Corp.'s motion to set up a court-supervised trust for the funds Exxon must pay to satisfy its $104 million verdict for polluting New York City's groundwater with methyl tertiary-butyl ether, ruling Wednesday that Exxon lacked standing. 

  • July 30, 2014

    Army Corps Wetlands Finding Not Reviewable, 5th Circ. Rules

    The Fifth Circuit on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of a suit accusing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of sinking a property deal between two companies by improperly designating the property as wetlands under the Clean Water Act, thwarting plans to turn the site into a landfill.

  • July 30, 2014

    4 Chinese Solar Panel Cos. Seek Novel Ch. 15 Protection

    Four Chinese solar panel companies are seeking Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection of their U.S. assets, including approximately 275,000 photovoltaic panels, in what might be the first such filing, the debtors’ attorneys at Archer & Greiner PC announced Wednesday.

  • July 30, 2014

    Enviros Needn't See Harm To Prove It, Judge Tells Coal Co.

    A West Virginia federal judge on Wednesday refused to toss a lawsuit accusing Fola Coal Co. LLC of discharging pollutants from surface mines into federal waters, finding the environmental plaintiffs have proven harm by the alleged acts.

  • July 30, 2014

    Standard Chartered Ups Africa Power Investment To $5B

    Standard Chartered PLC said Wednesday that it is more than doubling its investment in power projects in sub-Saharan Africa to $5 billion, increasing the bank’s commitment to a U.S.-backed power development initiative on the continent announced by President Barack Obama last year.

  • July 30, 2014

    Appliance Makers Get NYC Coolant Disposal Law Trimmed

    A federal judge on Tuesday invalidated part of a New York City law making manufacturers responsible for recovering refrigerants from residential appliances, saying a state law preempts the city’s as it relates to chlorofluorocarbon compounds.

  • July 30, 2014

    McConnell Says EPA's Coal Emissions Plan Is A Job Killer

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Wednesday slammed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for effectively killing off coal industry jobs through its extensive regulations on the coal industry, joining a chorus of utilities and industry groups at the agency's two-day public hearing in opposing its proposed clean power plan.

  • July 30, 2014

    JinkoSolar Nets $225M PE Injection For Downstream Solar Biz

    JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. said on Wednesday that three different investors will be injecting a combined $225 million in private equity investments into the Chinese solar manufacturing company in a move meant to bolster its downstream solar power project division.

  • July 30, 2014

    Class Arbitration A Question For Courts, 3rd Circ. Says

    In a precedential ruling, the Third Circuit determined Wednesday that whether an arbitration agreement permits classwide arbitration is a question for courts — not arbitrators — to decide, siding with Robert Half International Inc. in its challenge to an arbitrator's ruling that its agreements with former staffing managers allowed class proceedings. 

Expert Analysis

  • OPINION: Lawyers Should Think In Terms Of Big Data

    James H. Wendell

    The vast majority of civil cases in the United States settle before trial. Knowing how many on a particular topic were filed, how many settled, when they settled, and on what terms clearly would be useful to a lawyer advising a client. Big Data could make it possible — yet this type of research is generally ignored by lawyers, says James Wendell of Riddell Williams PS.

  • Denied Rule Petitions In Texas Will Have No Day In Court

    Dale Wainwright

    The Austin Court of Appeals' holding in Texas Commission on Environmental Quality v. Bonser-Lain is significant because it precludes private parties from asking courts for "second opinions" on state agency denials of requests for rulemaking, thereby avoiding a protracted and potentially costly resolution of such requests, say attorneys at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

  • Dukes May Have Doomed Toxic Tort Class Certification

    Peter E. Seley

    Heightened focus on commonality and the other Rule 23 prerequisites post-Dukes has been a tremendous hurdle for toxic tort class action plaintiffs as courts reject classes based on the individual nature of exposure, causation and damages and the insufficiency of expert testimony, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Death Rattle For Unfinished Business Claims?

    Angelo G. Savino

    In a departure from Jewel v. Boxer, the decisions in the cases of Thelen LLP and Heller Ehrman LLP reflect a shift in the manner by which courts treat trustees’ claims for post-dissolution fees, say Angelo Savino and Julie Moeller Albright of Cozen O'Connor.

  • Arguing Injury Can Prevent Harm From EPA Water Listing

    Brian G. Glass

    In light of City of Dover v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, those seeking to challenge impaired waters listings may be better served alleging injuries predicated on property value reductions since these kinds of injuries are more immediate than injuries based on regulatory impact — courts may be more willing to find they satisfy the requirements for Article III standing, says Brian Glass of Warren Glass LLP.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Top 10 Venue Arguments

    Alan E. Rothman

    As the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heads to the “Heart of America” for its July 31 hearing, this column will take a bit of a detour from its regular format and present a top 10 list of arguments — some strange, yet true — made in support of a particular MDL venue, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • EPA Is Holding Flare Users' Feet To The Fire

    J. Tom Boer

    Larger facilities operating multiple flares and larger companies with multiple facilities likely run the greatest risk of enforcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — recent settlements confirm that the EPA, at least in this initial stage of enforcement, has been targeting larger companies, say attorneys at Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp LLP.

  • Securing Summary Judgment In Section 1603 Suits Got Harder

    Timothy Jacobs

    The U.S. Court of Federal Claims' recent opinion in Alta Wind I Owner-Lessor C v. United States, one of many Section 1603 energy grant cases filed in recent years, previewed some of the key issues to be decided in these cases — and it does not appear that these issues can be resolved by summary judgment, says Timothy Jacobs of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Amtrak's Metrics-Making Power Hangs In The Balance

    Kevin M. Sheys

    For industry, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Association of American Railroads v. Department of Transportation will be about whether the standards Amtrak helped create will survive and be used to measure how the railroads adhere to their long-standing statutory obligation to give priority to Amtrak trains, says Kevin Sheys of Nossaman LLP.

  • EPA Unit Rule's Impact Hinges On State Implementation

    Alison M. Nelson

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule regarding modified and reconstructed units will potentially affect all fossil fuel-fired electric generating units, and the rule's impact on existing units could be significantly more far-reaching depending on the approach states take toward emission reduction, say Robert Wilkinson and Alison Nelson of Husch Blackwell LLP.