Environmental

  • December 19, 2014

    K&L Gates IP Partner Decamps After Client DQ Fight

    Former K&L Gates LLP partner Charles Holland has left the firm’s Palo Alto, California,  office for a position at Strategic Innovation IP Law Offices, less than three months after K&L Gates was accused of representing both sides of a patent infringement suit with ties to Holland.

  • December 19, 2014

    9th Circ Holds Anti-Whaling Protester Group In Contempt

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday held anti-whaling activist Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which the court previously called pirates, in contempt for violating an injunction barring them from interfering with Japanese whale-hunting researchers and ordered them to pay at least $2 million in sanctions.

  • December 19, 2014

    Retiring Pa. Chief Justice Pegs Legacy On Fracking Decision

    As he prepares to leave the bench at the end of the year, the retiring chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court told Law360 in an interview that his legacy would live on through a 2013 ruling finding that statewide hydraulic fracturing rules violated constitutionally enshrined environmental protections.

  • December 19, 2014

    Enviros Sue EPA Over Court-Ordered Stormwater Law Update

    Two environmental groups on Thursday sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Ninth Circuit, claiming that the agency has yet to comply with a 2003 decision rendered by the appeals court that mandated the agency strengthen its stormwater runoff rule.

  • December 19, 2014

    FERC Approves $607M Leidy Gas Pipeline Project

    Natural gas pipeline group Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC won approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday to build its 30-mile Leidy Southeast pipeline expansion project and to abandon a compressor engine in Pennsylvania.

  • December 19, 2014

    Feds, Enviros Push High Court To Preserve Fish Protections

    The federal government and environmental groups urged the U.S. Supreme Court to preserve a Ninth Circuit ruling keeping intact a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan aimed at protecting California’s endangered delta smelt, arguing that the government didn’t need to consider potential economic impact on third parties.

  • December 19, 2014

    DOE Needs Land, Water Rights For Nev. Nuke Waste Storage

    The U.S. Department of Energy must acquire land and water rights around Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert before it can seek to use the site to store the country's radioactive waste, according to a Thursday report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which was reviewing the DOE's application.

  • December 19, 2014

    JPMorgan, Solar Co. Team Up On Solar Project Venture

    Institutional investors advised by JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s asset management arm are teaming with solar power producer Sonnedix on a joint venture to develop and operate more than €300 million ($367 million) worth of solar projects around the world, the companies announced Friday.

  • December 19, 2014

    Judge Keeps Alive Part Of OC Water District's MTBE Suit

    A New York federal judge on Thursday kept alive part of the Orange County Water District’s suit claiming that a gasoline additive leaked by Tesoro Corp., Shell Oil Co. and others endangered the water supply, saying it was too early to determine whether an expert report established causation.

  • December 19, 2014

    Navistar’s Faulty-Engine MDL Centralized In Illinois

    The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has granted engine maker Navistar Inc.’s request to consolidate 13 lawsuits in Illinois alleging the trucking company’s Maxxforce diesel engines are defective and lead to engine failure.

  • December 19, 2014

    EPA Will Treat Coal Ash As Solid Waste In Win For Industry

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it will regulate coal ash as solid waste rather than the more strictly controlled hazardous waste, a victory for the power industry that frequently recycles the byproduct for building and agricultural uses.

  • December 19, 2014

    Boardwalk Owner Sues NJ Agency Over Dune System

    Point Pleasant Beach boardwalk’s owner hit New Jersey's environmental regulator with a federal suit Tuesday, seeking a declaration that the state does not need perpetual rights to its private land in order to build a system of sand dunes designed to protect the Jersey shore from severe weather.

  • December 18, 2014

    NJ Legislature Advances Water Privatization Bill

    The New Jersey Legislature on Thursday advanced legislation to allow municipalities to sell distressed water supply and wastewater treatment facilities to private entities without voter approval, a bill critics say would lead to higher costs for water of lower quality.

  • December 18, 2014

    Industry May Let Landowners Lead NY Fracking Ban Fight

    New York landowners blocked from cashing in on the natural gas boom by the state's just-announced fracking ban may fight back in court, but experts say energy companies are unlikely to spend their money and time challenging the state when they've already lost their investments there.

  • December 18, 2014

    Texas Lawmaker Aims To Block City Fracking Bans

    Texas Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, introduced two bills Thursday aimed at blocking cities from limiting oil and gas drilling, including a measure that would require the state attorney general's approval before cities could allow local votes on fracking bans.

  • December 18, 2014

    Md. Official To Lead DOI's Offshore Energy Leasing Agency

    The U.S. Department of the Interior has named a new chief for its offshore energy leasing program, appointing a Maryland official as the new director for its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, it announced Thursday.

  • December 18, 2014

    EPA Delays Methane Regulation Decision Until 2015

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to delay making a decision on moving forward with new regulations on methane emissions generated by industrial sources until 2015, an agency official told Law360 on Thursday.

  • December 18, 2014

    Rohm & Haas Settles Ill. Cancer Cluster Toxic Tort In Pa.

    Dow Chemical Co. unit Rohm & Haas Co. has settled 33 cases in a Pennsylvania state court toxic tort in which plaintiffs claimed the company’s improper disposal of chemicals near an Illinois plant caused brain cancer.

  • December 18, 2014

    Capital Dynamics Closes $462.5M Clean Energy Fund

    Swiss asset manager Capital Dynamics said Thursday it raised $462.5 million for a fund that will invest in renewable energies, bringing total fundraising for its clean energy platform to $1 billion.

  • December 18, 2014

    NJ Wind Farm Exec Hopeful Court Will Revive Project

    The general counsel for Fishermen's Energy LLC, which is challenging the rejection of its application for New Jersey's first offshore wind farm, expressed optimism Thursday that it will be able to show that the denial was unreasonable and ran afoul of state law.

Expert Analysis

  • NY's Fracking Ban: Politics Under The Veil Of 'Science'

    Yvonne Hennessey

    The losers from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York are countless in the state's Southern Tier. Perhaps one day the biggest question on everyone’s minds will be answered — whether science dictated the decision to ban drilling or just good old politics, says Yvonne Hennessey of Hiscock & Barclay LLP.

  • How Will States Put The Clean Power Plan Into Practice?

    Jennelle Arthur

    Setting aside arguments over the legality of President Obama's Clean Power Plan, of which there are many, commenters have expressed serious concerns over what is perceived as the plan’s largest flaw — its actual application on a state-by-state basis, particularly in the coal country of West Virginia, says Jennelle Arthur of Jackson Kelly PLLC.

  • NY Lessees Are Not Liable Under CERCLA As Owners

    Marc Brainich

    Next Millennium Realty LLC v. Adchem Corp. confirms the general rule that New York lessees who sublet property will continue to not be subject to liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act as an owner, absent unusual circumstances in the relationship between the lessee and the property owner, says Marc Brainich of Sedgwick LLP.

  • What Happens When Legal Aid Cuts Stimulate Pro Bono?

    Kevin J. Curnin

    The bad news coming out of the European Pro Bono Summit in November was the rising toll of heavy cuts to public legal aid in England. From this crossroad, there is a lot to be learned about the relationship between public and private assistance, the direction of legal help for the poor in the EU, and whether the American legal aid/pro bono experience offers a road map for what’s next in Europe, says Kevin Curnin of the Association ... (continued)

  • Blankenship Case Shows Perils Of Post-Crisis Assurances

    Jeremy Peterson

    Attorneys and executives would do well to take note of the recent federal indictment of Massey Energy Co.'s former CEO, which shows that, in at least some circumstances, relatively general and open-ended corporate statements can be the basis for criminal charges, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • Public Comments On CAA Program Hint At Revision

    Brenna Finn

    Recently published comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's request for information on amending the Clean Air Act's Risk Management Program include key issues that illustrate anticipated areas for programmatic revision over jurisdictional boundaries and expertise, performance-based versus prescriptive standards and the treatment of confidential business information, say Laura Riese and Brenna Finn of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP.

  • Dart Cherokee Rejects CAFA Anti-Removal Presumption

    John Beisner

    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company v. Owens resolved a lopsided split in the lower federal courts over the proper removal procedure under the Class Action Fairness Act — however, the high court’s closing remark that there is no anti-removal presumption in CAFA cases will likely be of even greater significance going forward, say attorneys at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • Utah Prairie Dog Could Narrow Endangered Species Act

    Joshua A. Bloom

    In an unprecedented ruling, a Utah federal judge recently struck down the application of the Endangered Species Act to a prairie dog whose habitat is wholly within Utah, creating the potential for a constitutional showdown that could result in a significant narrowing of the Endangered Species Act and further limit Congress’ power to legislate, say Joshua Bloom and David Metres of Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp LLP.

  • 3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hiring Appellate Counsel

    David Axelrad

    In the classic case, a client and his attorney seek appellate counsel after the trial court proceedings are concluded. But these days, “classic cases” are few and far between — more and more, appellate lawyers assist in the trial court with preservation of the appellate record and compliance with the many technical rules of appellate procedure, says David Axelrad of Horvitz & Levy LLP.

  • Where Is The Pro Rata V. All Sums Debate Today?

    Hugh Scott

    Three decades after Forty-Eight Insulations and Keene, the pro rata approach used in long-tail claims, such as environmental clean-up claims and asbestos bodily injury claims, appears to be winning — for indemnity costs, pro rata allocation has been adopted by the supreme courts of at least 12 states, say Hugh Scott and Lauren Riley of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.