Environmental

  • October 31, 2014

    BP Told To Wait For Audit Of Deepwater Settlement

    A Louisiana federal judge refused Friday to allow BP PLC early access to the audit of a $9.2 billion settlement program in the Deepwater Horizon litigation, finding that it must go through the claims administrator before BP can learn why the audit’s costs have ballooned to $14 million.

  • October 31, 2014

    BP Urges Justices To Review $9.2B Deepwater Horizon Deal

    BP PLC has again urged the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh its $9.2 billion Deepwater Horizon settlement that allows people who weren't injured by the spill to collect payments, saying class counsel does not contest the issues in its petition and that it deserves to be heard.

  • October 31, 2014

    US Dept. Of Energy Awards $13M For Nuclear Reactor R&D

    The U.S. Department of Energy said on Friday that it is awarding a total of $13 million to five companies to support research and development projects for advanced nuclear reactor technology as part of President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan.

  • October 31, 2014

    Rockefeller Estate Asks High Court To Toss Superfund Suit

    The estate of John D. Rockefeller Sr. has asked the U.S. Supreme Court not to review a Second Circuit decision denying Asarco LLC’s bid for environmental response costs for two Superfund sites in Washington state, arguing environmental law does not require contribution from beneficiaries of a responsible party’s estate.

  • October 31, 2014

    Duane Morris Adds Akin Gump Energy Project Pro

    Duane Morris LLP said this week that it's boosted its energy and construction practices by bringing aboard a former Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP counsel with significant project finance chops, especially in the renewable energy space.

  • October 31, 2014

    EPA Outlines Greater Role For Climate Change Considerations

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday outlined strategies various offices within the agency will take to incorporate climate change considerations into their policies and procedures, such as incorporating the cost of adapting to climate change to a greater extent in economic modeling.

  • October 31, 2014

    EPA Gives Thumbs Up To Texas GHG Permitting Plan

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday approved Texas' program to issue greenhouse gas permits for building new or modified facilities, ending a two-plus-year stretch in which the federal agency handled the permitting duties in the Lone Star State.

  • October 31, 2014

    Pa. Gov.’s $95M Park Drilling Plan Faces 2nd Enviro Suit

    The Delaware Riverkeeper Network on Thursday became the second Pennsylvania environmental group to challenge Gov. Tom Corbett’s plan to lease state park and forest land to raise $95 million for the state’s general fund, claiming that the governor’s executive order violates the state’s constitution.

  • October 31, 2014

    EPA To Give Public More Industry Pollution Data, Giles Says

    Industries regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are increasingly likely to face scrutiny from private citizens, as pollutant monitoring technology becomes widely available and government data is easier to use — a trend the agency fully supports, Cynthia Giles, the head of EPA’s enforcement division, told Law360. This is part two of a two-part series.

  • October 31, 2014

    8 Ballot Measures Attorneys Will Be Watching

    Voters on Tuesday will decide the fate of myriad state and local initiatives that address issues as varied as fracking, medical marijuana and care for terminally ill patients. Here, Law360 looks at eight ballot initiatives that could have significant nationwide implications, should they pass or fail.

  • October 31, 2014

    Insurer Must Pay $50M Of Cameron's Deepwater BP Deal

    A Louisiana federal judge ruled Friday that Liberty International Underwriters Inc. must cover $50 million of a $250 million settlement reached between Cameron International Corp. and BP PLC over Cameron’s failed Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer, but that the insurer doesn’t have to also pay for defense costs.

  • October 30, 2014

    Houston Can Cut Off Service To Treatment Plant, Court Says

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday dissolved an agreement in a long-running payment dispute between the city of Houston and a Downstream Environmental LLC wastewater plant that prevented the city from discontinuing wastewater service to the plant.

  • October 30, 2014

    San Antonio Approves $3.4B Water Supply Pipeline

    San Antonio’s city council on Thursday unanimously approved a $3.4 billion, 30-year water supply project planned to bring up to 16.3 billion gallons a year to the city through a 142-mile pipeline.

  • October 30, 2014

    Enviros Attack Wash. Permit For Nuke Plant Water Pollution

    Environmental groups challenged a Washington state decision to issue a water pollution permit to a commercial nuclear reactor in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Washington state court, claiming the state violated federal and state water quality laws by issuing the permit.

  • October 30, 2014

    23 AGs Assail EPA's Mercury Rule At Supreme Court

    Attorneys general from 23 states including Michigan, Texas and Alaska asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rule limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants, arguing the agency failed to adequately consider the regulation’s economic impact.

  • October 30, 2014

    Alaska Drilling Project Clears BLM Environmental Review

    The first oil and gas drilling project proposed on federal lands in Alaska cleared a major hurdle Wednesday, as the U.S. Department of the Interior unveiled a final environmental review that it says will limit the ConocoPhillips Co. project’s impact on wildlife and native cultures.

  • October 30, 2014

    EPA’s Cynthia Giles Says New Tech Is Fueling Enforcement

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's program to increase use of new technology in environmental monitoring has uncovered more pollution than expected and led to tough compliance actions over air, water and waste rules, enforcement chief Cynthia Giles told Law360. This is part one of a two-part series.

  • October 30, 2014

    9th Circ. Rebuffs Enviros, Gives LA Port Project OK

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday ruled that the U.S. Department of Transportation properly approved a proposed expressway for trucks leaving the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, affirming a lower court's dismissal of the Natural Resources Defense Council's suit seeking to block the project.

  • October 30, 2014

    TerraForm Pays $250M For 39 Capital Dynamics Solar Assets

    In an effort to bolster its solar capabilities, SunEdison Inc. subsidiary TerraForm Power Inc. has agreed to buy a portfolio of solar energy assets from Swiss asset manager Capital Dynamics for about $250 million, the companies said late Wednesday evening.

  • October 30, 2014

    Pa. Rep Launches Probe Into Fracking Waste Disposal

    A Pennsylvania congressman has asked the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to hand over records about its process for monitoring the handling and disposal of waste from hydraulic fracturing as part of a nationwide investigation by a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee.

Expert Analysis

  • Important O&G Regulatory Developments Come To Pa.

    Tad MacFarlan

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's recent insight into enforcement protocols for the oil and gas industry reaffirms procedures for issuing and resolving notices of violation, establishes a new process for resolving water supply contamination incidents and updates well-inspection policies, say Timothy Weston and Tad MacFarlan of K&L Gates LLP.

  • The Legal Professions’ Curious Under-Use Of 2nd Opinions

    Judge Wayne D. Brazil

    As conscientious professionals who are required to address problems with notoriously elusive dimensions, lawyers should consider securing second opinions in a much wider array of circumstances than has been the norm, says Judge Wayne Brazil, a neutrual with JAMS and former magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

  • 7th Circ. Just Helped CERCLA Defendants Limit Liability

    Rick R. Rothman

    The Seventh Circuit in U.S. v. P.H. Glatfelter appears to have greatly expanded the applicability of the apportionment defense, which, if successful, can shield a potentially responsible party from joint and several liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, say attorneys at Bingham McCutchen LLP.

  • A Constitutional Challenge To EPA's 'Clean Power Plan'

    Scott C. Oostdyk

    Though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency believes it can compel states to enforce the Clean Power Plan, the law states otherwise. Unless the EPA disclaims any intent to usurp state police power a constitutional challenge will be ripe, say Scott Oostdyk and E. Duncan Getchell Jr. of McGuireWoods LLP.

  • Regulatory Mismanagement May Cause CERCLA Exposure

    Lester Brown

    The takeaway from California Department of Toxic Substances Control v. Jim Dobbas Inc. is that government agencies that mismanage response actions may now be exposed to — at the very least — cost recovery or contribution litigation where there is evidence the agency made management decisions that led to contamination, or allowed it to continue to be released, say attorneys at Perkins Coie LLP.

  • The Significance Of 2nd Circ.’s Indian Harbor Decision

    Robert W. DiUbaldo

    The Second Circuit’s decision in Indian Harbor Insurance Co. v. The City of San Diego involving a pollution and remediation legal liability insurance policy reinforces that the mandates imposed on insurers by Section 3420 of the New York Insurance Law do not apply unless all of the various elements of the statute are implicated. This is not only relevant to a liability insurer’s ability to disclaim coverage based upon late notice, ... (continued)

  • Use Social Media For Legal Service Only As A Last Resort

    Steven Richard

    Courts remain largely skeptical about allowing litigants to serve and notify evasive parties of legal proceedings through their social media accounts. A recent split ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court shows the competing considerations, say Steven Richard and Britt Killian of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • 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.