Environmental

  • August 28, 2014

    Whirlpool, Home Depot, Others Want Out Of Energy Star Suit

    Whirlpool Corp. and several appliance retailers including The Home Depot Inc. moved Wednesday to dismiss state law claims alleging deceptive marketing of Energy Star washing machines from a class action pending in New Jersey, arguing that those legal claims are preempted by federal regulation.

  • August 28, 2014

    House Science Chair Casts Suspicious Eye On EPA Maps

    House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, on Wednesday argued that a series of maps recently made public by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reveal that the agency is attempting to covertly put private property under its jurisdiction through a new bid to update the Clean Water Act.

  • August 28, 2014

    Shell Files Revised 2015 Arctic Oil Drilling Plan With Feds

    Royal Dutch Shell PLC has submitted revised plans to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to potentially resume drilling for oil in Arctic waters off Alaska in 2015, according to media reports on Thursday.

  • August 28, 2014

    9th Circ. Just Latest Court To Read Pollution Laws Narrowly

    The Ninth Circuit recently rejected environmental groups’ novel argument that diesel emissions at California rail yards should be regulated as solid waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the latest indication that courts are more strictly interpreting pollution laws, even where there are enforcement gaps.

  • August 28, 2014

    Opponents Take Cape Wind Power Deal Row To 1st Circ.

    A Cape Cod town and other local businesses urged the First Circuit on Monday to revive their suit alleging Massachusetts officials illegally pressured a utility company to buy power from the $2.6 billion Cape Wind offshore wind farm, saying their suit wasn’t barred by the Eleventh Amendment.

  • August 28, 2014

    Ranchers Challenge Endangered Species Listing Procedures

    Two ranch owners and a cadre of agricultural groups filed suit Wednesday against the U.S. Department of the Interior in Oklahoma federal court, claiming the federal government violated the Endangered Species Act by prematurely classifying a type of wild chicken as “threatened” as part of a settlement agreement.

  • August 28, 2014

    Calif. Lawmakers OK Bill To Reduce Pipeline Methane Leaks

    California lawmakers on Wednesday approved legislation that would force natural gas companies to devise ways to clamp down on methane leaks from their pipelines, joining other federal and state efforts to reduce emissions of the short-lived, but potent, greenhouse gas.

  • August 28, 2014

    New ABA Enviro Boss Aims To Tear Down Practice Boundaries

    Environment, energy and resource attorneys must abandon their silos and work together so their clients aren't getting slivers of specialized service, Steven Miano, the new chairman of the American Bar Association’s environment wing, told Law360 this week.

  • August 27, 2014

    DuPont Settles Suit Over Toxic Releases With DOJ For $1.3M

    E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. will pay a nearly $1.3 million penalty and spend $2.3 million on procedural improvements to resolve the federal government's claims that it failed to prevent releases of hazardous substances at a facility in West Virginia that left one worker dead, authorities said Wednesday.

  • August 27, 2014

    Industry Groups, Enviros Challenge EPA Small Boiler Rules

    Industry and environmental groups on Tuesday launched opening salvos in challenges to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s bid to regulate toxic emissions from smaller-sized boilers, with one side claiming proposed rules are too strict and the other arguing they don’t go far enough.

  • August 27, 2014

    9th Circ. Revives $482M Mining, Railroad Cleanup Suit

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday revived mining company Asarco LLC’s dispute with Union Pacific Railroad Co. over its share of the $482 million cost of cleaning up an Idaho Superfund site, ruling in an issue of first impression that an amended complaint is still timely even if it includes new allegations.

  • August 27, 2014

    Blackstone-Backed Vivint Solar Planning $200M IPO

    Vivint Solar Inc., the home solar power provider owned by Blackstone Group LP-backed security firm Vivint Inc., is planning a $200 million initial public offering, the company announced on Tuesday.

  • August 27, 2014

    Duke Asks FERC To Extend Its Hydroelectric Project License

    Duke Energy Corp. on Wednesday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to extend its license for the Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric Project — which is located in North Carolina and South Carolina, with a generating capacity of 868 megawatts — for an additional 30 to 50 years.

  • August 27, 2014

    Duke Energy Settles Dam Project Row Over Endangered Fish

    Duke Energy Progress Inc. asked a North Carolina federal court on Tuesday to approve a settlement with the National Marine Fisheries Service that calls for the agency to make changes in an endangered fish monitoring program, seeking to speed up relicensing of a dam project in the state.

  • August 27, 2014

    EPA Asks 11th Circ. To Uphold Fla. Water Pollution Deal

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has asked the Eleventh Circuit to uphold a lower court's ruling that allows Florida to set its own water pollution limits, arguing that the decision was within the agency's discretion.

  • August 27, 2014

    Greyhound's Ariz. Contamination Cleanup Suit Stays Alive

    An Arizona federal judge on Tuesday refused to throw out a suit filed by Greyhound Lines Inc. seeking to recoup chemical contamination cleanup costs at 41 properties acquired from Viad Corp. and a subsidiary, finding the claims are not barred by an indemnification agreement.

  • August 27, 2014

    Calif. HRA Says $8.6B Bullet Train Bond Ruling Is Right

    The California High-Speed Rail Authority on Tuesday refuted a rehearing bid by Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and others arguing that an appeals court wrongly determined that their challenge to the use of $8.6 billion in bonds for a $68.4 billion bullet train project was premature, saying the court's initial ruling should stand.

  • August 27, 2014

    Pa. Company Gets $1.2M Fine For Hazardous Waste Dumping

    A Pennsylvania munitions and explosives manufacturer was sentenced in federal court on Wednesday to a $1.2 million fine and five years' probation for illegally storing hazardous waste at its Chester County facility.

  • August 27, 2014

    EQT Avoids Attys' Fees In Fracking Suit With Subcontractor

    An Ohio federal judge on Tuesday refused to reconsider an order finding that natural gas well owner EQT Production Co. must defend its drilling subcontractor in settled litigation over alleged fracking fluids contamination, but let EQT off the hook for providing Warren Drilling Co. Inc. attorneys’ fees in the immediate suit.

  • August 26, 2014

    EPA Sanctioned Over Backdated Document In Contract Row

    The U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Monday issued an opinion sanctioning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for including an inaccurate and backdated explanation for its decision to cancel a protested $24 million soil remediation contract, saying that the agency misled the protester and the court.

Expert Analysis

  • Calif. Anti-Fracking Ordinances On Shaky Legal Ground

    Jeffrey D. Dintzer

    Compton’s hydraulic fracturing ban may implicate the Takings Clause of the U.S. and California Constitutions since fracking is meant to access energy resources that cannot otherwise be extracted from the underlying property — the ban could constitute a taking of private property without just compensation, say Jeffrey Dintzer and Nathaniel Johnson of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • 5 Reasons Large Companies Are Turning To Boutique Firms

    David M. Levine

    The departure of attorneys from large firms is a trend that has increased as a result of the Great Recession and its aftermath, and boutique firm partners who previously worked at large firms understand the potential large-firm pitfalls, say attorneys with Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider & Grossman LLP.

  • Tracking Fracking: Where Is Ill. 1 Year Later?

    Lawrence W. Falbe

    While final hydraulic fracturing regulations in Illinois can reasonably expect approval by mid-October, the rules may be challenged on the basis that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources did not properly consider all public comments and revise them accordingly, say Lawrence Falbe and Sanford Stein of Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • EPA's Concern Over TCE Vapor Intrusion Is Misguided

    Richard C. Coffin

    A recently issued memo from a director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on short-term trichloroethylene exposure levels in Region 9 should be reconsidered — if there is a legitimate weight of scientific evidence supporting them, then they should be applied to all Superfund sites, say attorneys of Barg Coffin Lewis and Trapp LLP.

  • As Climate Changes So Does Focus On Methane Emissions

    Andrew R. Wheeler

    Given that the Obama administration has focused almost entirely on carbon dioxide up until now, stakeholders should be prepared for the president to move quickly and aggressively to reduce methane emissions from the natural gas sector in the coming months, say attorneys at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • Some Calm For NY Claims Handlers Over Late Disclaimers

    William E. Murray

    The impact of a threatened expansion of the late disclaimer standard prior to the New York Court of Appeals' ruling in KeySpan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance American Inc. would have been heavy for the insurance industry in that it would have created a significant burden on claims handlers, say William Murray and Joseph Geoghegan of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP.

  • Calif. High Court Case Has Not Made CEQA Obsolete

    Timothy M. Taylor

    Initial observations after the California Supreme Court's ruling in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court suggest that voter-sponsored initiative petitions under the Elections Code are not widely employed as an end-run around the California Environmental Quality Act, say attorneys at Stoel Rives LLP.

  • Tax Credit Timetable Should Lead The Way For Renewables

    John C. Crossley

    Developers in the renewable energy industry that are able to move quickly now have a clearer path forward for a number of projects that appeared quite risky prior to the recent release of additional guidance on production tax credits from the Internal Revenue Service, says John Crossley of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • 9th Circ. Permit Ruling Could Affect Projects Nationwide

    Sandra Y. Snyder

    The Ninth Circuit's ruling in Sierra Club v. EPA may have broad implications for the timing of Clean Air Act preconstruction permitting, which may be compounded by a recent D.C. Circuit opinion that could ultimately require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to apply this precedent on a national scale, say Richard Alonso and Sandra Snyder of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

  • How To Control Risk And Cost Of E-Discovery

    "If you follow the philosophy of saving everything you're just multiplying exponentially the costs and risks of litigation and investigations," says Robert Owen, partner in charge of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP's New York office and president of the Electronic Discovery Institute.