Environmental

  • 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 Tuesday 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. 

  • July 29, 2014

    NTSB Faults Conrail For 2012 NJ Train Derailment

    The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday faulted Consolidated Rail Corp. for a 2012 derailment and chemical spill in New Jersey that has sparked numerous lawsuits and class actions, finding that train personnel weren't adequately prepared to determine whether the bridge at issue was locked and safe to cross.

  • July 29, 2014

    Archer Daniels Pays $430K To Settle EPA Water Pollution Suit

    Archer Daniels Midland Co. on Tuesday agreed to pay a $430,000 fine and enter into a consent decree to settle U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claims that the food-processing giant discharged pollutants from five facilities in three states in violation of the Clean Water Act.

  • July 29, 2014

    Pa. High Court Won't Hear Dow Brain Cancer Appeal

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a case in which Dow Chemical Co. unit Rohm and Haas Co. dodged allegations that a contract employee developed brain cancer from exposure to toxic chemicals, leaving in place a lower court's decision clarifying standards for admitting expert testimony in product liability cases.

  • July 29, 2014

    House Votes To Amend ESA Determinations Over Veto Threat

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a contentious bill altering how federal agencies may determine which species are protected under the Endangered Species Act, a measure the White House has already threatened to block.

  • July 29, 2014

    EPA Carbon Plan Will Speed Shift From Coal: FERC Members

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members told lawmakers on Tuesday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new carbon emissions reduction proposal would speed up a change from coal to natural gas or other cleaner power sources and require substantial infrastructure improvements.

  • July 29, 2014

    Mining Industry, GOP Rep. Blast EPA Clean Power Plan

    Several coal and energy trade groups and a Republican lawmaker on Tuesday urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to abandon its proposed plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired power plants, claiming the rules would have a dramatically negative effect on the coal and manufacturing industries.

  • July 29, 2014

    Climate Action Delay May Cost $150B A Year: White House

    The White House Council of Economic Advisers said Tuesday that delaying action on climate change could cost the United States $150 billion a year if temperatures increase by three degrees Celsius instead of two, according to a report released in support of the president’s climate change plan.

  • July 28, 2014

    NJ High Court To Hear Solar Contractor's $50M Lien Effort

    The New Jersey Supreme Court will consider the enforceability of liens issued against municipal financing, agreeing Monday to hear a company blocked from issuing liens on over $50 million in financing for a public solar project because county improvement authorities are statutorily exempt from liens.

  • July 28, 2014

    EPA Should Update Fracking Pollution Regs, GAO Says

    A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program that prevents pollutants associated with hydraulic fracturing from contaminating groundwater in eight states, including California, Pennsylvania and Texas, is outdated and lacks sufficient muscle, according to a report released by a government watchdog on Monday.

  • July 28, 2014

    NJ High Court Says Cleanup Suits OK Without DEP Approval

    A party on the hook for a contaminated property doesn't need New Jersey's environmental regulator to finalize cleanup efforts or provide written approval of a remediation plan before suing for contribution under the state's Spill Compensation and Control Act, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday.

  • July 28, 2014

    NY Landowners Appeal Dismissal Of Suit Over Fracking Delay

    Landowners seeking to force Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration to move more quickly on regulations that could allow for an expansion of fracking in New York said Monday they have appealed an Albany judge's ruling that said they didn't have standing to bring suit.

  • July 28, 2014

    East Bay To Spend $1.5B On Sewer Repairs After CWA Order

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday the East Bay Municipal Utility District and seven area communities agreed to upgrade their 1,500-mile-long sewer system over two decades to settle allegations they discharged sewage into San Francisco Bay, a project that is expected to cost around $1.5 billion.

  • July 28, 2014

    DOI Seeks Input On Planned Offshore Lease Sale In Alaska

    The U.S. Department of the Interior’s offshore energy arm on Friday requested public comments on a potential oil and gas lease sale in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea, saying it wants to gauge industry interest and learn more about possible impacts on the environment and native tribes.

  • July 28, 2014

    Australia Approves Adani's $16B Carmichael Coal Project

    The Australian Minister of Environment on Monday approved Indian coal giant Adani Group’s massive AU$16.5 billion ($15.5 billion) Carmichael coal and rail project under what the government touted as 36 strict conditions to safeguard groundwater.

  • July 28, 2014

    EPA Head Says Public Comment Crucial To Carbon Plan

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said Monday that four public hearings this week will be critical to shaping the agency's proposed plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired power plants, stressing state input had already significantly impacted the rule.

  • July 25, 2014

    EPA Drops GHG Permits Covered By High Court Ruling

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday informed its 10 regional administrators that it would no longer require certain types of permits, to stay consistent with a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that scaled back the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

Expert Analysis

  • 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 Avoid You 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.

  • 6 Years In, Why Haven't FRE 502(d) Orders Caught On?

    John A. Rosans

    In this e-discovery era, why aren't more litigants using Federal Rule of Evidence 502(d) orders and affording themselves basic protection of their most sensitive information? Or, if they are moving for such orders, why are they doing it wrong? asks John Rosans of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

  • Opportunities In Russia's Renewable Energy Program

    Alex Blomfield

    For corporate lawyers, Russia’s renewable energy incentive program may provide opportunities given significant need among Russian companies to establish joint ventures and their inexperience with successfully and cost-effectively executing renewable energy projects, say Alex Blomfield and Alexandra Rotar of King & Spalding LLP.