Environmental

  • 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.

  • August 26, 2014

    Asarco Loses Bid To Recoup Part Of $99M EPA Settlement

    A Montana federal judge on Tuesday tossed mining company Asarco LLC’s bid to recoup part of a $99 million settlement over a contaminated metals refinery, ruling Asarco had waited too long to seek help from other allegedly polluting companies to fund the deal.

  • August 26, 2014

    US, Chilean Navies Continuing Joint Biofuel Research

    The U.S. Navy and the Chilean Navy said Monday that they will pursue biofuel research for their ships and aircraft together, extending a four-year collaboration as the U.S. Navy continues to lead the American military's use of renewable energy.

  • August 26, 2014

    ExxonMobil Pays $1.4M To Settle Feds' Pipeline Spill Suit

    ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. has agreed to pay a $1.4 million civil penalty for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act in a 2012 crude oil spill near Torbert, Louisiana, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday.

  • August 26, 2014

    NJ Town Sued For $1.2M Over Water Treatment Project

    A contractor is suing the city of Orange, New Jersey, for $1.2 million that it's allegedly owed over the construction of a water treatment facility that was delayed by the discovery of an underground concrete storage tank and the environmental concerns that it raised.

  • August 26, 2014

    Honeywell To Pay $1.6M Atty Fee After Chromium Suit

    Honeywell International Inc. has agreed to pay around $1.6 million to Terris Pravlik & Millian LLP for the firm's post-judgment work on a citizen suit against Honeywell to compel the remediation of chromium-contaminated soil, according to an order released Tuesday.

  • August 26, 2014

    Clean Energy Cos. Pump $500M Into Mexican Solar Projects

    Clean energy company Greenwood Energy and renewable energy project developer Ilioss have said that they will invest $500 million into a number of solar projects in Mexico that will provide the country with renewable, relatively cheap energy.

  • August 26, 2014

    Deepwater Class Wants To Drop Date Limit On Medical Claims

    A group of claimants in ongoing medical benefits class action litigation related to the BP PLC Deepwater Horizon disaster asked a Louisiana federal judge to reconsider a ruling that would disqualify them from participating in a settlement if their illness was diagnosed after a certain date.

  • August 26, 2014

    GAO Finds Few Issues With Obama Carbon Cost Methodology

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office found little to criticize about the process used to decide the Obama administration’s controversial new social cost of carbon calculation, which is used to determine benefits of greenhouse gas emissions reductions, according to a report issued Monday.

  • August 26, 2014

    DC Circ. Revives Suit Over Mining At Historic Battleground

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday revived an effort to protect the Blair Mountain battlefield in West Virginia from coal mining by reinstating its historical landmark designation, finding a group of environmentalists and preservationists have standing to pursue the case.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • EPA Boosts Cellulosic Fuels In Push For Renewables

    Bernadette M. Rappold

    While the nation has a long way to go to meet Congress' renewable fuel mandate for 2022, a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rulemaking has provided a much-needed shot in the arm to the nascent waste-to-energy industry generally, and to cellulosic biofuel producers in particular, says Bernadette Rappold of McGuireWoods LLP.

  • 9th Circ. Questions De Minimis CERCLA Settlements

    Rick R. Rothman

    The Ninth Circuit's decision in Arizona v. Tucson does not change the legal standards for approval of Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act consent decrees, but it does suggest that courts will be taking a closer look at de minimis settlements, say attorneys at Bingham McCutchen LLP.

  • Get Ready For Calif.'s New Stormwater Permit Regime

    Maureen F. Gorsen

    New facilities need to quickly assess whether they can comply with California’s new Industrial Stormwater Permit rules. If they cannot, they should consider obtaining coverage under the 1997 permit and then transition into the new permit as an existing facility, say Maureen Gorsen and Andrew Brady of Alston & Bird LLP.