Environmental

  • November 24, 2014

    Feds Sue To Stop Wind Project On Okla. Tribe's Land

    The U.S. government sued a group of wind developers in Oklahoma federal court on Friday, looking to enjoin a wind farm project’s construction because it allegedly infringes on the native Osage Nation’s land rights.

  • November 21, 2014

    Urgency To Use P3 Grows, But Lack Of Law Is An Obstacle

    The United States' crumbling infrastructure and lack of funds is forcing an increasing number of local governments to turn to public-private partnerships, but many states lack comprehensive legislation for so-called P3 deals, requiring law firms to mobilize practices to help get a project developed.

  • November 21, 2014

    Calif. City Defends Expert In High Court Water Pollution Case

    The city of Pomona, California, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject SQM North America Corp.’s petition to review the Ninth Circuit’s reinstatement of expert testimony in the city’s suit blaming the chemical manufacturer for perchlorate contamination in the public water system.

  • November 21, 2014

    Con Ed On Hook For Part Of $24M Gas Plant Cleanup Suit

    A New York federal judge ruled on Friday that Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. would have to pay part of an estimated $24 million in cleanup costs associated with a polluted former manufactured gas plant, finding that half of the plaintiffs hadn’t entered agreements that would limit their claims.

  • November 21, 2014

    Texas Supreme Court Buries TCEQ Worker's Retaliation Suit

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday held that a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality worker’s report to a state senator and her supervisor alleging the agency improperly paid illegal immigrants under a vehicle emissions reduction program doesn’t qualify for protection under the Texas Whistleblower Act.

  • November 21, 2014

    NJ Utility Regulator Again Nixes Offshore Wind Farm

    A New Jersey utility regulator on Friday dealt another blow to an offshore wind farm proposed by Fishermen's Energy LLC, concluding again the developer had not proved the net benefits were enough to justify its $188 million price tag despite a nearly $47 million federal grant.

  • November 21, 2014

    Job Applicants Not 'Employees' Under FCA, 6th Circ. Says

    The False Claims Act's whistleblower protections don't extend to job applicants because they don't qualify as employees, the Sixth Circuit held, upholding the dismissal of a landfill manager's retaliation suit against EnergySolutions Inc. under the FCA and several environmental statutes.

  • November 21, 2014

    Enviros Sue Ohio Over Alleged Illegal Fracking Waste Permits

    Food and water advocacy groups filed suit against Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the state’s Department of Natural Resources in a state appeals court this week for allegedly approving at least 23 fracking waste handling, storage, processing and recycling facilities without going through the proper rulemaking procedures.

  • November 21, 2014

    Pipeline Cos. Can Recoup Safety Upgrade Costs, FERC Says

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday proposed a formal policy that would allow interstate gas pipeline owners to recover costs for performing safety and reliability upgrades to their infrastructure in response to tougher standards from environmental and pipeline safety regulators.

  • November 21, 2014

    Enviros Sue Gov't Over Review Of Cooling Water Rule

    Environmental groups on Thursday sued the U.S. government in California federal court over a recently finalized rule governing systems used at industrial facilities to cool machinery by taking in water from surrounding water bodies, saying the rule effectively grandfathers a practice known to harm endangered marine animals.

  • November 21, 2014

    Calif. Appeals Court Clears Way For Kings' $477M NBA Arena

    A California appeals court on Thursday ruled against environmental activists fighting to delay the construction of a $477 million sports arena planned for downtown Sacramento, California, saying that the activists failed to prove the arena's erection violates state law.

  • November 21, 2014

    TerraForm Sells $350M In Stock To Back First Wind Buy

    TerraForm Power Inc., SunEdison Inc.’s renewable energy power plant operating unit, said Friday that it is selling $350 million in stock to raise cash to help fund its portion of their $2.4 billion acquisition of First Wind Holdings LLC.

  • November 21, 2014

    EPA Puts Off 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard To 2015

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it will not be finalizing 2014 volume standard under the Renewable Fuel Standard program before the end of this year, a move that reflects controversy between the ethanol and oil industries about how volumes should be set in light of lower-than-predicted gasoline consumption.

  • November 20, 2014

    Exide Gets Nod For Plant Pact With Calif. Enviro Regulator

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge signed off on a settlement between battery maker Exide Technologies Inc. and a California environmental regulator Thursday that paves the way for Exide to restart its idled Vernon, California, lead-recycling plant.

  • November 20, 2014

    Greens Threaten FWS With Lawsuit Over Sage Grouse

    Two conservation groups on Thursday threatened to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior over FWS' recent decision to list the Gunnison sage grouse as a threatened species, saying there are too many concessions for oil and gas development.

  • November 20, 2014

    La. Fears BP Penalty Trial Will Affect Separate State Case

    The state of Louisiana told a federal judge that it is concerned that BP PLC will submit evidence on the state’s damage in the penalty phase of the Deepwater Horizon multidistrict litigation, saying that the state won’t be able to rebut evidence critical to the state’s damages case.

  • November 20, 2014

    Property Owners Sue NJ Town, State Over Dune Easements

    Several beachfront property owners have sued Long Beach Township, New Jersey, and the state over the municipality's allegedly improper taking of easements for flood protection efforts, which they say runs afoul of the state's eminent domain law.

  • November 20, 2014

    AT&T To Pay $52M In Groundbreaking E-Waste Settlement

    AT&T Inc. agreed on Thursday to spend $51.8 million to resolve California's allegations that it unlawfully disposed of hazardous electronics waste over a nine-year period in the first enforcement action of its kind in the state, according to California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris.

  • November 20, 2014

    Platinum Mine Officers Indicted In Alleged Pollution Cover-Up

    The owners and operators of an Alaska platinum mine illegally discharged industrial wastewater into an important Pacific salmon spawning stream and then attempted to cover it up, according to a federal indictment handed down Tuesday.

  • November 20, 2014

    New EPA Biomass Framework To Impact Power Plant Rule

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday said it has revised the way it accounts for carbon dioxide emissions caused by the burning of fuels including plants and animal waste, a move that will impact permitting programs and an upcoming rule for emissions from existing power plants.

Expert Analysis

  • What If States Opt Out Of EPA's Existing Source Rule?

    Scott C. Oostdyk

    The initial legal question surrounding the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan is whether longstanding principles of federalism allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to compel states to enforce a federal program like it — legal precedent establishes that the EPA cannot, say Scott Oostdyk and Duncan Getchell Jr. of McGuireWoods LLP.

  • New ESG Considerations For Private Funds

    Scott W. Naidech

    Evidence demonstrates that there is an increasing focus on environmental, social and governance issues in the private equity industry based in part on investor demands and general public pressure for increased accountability and transparency. In response, frameworks and industry standards for ESG investing are emerging, says Scott Naidech of Chadbourne & Parke LLP.

  • Differentiate Your Litigation Practice With Data Security

    Jennifer Topper

    Despite the significant tilt toward technology in how litigation is now conducted, many senior lawyers still delegate tech-related issues to e-discovery specialists or associates at their firms. This is a missed opportunity not just for client development, but also for shaping the way the firm and lawyer are seen in the eyes of corporate counsel, says legal industry business development specialist Jenn Topper.

  • Europe's Projects Of Common Interest: Part 3

    Tomas Gardfors

    Institutional investors are increasingly interested in Europe's Projects of Common Interest, however, due to constraints, regulatory adaptation will be required to allow private investors to invest directly into transmission system operators in many jurisdictions, says Tomas Gardfors of Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • The Print Room: How To Spend Less And Get More

    Senthil Rajakrishnan

    Our estimates indicate that some law firms spend up to $8,000 per attorney each year on print-related costs. Although we live in a digital world, hard copy printing will remain an important part of business for years to come. Changing technology, however, offers opportunities to improve efficiencies and save money, say Senthil Rajakrishnan and Ryan Mittman of HBR Consulting LLC.

  • Europe's Projects Of Common Interest: Part 2

    Tomas Gardfors

    Despite fundamental differences among "projects of common interest" in Europe's energy market, they face similar challenges in the form of cross-border cooperation, regulatory alignment and asymmetric impacts on EU member states, says Tomas Gardfors of Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • Where Lawyers Impact The Triple Bottom Line

    John Page

    Legal departments are not bystanders in corporate social responsibility efforts. They ensure compliance, infuse ethics into the decision-making process, weigh legal risks and protect the company’s reputation. With increasing business actions to address social issues, it is time for the legal community to get more involved, says John Page, chairman of the board of directors for the Association of Corporate Counsel and chief legal of... (continued)

  • Dewey Partner Clawback Ruling May Hurt New York Law Firms

    Evan C. Hollander

    Unless the recent ruling in the Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP bankruptcy case is overturned on appeal or the New York Legislature amends the state’s fraudulent transfer and partnership laws, partners of New York firms will bear greater risk if their firms fail than will members of many non-New York partnerships. This risk factor might even affect decisions by prospective lateral partners about which firms to join, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • Europe's Projects Of Common Interest: Part 1

    Tomas Gardfors

    The European Commission's recent adoption of key energy infrastructure projects — Projects of Common Interest — will require substantial investment given their scale and present significant opportunities for investors, financiers, governments and contractors on a global scale, says Tomas Gardfors of Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • When Do Tribal Leaders Create FCPA Liability?

    T. Markus Funk

    One of the many definitional challenges facing Foreign Corrupt Practices Act practitioners worldwide is under what circumstances traditional authorities, who routinely exercise considerable influence over business matters, qualify as “foreign officials.” This is a particularly apt question for companies seeking to pursue mining interests in Canada, say T. Markus Funk and Barak Cohen of Perkins Coie LLP.