• October 6, 2015

    Wash., Tribes Slam Bid To Trim 9th Circ. Pollutant Suit

    The state of Washington and a Native American tribal confederation urged the Ninth Circuit to reject a bid by Canadian mining company Teck Cominco Metals Ltd. to nix the tribes’ claims over airborne pollutants, arguing the company was liable because the pollutants ended up settling in the Columbia River.

  • October 6, 2015

    Company Behind W.Va. Spill Gets Nod On Ch. 11 Plan

    The company responsible for a massive chemical spill that contaminated drinking water in West Virginia got a bankruptcy judge to sign off Tuesday on a reorganization plan which will divvy up about $6.1 million to compensate creditors and victims and help fund remediation efforts.

  • October 6, 2015

    Senate Democrats, Republicans Join To Push TSCA Reform

    The U.S. Senate on Tuesday appeared to move closer to voting on a bill that would overhaul the outdated Toxic Substances Control Act, as backers from both parties made a public push to get the job done soon.

  • October 6, 2015

    Patriot Coal, W.Va. Reach $50M Bankruptcy Cleanup Deal

    Patriot Coal Corp. has reached a deal to set aside more than $50 million to cover the bankrupt coal company’s environmental cleanup responsibilities in West Virginia, including keeping some of the company’s union and nonunion miners employed, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection said Tuesday.

  • October 6, 2015

    Navajo Nation Presses EPA To Treat Mine Spill Claims Fairly

    The Navajo Nation said on Monday that it has urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set up a rolling claims process for nation members seeking quick compensation for the effects of the massive Gold King Mine spill and to clarify that forms the EPA has provided to nation members don’t bar their future claims.

  • October 6, 2015

    La. Coastal Damage Suit Belongs In Fed. Court, 5th Circ. Told

    A Louisiana state levee board's multibillion-dollar suit accusing numerous energy companies of causing coastal erosion that weakens levees and other hurricane protection systems doesn't belong in state court, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told the Fifth Circuit on Monday, because the board raises issues with federal implications.

  • October 6, 2015

    32 Ex-Forman Watkins Attorneys Decamp To Maron Marvel

    Toxic tort firm Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson LLC on Monday said that it has nabbed 32 attorneys from the former Forman Watkins Krutz & Tardy LLP, including a former name partner, more than doubling its total attorney head count and allowing the firm to expand into Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

  • October 6, 2015

    NJ Water Agency Sues Ex-Employees Over Bankruptcy Claims

    A defunct Newark, New Jersey, water infrastructure agency on Tuesday sued dozens of onetime employees to sink demands for severance-related compensation in its bankruptcy, claiming settlement agreements or incentive packages bar those claims and that the employees are looking to enforce an illegal severance policy.

  • October 6, 2015

    EPA Rejects New TSCA Controls For Mercury, CO2

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday rejected calls to issue new controls for mercury and carbon dioxide under the Toxic Substances Control Act, saying current mercury controls are adequate and that the petitioners did not offer enough evidence for new CO2 rules.

  • October 6, 2015

    DuPont Denied Bid To Toss Evidence In Drinking Water MDL

    An Ohio federal judge on Monday largely denied DuPont Co.’s bid to limit evidence in the possible punitive damages phase of a trial over alleged harm from the chemical giant’s contamination of drinking water, rejecting suggestions that the information is irrelevant.

  • October 6, 2015

    W.Va. Sues Volkswagen Over Diesel Test Software

    West Virginia’s attorney general said Monday the state is suing Volkswagen for the automaker’s alleged use of technological trickery to dodge diesel emissions testing in some of its vehicles.

  • October 6, 2015

    EPA Pebble Mine Review Wasn't Fair, Report Suggests

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may have been biased in its review of the controversial Pebble Mine in Alaska and fostered inappropriate relationships with anti-mine advocates, according to a Tuesday report commissioned by the proposed mine's developer and prepared by a former defense secretary.

  • October 6, 2015

    SkyPower Continues Solar Spree With $1B Panama Investment

    SkyPower Global on Tuesday announced a $1 billion investment to build 500 megawatts of solar energy utilities in Panama over the next five years, hot on the heels of a $4.3 billion pledge last week for solar investment in Bangladesh.

  • October 6, 2015

    Shell CEO Says Nations Must Put Price On Carbon Emissions

    Governments worldwide must set up effective pricing systems for carbon emissions so nations can reduce their use of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels without sending energy costs through the roof, the head of oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Tuesday.

  • October 5, 2015

    Colorado Pot Grower Hit With Suit Over Fungicide Use

    A Colorado commercial marijuana grower was hit with a proposed class action Monday in a Denver court alleging the company failed to warn customers that it sprayed its plants with an unapproved fungicide that breaks down into hydrogen cyanide, a well-known poison, when heated with a standard lighter.

  • October 5, 2015

    CAA Bars Truckers' Rule Challenge, Calif. Tells High Court

    California has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the Western States Trucking Association’s appeal of a state law requiring emissions upgrades on some diesel trucks, arguing that the Clean Air Act’s jurisdictional rules apply and the association missed valid opportunities to challenge the rule.

  • October 5, 2015

    Murray Energy Sues DOI For Water Pollution Regulation Docs

    A Department of the Interior bureau has refused to release records related to proposed regulations that would require coal companies to change the way they conduct business near streams, Murray Energy alleged in D.C. federal court Monday.

  • October 5, 2015

    High Court Won't Review CERCLA Deference Dispute

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a Ninth Circuit finding that district courts must more closely analyze states’ Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act settlements.

  • October 5, 2015

    Navajos Seek FEMA Damage Review Of Gold King Mine Spill

    The Navajo Nation said Friday that it has taken the first step in an application process aimed at securing recovery assistance over the massive Gold King Mine spill, formally requesting an initial damage assessment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

  • October 5, 2015

    Pierce Atwood Snags Ex-Rackemann Real Estate Pros

    Bolstering its real estate, environmental and land use practices, New England law firm Pierce Atwood LLP has recruited two former Rackemann Sawyer & Brewster attorneys with 42 years of experience combined.

Expert Analysis

  • OPINION: How Did A Selfie End Up In Federal Court?

    Jeff Kerr_PETA Foundation.jpg

    If this lawsuit succeeds, it will be the first time a nonhuman animal is declared the owner of property — the copyright of the monkey selfie — rather than being declared a piece of property himself. It will also be the first time a right is extended to a nonhuman animal beyond just the mere basic necessities of food, shelter, water and veterinary care, says Jeffrey Kerr, general counsel of PETA Foundation.

  • Don't Despair, There Are Defenses To Prop 65 Claims

    Ken D. Kronstadt

    While California's Proposition 65 has spawned a cottage industry for plaintiffs attorneys and most cases end up settling, defenses do exist. From untimely lawsuits to federal preemption to “safe harbor” and “naturally occurring levels,” there are factual and legal circumstances that may make settlement unpalatable, say Lee Brenner and Ken Kronstadt of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

  • Can Calif. Gov. Still Hit His Climate Change Goals?

    While the California Legislature's failure to pass S.B. 32 and amendments to S.B. 350 and A.B. 1288 have been noted by some commentators as setbacks for Gov. Jerry Brown's environmental and energy agenda, the governor may be able to achieve his original goals through the Air Resources Board, say attorneys at Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • 5 Things Clients Never Tell Their Lawyers


    Given the times we live in, it is almost inevitable that everyone will, sooner or later, need to consult with legal counsel. With that in mind, I thought it might be interesting to discuss a few things that clients just won't tell their lawyers, says Francis Drelling, general counsel of Specialty Restaurants Corp.

  • Looking At The EPA's Balance Of Interests In Ozone Rule

    Thomas A. Lorenzen

    Litigation over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's lowering of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone will likely focus on whether the EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously. The key question will be whether the standard is "requisite" — that is, sufficient without going too far — to protect public health with an "adequate" margin of safety, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • It Is Time For A Comprehensive Auto Whistleblower Act

    Alexis H. Ronickher

    In light of the Volkswagen AG fraudulent diesel emissions scandal, there is no defensible reason why auto whistleblowers should not have the same protections as those in other critical regulatory areas, particularly given the industry’s history of disregard for public safety and the law, says Alexis Ronickher of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.

  • Is There A New Paradigm For ESA Species Listings?

    M. Benjamin Cowan

    In its decision to list the greater sage-grouse as "not warranted" for protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may have found a strategy that will encourage the use of voluntary conservation plans while avoiding the conundrum presented by the lesser prairie chicken case, say M. Benjamin Cowan and Andrew Davitt of Locke Lord LLP.

  • An Era Of Arctic Oil Exploration, Upended

    Joseph S. Kakesh

    After seven years of preparation, litigation and billions of dollars invested, Royal Dutch Shell PLC's recent decision to abandon its exploration program in the U.S. Arctic “for the foreseeable future” marks a pause — not the end — of a new era of Arctic oil and gas exploration. While oil prices weaken and dates change, litigation over the future of the Chukchi Sea rages on, say Joseph Kakesh and Steven Richardson of Wiley Rein LLP.

  • To Whom And Where Will The Water Go In California?

    Belynda Reck

    It is a safe bet that California Gov. Jerry Brown will sign A.B. 1390 and S.B. 226 into law. A more efficient groundwater adjudication process is necessary to manage usage, however the question remains whether the expedited process will provide clarity and certainty to water users as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is slowly implemented, say Belynda Reck and Gerard Olson of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Pope Francis And Pro Bono Publico


    Listening to Pope Francis last week as he made his way from Washington to New York to Philadelphia, one could be forgiven for imagining he was a poverty lawyer in robes. Again and again, he shone light on challenges that pro bono lawyers have wrestled with for years, including the death penalty, housing and homelessness, immigration and even climate change, say Kevin Curnin and Jennifer Colyer of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.