Environmental

  • October 24, 2014

    GOP Sens. Say Obama Fooling US On EPA Water Rule

    Twenty-four Republican U.S. senators on Thursday accused the Obama administration of misleading the public about a proposed rule that seeks to redefine the scope of the Clean Water Act's jurisdiction, saying it has manipulated the rule-making process.

  • October 24, 2014

    Cross-State Rule Will Gain Power As EPA Revises Air Regs

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's revived cross-state air pollution rule won't have much regulatory oomph thanks to subsequent rules that do most of its job, but an expected rewrite of federal air quality standards could restore some bite.

  • October 24, 2014

    Exploration Co. Asks High Court To Take Oil Lease Dispute

    Oil and gas exploration company Century Exploration New Orleans LLC is seeking U.S. Supreme Court review of a decision allowing the government to add additional oil spill response requirements to its drilling lease, saying the decision would give the government free rein to impose new conditions on existing leases.

  • October 24, 2014

    Consol Unit's New Permits Don't Ax Selenium Suit, Judge Says

    A West Virginia federal judge on Thursday declined to let a Consol Energy Inc. unit dodge a Clean Water Act suit over alleged selenium pollution from mining operations, ruling that its reissued permits don’t let the company off the hook for past violations.

  • October 24, 2014

    EU Agrees To 40% Cut In Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 2030

    European Union leaders on Friday agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030, a goal they said would be achieved mainly through an emissions trading system, and adopted renewable energy and energy efficiency targets.

  • October 24, 2014

    Murray Energy Can't Fight EPA Carbon Rule Yet, DC Circ. Told

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told the D.C. Circuit on Thursday that Murray Energy Corp.’s challenge of a proposed rule to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants must be dismissed as premature, since the rule isn’t final.

  • October 24, 2014

    US, Halliburton Fight BP's Bid To Escape Negligence Finding

    Halliburton Energy Services Inc. and the federal government on Thursday panned BP PLC’s bid to escape a finding that it was grossly negligent in the events that led to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, saying there is plenty of evidence to prove its actions were to blame in the case.

  • October 24, 2014

    NRG Blasts Insurer's 'Scorched Earth' Tactics In CAA Row

    A subsidiary of NRG Energy Inc. has accused Illinois Union Insurance Co. in Louisiana federal court of pursuing a “scorched earth” strategy in a coverage dispute over the settlement of a Clear Air Act coal pollution suit, characterizing a discovery request from Illinois Union as a “fishing expedition.”

  • October 24, 2014

    DC Circ. Lifts Stay On EPA's Cross-State Air Rule

    The D.C. Circuit on Thursday formally reinstated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's cross-state air pollution rule that was resurrected by the U.S. Supreme Court in April, rejecting a bid by several states and industry groups to delay implementation until all pending litigation ends.

  • October 23, 2014

    4 Endangered Species Listing Decisions To Watch

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is racing to meet a court-imposed deadline of 2018 to decide whether scores of animals should be listed as endangered or threatened. Here, Law360 spotlights four creatures whose candidacies have sparked controversy among environmentalists, landowners, businesses and the government.

  • October 23, 2014

    CORRECTED: Green Groups Drop Injunction Bid To Halt PortMiami Dredging

    Environmental groups suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed late Thursday to drop their request for an injunction to halt the dredging at PortMiami after the Corps committed to reducing sediment and turbidity at the project site to protect threatened staghorn coral.

  • October 23, 2014

    Alabama Hotel Project A Misuse Of BP Funds, Suit Alleges

    A Louisiana environmental group filed a complaint in D.C. federal court on Thursday alleging that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and three government departments wrongly diverted $58.5 million meant to remedy damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to help build a convention center and hotel on the Alabama coast.

  • October 23, 2014

    EPA Wants 72 Inert Chemicals Out As Pesticide Ingredients

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed removing 72 inert chemicals from its list of approved pesticide ingredients, but green groups said there are still about 300 chemicals they want reviewed in addition.

  • October 23, 2014

    SolarCity Launches $200M Public Solar Bond Offering

    SolarCity Inc. is aiming to raise up to $200 million from the launch of what it says is the first ever public solar bond offering, as the company continues several financing efforts to fund its solar panel installations.

  • October 23, 2014

    Southern Co., First Solar Ink $508M Deal For Calif. Plant

    Southern Co. subsidiary Southern Power will pay First Solar Inc. $508 million to acquire a 150-megawatt solar facility that will generate enough electricity to power more than 60,000 homes once it is completed, the company said Thursday.

  • October 23, 2014

    Ecuadoreans Take Chevron To International Criminal Court

    Rainforest communities in Ecuador have asked the International Criminal Court in the Hague to investigate alleged efforts by Chevron Corp. chief John Watson to obstruct court-ordered cleanup of toxic contamination in the Amazon, calling the company’s delays an attack on a civilian population, the advocacy group Amazon Watch said Thursday.

  • October 23, 2014

    NJ Senate Sends Microbead Ban To Governor

    The New Jersey Senate on Thursday gave final legislative approval to a gradual ban on the manufacture and sale of personal care and over-the-counter drug products that contain microbeads — small plastic particles that critics say threaten waterways and the food chain.

  • October 23, 2014

    NJ Lawmakers Back Challenge To Cap-And-Trade Repeal

    Lawmakers in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature on Thursday advanced a measure challenging a move by Gov. Chris Christie's administration to repeal cap-and-trade regulations tied to the state's former participation in a regional greenhouse-gas reduction pact.

  • October 23, 2014

    Cuomo Says No Fracking Decision Until At Least End Of 2014

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday did little to clear up the murky future of hydraulic fracturing in the state, insisting that he will wait until at least the end of the year to make a decision about whether to support or oppose it.

  • October 23, 2014

    EPA Forcing Extra CWA Measures On Landowner, Court Told

    An Alabama resident accused of violating the Clean Water Act while building dams on his property asked for sanctions against the federal government on Thursday, claiming it is attempting to sneak requirements beyond the scope of what a court already said was necessary into a cleanup agreement. 

Expert Analysis

  • Oil Spill Deterrence Sticks In Australian Court

    Jacinta Studdert

    Newcastle Port Corporation v. MS Magdalene Schiffahrtsgesellschaft MBH shows the New South Wales Land and Environment Court's willingness to impose substantial fines for marine pollution offenses and is a useful illustration of the court's approach to sentencing in such matters, say attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright Australia.

  • An Associate's Perspective On Business Development

    Jason Idilbi

    Let’s face it: Taking friends or acquaintances to Justin Timberlake concerts or golf at the Ocean Course is not how we as law firm associates are going to develop business. Our primary value comes not from out-of-office networking jaunts but from bearing a laboring oar for our partners. Which is why our best approach to business development is more likely from the inside out, says Jason Idilbi of Moore & Van Allen PLLC.

  • Oregon Spotted Frog Listing Will Have Wide-Ranging Impact

    Myles A. Conway

    The “threatened” listing of the Oregon spotted frog will affect water storage and diversion regulations, development activity and agricultural practices in several Oregon and Washington counties. In the implementation of this listing, federal regulators will need to balance the needs of the spotted frog with competing legal requirements that provide for the protection of other federally listed species, says Myles Conway of Marten Law PLLC.

  • The Scarlet Letter Of Self-Stigmatized Property

    James M. Sabovich

    To the extent that homeowners or their lawyers attempt to further drive down real estate prices of contaminated property — and drive up recoverable damages — it is a double-edged sword. If successful, they will increase recovery and attendant contingency fees. If they fail, they may leave an owner with self-stigmatized property, say lawyers with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • NY Water Withdrawal Just Got Easier For Power Generators

    Yvonne E. Hennessey

    The New York State Supreme Court's precedent-setting decision in Sierra Club v. Martens confirms that electric generating facilities in New York seeking an initial water withdrawal permit under the Water Resources Protection Act will not be subject to the State Environmental Quality Review Act, thus saving time and effort, say attorneys at Hiscock & Barclay LLP.

  • New Jurisdictional Issues When Moving To Quash A Subpoena

    Steven Luxton

    The Nevada federal court's recent ruling in Agincourt Gaming LLC v. Zynga Inc. is an important reminder that a nonparty wanting to challenge a civil subpoena should consider carefully the appropriate jurisdiction in which to file a motion to quash under recently enacted Rule 45, say Steven Luxton and Brad Nes of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Talking The Talk: Nuclear Energy Lingo For Bankers

    George Borovas

    Three and a half years after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the nuclear industry is experiencing somewhat of a revival, however the apparent disconnect between its rhetoric and the mindset of financiers must be overcome to stimulate the successful development of new plants, say George Borovas and Helen Cook of Shearman & Sterling LLP.

  • EPA Emissions Proposal May Spur Greater Enforcement

    Nancy MacKimm

    If finalized, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to prohibit excess emissions during periods of startup, shutdown or malfunction in state implementation plans under the Clean Air Act could result in additional enforcement actions for violations of emission limitations during periods of malfunction, say attorneys at Jones Day.

  • Putting Calif.'s $1.4B Fine Against PG&E In Perspective

    Michael C. Dotten

    What constitutes an excessive fine has been articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court as a proportionality test, and, as Pacific Gas & Electric Co. argued in its brief before the California Public Utilities Commission, courts sometimes measure excessiveness in penalties by reference to fines levied in other, like circumstances, says Michael Dotten of Marten Law PLLC.

  • What Litigators Can Learn From Novelists

    Michael H. Rubin

    Many legal briefs are written in impenetrable jargon and begin with an introduction telling the court what it already knows, using words that stem from the 18th century, such as “hereinafter.” Instead, we should approach briefs the way novelists approach their writing, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.