Environmental

  • August 30, 2016

    Park Service Beats Yosemite Endangered Species Suit

    A California federal judge on Monday threw out a lawsuit accusing the National Park Service of violating the Endangered Species Act with water management decisions at a power project in Yosemite National Park, saying a plaintiff’s “profound commitment to species protection” wasn’t enough to establish standing.

  • August 30, 2016

    Protests Stall Montreal Talks On $12B Energy East Pipeline

    Following a "violent disruption" at a consultative panel session in Montreal this week related to Transcanada's proposed $12 billion Energy East pipeline, Canada's National Energy Board has postponed the discussions, saying it will resume them after it makes decisions on two motions that have been filed asking for the recusal of two panel members.

  • August 30, 2016

    EPA OIG Starts Drinking Water Oversight Investigation

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog said Monday it is beginning an investigation into the EPA’s safe drinking water monitoring program, a move that comes on the heels of a lead-tainted drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

  • August 30, 2016

    DLA Piper Partner Fined, Resigns Over Party For NYC Mayor

    A DLA Piper partner appointed to the New York City Water Board resigned from his position and received a fine of $1,000 for hosting a campaign fundraiser and birthday party event for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York’s Conflicts of Interest Board announced Tuesday.

  • August 30, 2016

    PETA Tells 11th. Circ. Wrong Standard Used In Orca Case

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Inc. and other animal rights groups asked the Eleventh Circuit on Monday to reverse a district court’s ruling that the Miami Seaquarium’s treatment of a captive orca named Lolita wasn't gravely threatening her life, arguing the lower court used the wrong standard to determine the killer whale wasn’t being harmed.

  • August 30, 2016

    BLM Tweaks Auction Regs Ahead Of Landmark Internet Sale

    The Bureau of Land Management on Tuesday announced changes to its oil and gas lease auction rules to allow for online bidders, paving the way for the bureau's first online lease auction since Congress authorized internet auctions in 2015.

  • August 30, 2016

    Dominion Jumping Gun On Va. Nuke Plant, Watchdog Told

    Dominion Virginia Power is unlawfully spending money on a potential third nuclear reactor at the North Anna power station that sports a $19 billion price tag and is destined to saddle ratepayers with the costs, according to allegations in a petition filed Tuesday with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

  • August 30, 2016

    Toxic Tort Suit Not Barred By $5B Tronox Deal, 2nd Circ. Told

    A group of 4,300 Pennsylvania residents on Monday again urged the Second Circuit to revive their toxic tort lawsuit against Kerr-McGee Corp., arguing a $5.15 billion contamination settlement reached during the bankruptcy of its former subsidiary didn't bar the type of claims they're bringing.

  • August 30, 2016

    Calif. Co. Slams State Report On Oil Field Redevelopment Plan

    The developers behind a proposal to clean up, restore and develop a brownfield site in Orange County, California, that has been fenced off for oil production for decades slammed a state agency's report calling for limits on the size and scope of the project as a "de facto denial" of the plan in a statement Monday.

  • August 30, 2016

    NJ Landfill's Ch. 11 Case Tossed Over Unsigned Docs

    A New Jersey federal bankruptcy judge has tossed a Chapter 11 case filed by a New Jersey landfill owner charged with lying to the state about plans to develop the site into a solar farm, because unsigned documents were filed with the court.

  • August 30, 2016

    Enviros Defend EPA's Startup, Shutdown Changes At DC Circ.

    The Sierra Club and other groups on Monday urged the D.C. Circuit not to strike down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's requirement that 36 states revise emissions exemptions related to startup, shutdown and malfunction events at power plants and other facilities.

  • August 30, 2016

    10th Circ. Won’t Revisit Rejected $1.6M Solar Arbitral Award

    A Chinese solar energy parts supplier whose $1.6 million arbitral award against a Colorado buyer was rejected by U.S. courts, because the dispute notice was in Chinese, failed Monday to convince the Tenth Circuit to revisit the dispute over allegedly shoddy parts.

  • August 30, 2016

    Travelers, Trelleborg End Auto Facility Cleanup Suit

    Trelleborg Automotive USA Inc. on Monday agreed to end its lawsuit against Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. of America in Michigan federal court seeking coverage for environmental remediation costs at an automotive manufacturing facility, after the companies “amicably resolved their differences.”

  • August 29, 2016

    Alaska Justices Revive Refinery Groundwater Pollution Suit

    The Alaska Supreme Court on Friday partially revived a refinery's bid to hold a previous facility owner responsible for groundwater pollution, holding contractual indemnification claims and some statutory claims were not time-barred as a lower court had held.

  • August 29, 2016

    Waste Mgmt., Travelers Want EPA Coverage Suit Reinstated

    A Waste Management Inc. subsidiary on Monday asked a Texas federal judge to reinstate its coverage dispute with Travelers Indemnity Co. over pollution of a Texas river, saying the companies were unable to reach an agreement about final settlement documentation.

  • August 29, 2016

    Saint-Gobain Loses Challenge To Vermont Toxic Water Rule

    A Vermont judge has tossed Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics' lawsuit challenging the state’s interim safety standard for a toxic chemical used to make a synthetic polymer, saying the case is moot because the state already adopted an emergency rule for regulating the chemical in water.

  • August 29, 2016

    Md., NRG Units Cleared For $2M Water Pollution Settlement

    A Maryland federal judge on Friday signed off on a settlement agreement between Maryland and two subsidiaries of NRG Energy Inc., in which the NRG units will pay a $1 million civil penalty and put another $1 million toward environmental projects to settle water pollution allegations at two coal-burning power plants.

  • August 29, 2016

    DC Circ. Won't Link Mercury Rule Challenges

    The D.C. Circuit on Monday rejected a bid by two industry groups to link their challenges of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's mercury emissions rule to a new petition taking issue with the EPA's cost analysis of that rule.

  • August 29, 2016

    Texas Ranchers Tell AG Private Board Can't Manage River

    Texas ranchers and property owners concerned about a water management plan for the upper San Saba River are hoping the Texas attorney general can dissuade a central Texas county from letting a private board oversee the area, according to a letter released Monday.

  • August 29, 2016

    Colo. Anti-Fracking Measures Won't Make November Ballot

    Two measures that would have added more limitations to oil and natural gas drilling in Colorado failed to make the November ballot because neither tallied enough valid voter signatures, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced on Monday.

Expert Analysis

  • REBUTTAL: Establishing Standards And Norms In Mediation

    William A. Ruskin

    A recent Law360 guest article asks whether by signing a mediation confidentiality agreement a lawyer surrenders the power to protect his client against inappropriate mediation conduct. The short response to this concern is that parties to a mediation should refuse to execute such an agreement that removes all future recourse against the mediator, no matter how egregious the mediator’s actions, says William Ruskin of Gordon Rees Scu... (continued)

  • Considering The Difference: Treaty Rights And NEPA Review

    Bart J. Freedman

    A congressional committee has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to explain why it rejected a permit for the Gateway Pacific Terminal project without waiting for an environmental review to be completed. However, the Corps has a solid basis in its action because Native American treaty fishing rights are considered independently, say Bart Freedman and Ben Mayer of K&L Gates LLP.

  • State Of Texas Legal Market: Litigation Trends

    Michael K. Hurst

    Litigation in the Texas energy sector has increased substantially as a result of the drop in oil prices. The trends reflect a market reality where all participants, including contractors, insurers, lenders, partners and employees, are forced to embrace “lower for longer” pricing, say Michael Hurst and Jonathan Childers of Lynn Pinker Cox Hurst LLP.

  • Defining Attorney-Client Relationships In The Electronic Age

    Elizabeth Fitch

    As technology has advanced, the ways in which attorneys communicate with clients, potential clients, former clients and the public has created new and ill-defined issues relating to whether an attorney-client relationship exists. Attorneys Elizabeth Fitch and Theodore Schaer discuss the often nebulous yet hazardous concepts that could lead to malpractice issues.

  • State Of Texas Legal Market: It Isn’t Just About Oil

    Geoff Schuler

    Some market watchers believe that law firms with significant energy-related practices have experienced precipitous declines in revenue and profits due to the dip in oil prices. Yet, firms continue to be bullish on Texas, and those still looking for a point of entry will jump at the right opportunity, say consultants with LawVision Group LLC.

  • New Truck Emission Rules Offer Advantages And Obstacles

    Christopher D. Jensen

    A recent rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration promises to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and aims to achieve the possibility of significant cost savings for fleet owners and operators. However, the new rule will also pose some challenges for the trucking industry, says Christopher Jensen at Hanson Bridgett LLP.

  • 4 Reasons Law Firm Business Development Initiatives Fail

    Adam Donovan

    By understanding four common reasons why law firm business development initiatives fail, we can more accurately define success, avoid pitfalls, and improve return on investment, says Adam Donovan, senior manager of patent business strategy at Fish & Richardson PC.

  • OPINION: Overreaction Over 3rd-Party Class Action Funding

    Ralph Sutton

    A California district court's recent decision to compel a class action plaintiff to produce his confidential litigation funding agreement to the defendant in Gbarabe v. Chevron is being hailed as a ruling that will have a profound impact on the practice of third-party funding of class actions. However, a closer look at the ruling suggests the reaction may be overblown, say Ralph Sutton and Julia Gewolb at Bentham IMF.

  • EPA Clean Water Rule Rests On High Court Army Corps Case

    Kimberly L. Bick

    Even if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's clean water rule survives all court challenges and becomes the law of the land, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes may impact its eventual implementation, because the decision would be applied to the category of waters in the rule known as “significant nexus” waters, says Kimberly Bick at Bick Law LLP.

  • Discovery Rule Resurrects Fraud Claim On NJ Property Sale

    Katharine A. Coffey

    A New Jersey state appeals court's recent decision in Catena v. Raytheon Company reinforces the equitable nature of the discovery rule applied to common law fraud claims in connection with the sale of commercial real property, and highlights the importance of proper disclosures, particularly when the property has a history of stigma, lest the seller be faced with liability, say Katharine Coffey and Christopher John Stracco at Day Pitney LLP.