Environmental

  • May 28, 2015

    OneBeacon Owes $5.4M Damages In Olin Cleanup Row

    A New York federal judge on Thursday awarded Olin Corp. $5.4 million in a dispute with OneBeacon American Insurance Co. over environmental cleanup costs at a New Jersey site, after denying OneBeacon's request for trial to determine the amount because standard pro rata allocation method applied.

  • May 28, 2015

    Enviros Move To Enter Fight Against Shell In Seattle's Port

    A group of conservation organizations moved Wednesday to intervene in the proceedings that will decide whether the Port of Seattle can serve as the home port for Royal Dutch Shell PLC's Arctic drilling fleet under its current permit.

  • May 28, 2015

    NY Court Upholds Tossing Sloan-Kettering Project Suit

    A New York appeals court on Thursday upheld the dismissal of a suit seeking to block Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital's 800,000-square-foot expansion, ruling that the city had taken the requisite “hard look” at certain environmental concerns.

  • May 28, 2015

    US Orders Pipeline Co. To Keep Cleaning Up California Spill

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday issued a joint Clean Water Act order requiring Plains All American Pipeline LP to continue cleanup efforts for last week's oil spill west of Santa Barbara, California.

  • May 28, 2015

    Haynes And Boone Off The Hook In $1.7M Conspiracy Suit

    A Texas state appeals court on Thursday refused to revive a chemical engineer’s suit alleging Haynes and Boone LLP falsely led him to believe an environmental remediation company agreed to pay $1.7 million to settle a qui tam action that he then agreed to dismiss.

  • May 28, 2015

    NCR Divisibility Win Breathes New Life Into CERCLA Defense

    A Wisconsin federal judge’s recent renewal of NCR Corp.’s divisibility defense in a CERCLA lawsuit has given new shine to a long-abandoned litigation tactic, but while the ruling is good news for defendants, future cases will depend heavily on the facts at the contaminated sites, attorneys say. 

  • May 28, 2015

    EPA Proposes Pesticide Restriction To Protect Bees

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed a new measure to try and protect the declining bee population that would add restrictions on the use of acutely toxic pesticides during times when bees are most likely to be present.

  • May 28, 2015

    Critics Grouse About DOI Plans To Conserve Bird Habitat

    The U.S. Department of the Interior says that its proposed plans, released on Thursday, to conserve greater sage-grouse habitat mostly covers land with little to no energy prospects and that the plans will honor all existing valid development rights, but opponents still see the plans as an overreach.

  • May 28, 2015

    9th Circ. Won't Revive Pebble Mine's EPA Challenge

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday upheld the dismissal of a suit accusing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of stonewalling the controversial Pebble Mine in Alaska, agreeing with a lower court that the suit was premature.

  • May 28, 2015

    Holland & Knight Adds 3 Advisers To Clean Energy Team

    Holland & Knight LLP has added three policy and public affairs advisers from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC, who will be helping companies obtain government grants, loans and contracts across the country, to its energy and clean technology team in Washington, D.C. 

  • May 28, 2015

    Ex-NY Senate Leader Skelos, Son Indicted In Corruption Case

    A New York federal grand jury on Thursday slapped state Sen. Dean Skelos, a former Republican majority leader, and his son with a six-count indictment, including a new allegation that the younger Skelos made more than $100,000 from a medical malpractice insurer through a no-show job.

  • May 28, 2015

    Duke Energy Goes To Disney World With 5 MW Solar Project

    Duke Energy Corp. said Wednesday that its Florida subsidiary was approved to build, own and operate a Disney-themed 5 megawatt solar facility at Disney World in Orlando, according to a news release.

  • May 28, 2015

    Wyo. Hospital Says EPA Ruling Forces It Into Tribal Court

    A Riverton, Wyoming, hospital being sued for malpractice by a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe urged the Tenth Circuit Wednesday to reverse a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decision on the boundaries of the tribe's shared reservation, saying it has unfairly subjected the hospital to tribal jurisdiction.

  • May 28, 2015

    Seal Advocates Win Fees From San Diego In Appeals Court

    A California appeals court ruled Wednesday that the city of San Diego must pay attorneys' fees to advocacy groups that had challenged the city’s denial of their bid to install protective measures for seals at a La Jolla beach, even though the city later admitted fault.

  • May 28, 2015

    9th Circ. OKs NextEra Wind Project Over Enviro Objections

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a district court’s toss of environmental groups' attempt to thwart a proposed NextEra Energy Inc. wind energy project by challenging the construction of a connecting road, saying the government’s narrow environmental assessment of the project was acceptable.

  • May 27, 2015

    Clarified EPA Water Rule Still Spurs Authority Questions

    A final rule released Wednesday intended to clarify the federal government’s jurisdiction over U.S. waterways may have satisfied some industry calls for increased specificity, but attorneys say the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers still are likely to face a flurry of cases challenging their authority to regulate such waterways.

  • May 27, 2015

    US Says ARCO Can't Avoid Superfund Costs Under Tribe Pact

    The U.S. government asked a New Mexico federal judge to nix Atlantic Richfield Co.'s attempt to avoid paying for a former uranium mine's cleanup, saying Tuesday that ARCO's $43 million agreement with a Native American tribe did not excuse the company from liability for the Superfund site.

  • May 27, 2015

    Enivros Sue FEMA Over Calif. Wildfire Reduction Plan

    Two environmental groups sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency in California federal court Tuesday, challenging its proposals for preventing wildfires in a nature preserve outside of San Francisco as too vague.

  • May 27, 2015

    NY DEC To Improve Oil Spill Monitoring, Response Time

    The New York Department of Environmental Conservation said Wednesday it will put into effect new measures to respond to oil-transportation spills, including aerial monitoring, a 24-hour hotline and other preventive measures, according to a news release.

  • May 27, 2015

    Industry Groups Seek Rehearing Of DC Circ. GHG Ruling

    Industry groups on Tuesday requested an en banc rehearing of the D.C. Circuit’s April ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may regulate greenhouse gases at existing power plants and industrial sites as part of its cross-state air pollution program.

Expert Analysis

  • Fracking 2.0: The Rise Of American Shale Refracking

    Gabriel B. Collins

    New data strongly suggests energy companies will likely accelerate the refracturing of previously hydraulically fractured wellbores in unconventional shale gas plays across the U.S. The trend from industry analysis points to a much more positive outlook for refracking's growth potential than the present market consensus would suggest, says Gabriel Collins of Baker & Hostetler LLP.

  • PRPs May Want To Dig In With Divisibility Defense

    John DiChello Jr.

    U.S. v. NCR Corp. is significant given the reluctance of most, if not all, courts to find "potentially responsible parties" have met their burden of proving divisibility of harm to the environment since the U.S. Supreme Court embraced the divisibility defense in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. U.S., says John DiChello Jr. of Blank Rome LLP.

  • The Future Is Now: Next-Gen Enforcement At The EPA

    Granta Nakayama

    Given that resource constraints are likely to remain at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Next-Generation enforcement is here to stay, certainly in the near-term. Recent agency memorandum and the Tonawanda Coke Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. settlements make clear that the EPA is committed to incorporating Next-Gen compliance tools in civil settlements, say attorneys at King & Spalding LLP.

  • Digging Through The New Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure

    Leeron Morad

    Last month, behind the scenes, the U.S. Supreme Court quietly approved changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Though the ultimate impact of the amendments remains to be seen, they will affect discovery and document production proceedings for both litigants and practitioners, say Leeron Morad and Andrew Bramhall of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.

  • No Consensus On CEQ Draft Guidance For NEPA Reviews

    Elizabeth A. Lake

    Despite its intended goal of reducing "litigation driven by uncertainty," the White House Council on Environmental Quality's revised draft guidance regarding National Environmental Policy Act reviews avoids providing direction on determining when greenhouse gases and climate change impacts are significant, and its consideration of upstream and downstream impacts is particularly vague, says Elizabeth Lake of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • The Spin And Substance Surrounding NY's Brownfields

    Richard G. Leland

    The principal implication of the latest reforms to New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program is that the state will continue to struggle with the inherent conflict between the needs to redevelop contaminated sites and to conserve resources — not to mention the political spin that subsidizing development in New York City during an apparent real estate boom is a giveaway to developers, says Richard Leland of Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

  • Proposition 218 Obstacles To Calif. Tiered Water Rates

    Sue Meyer

    Capistrano Taxpayers Association Inc. v. City of San Juan Capistrano teaches us that, under California's Proposition 218, the burden of proof is on an agency to demonstrate that revenues derived from a water service fee or charge not exceed the funds required to provide the service and that the fee or charge imposed on a parcel not exceed the proportional cost of the service attributable to the parcel, says Sue Meyer of Nossaman LLP.

  • Colo. Lone Pine Case Is Setback For Fracking

    Carl J. Pernicone

    After the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling in Antero Resources Corp. v. Strudley, hydraulic fracturing defendants are likely to see an increase in defense costs, fewer dismissals and fewer early settlements. Had it won, industry could have used the decision to secure early dismissals of fracking suits or, at minimum, force plaintiffs to choose — and stick with — a case theory, say attorneys at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP.

  • The Short And Long Game Of Calif.'s GHG Reduction Plan

    Allison C. Smith

    While the lack of specific direction over how to implement reductions in greenhouse gas emissions based on California Gov. Jerry Brown's recent executive order leaves some uncertainty, in the near term we could see state agency action and, by the time the state's legislative session concludes in September, there may be a definitive statutory mandate to achieve reductions by 2050, says Allison Smith of Stoel Rives LLP.

  • Consider 5 Things Before Choosing An E-Discovery Provider

    Barry O’Melia

    There has been a rapid and robust growth in the number of companies offering electronically stored information collection, management and processing services. But a recent survey indicated that not all service providers offer the level of expertise needed in today’s world of big data, the cloud and mobile devices, says Barry O’Melia, chief operations officer at Digital WarRoom.