Environmental

  • June 29, 2015

    Ill. Towns Challenge Validity Of DOT's Oil Train Safety Rule

    Two municipalities on the outskirts of Chicago have asked the D.C. Circuit to review the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s final rule governing oil train safety, claiming it’s rife with problems.

  • June 29, 2015

    Roberts Court Keeps Reins On EPA, But Not Too Tight

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s Monday finding that the Environmental Protection Agency didn’t properly consider costs in an important air toxics rule continues the court’s pattern of ensuring the agency doesn’t stray too far afield from its statutory authority, while not completely obstructing its ambitious pollution-control agenda.

  • June 29, 2015

    Alaska Natives Can't Upend EPA Pollution Permit: 9th Circ.

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday left largely intact a federal permit allowing Royal Dutch Shell PLC and others to discharge waste from oil exploration activities into Alaska’s Beaufort Sea, denying all but one aspect of a broad challenge brought by a group representing Alaska Natives that rely on whale hunting for subsistence.

  • June 29, 2015

    EPA, Corps Slammed Over Clean Water Act Expansion

    Texas and 17 other states sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers on Monday over a rule that clarifies which waterways fall under federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, arguing the rule runs afoul of Supreme Court precedent and will be a burden to implement.

  • June 29, 2015

    Fla. Port Wins Federal Approval For $374M Expansion

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a $374 million plan Friday for Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades to deepen and widen its channels to allow the port to accommodate the larger ships expected from the Panama Canal widening project.

  • June 29, 2015

    NJ Senate OKs Measure To Restrict Use Of ExxonMobil Fund

    The New Jersey Senate approved a resolution Monday that would ensure that all money received from contamination settlements, such as the $225 million ExxonMobil Corp. settlement, is used for environmental purposes, with no risk of being transferred to the general budget.

  • June 29, 2015

    New York Spells Out Why It's Outlawing Fracking

    The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released its findings on the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing Monday, outlining the state’s reasons for outlawing the controversial drilling technique.

  • June 29, 2015

    Pa. House Votes To Kill Proposed Conventional Gas Well Rules

    Pennsylvania environmental regulators aiming to draft rules for surface operations at conventional oil and gas wells could be forced back to the drawing board after an amendment tucked into the state’s fiscal code over the weekend won approval from the full House of Representatives on Monday.

  • June 29, 2015

    Pa. Residents Lodge Suit Over Babcock Nuclear Facilities

    Operators at two nuclear materials processing facilities in Pennsylvania, including Babcock & Wilcox Co. units, released hazardous radioactive substances into the environment, causing cancer and death in nearby residents, according to a suit filed Monday in Pennsylvania federal court.

  • June 29, 2015

    NJ Senate Clears Bill Boosting Scrutiny Of Rail Bridges

    New Jersey lawmakers on Monday advanced new oversight requirements for railroad bridges to get a better handle on the risks posed by trains transporting Bakken Shale crude oil through heavily populated areas of the state.

  • June 29, 2015

    Ex-Freedom Exec Settles Out Of Suit Over W.Va. Spill

    A proposed class of West Virginia businesses and residents who were left without water for several days after a 2014 chemical spill agreed Monday to dismiss a former Freedom Industries Inc. executive from their negligence suit over the spill.

  • June 29, 2015

    Caudrilla Fails To Win English Approval Of Fracking Plan

    English officials voted Monday to reject Caudrilla Resources Ltd.’s application to construct onshore wells for hydraulic fracturing, despite planning officers' recommendation that the project be approved.

  • June 29, 2015

    Enviros Say DC Circuit Unneeded For 'Run Of The Mill' Suit

    Environmental groups on Friday urged a D.C. federal judge to not dismiss their suit accusing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of failing to take action on regulating animal feedlot emissions, insisting that the case does not require a higher court's expertise.

  • June 29, 2015

    Gas Cos. Beat Benzene Cancer Suit After Experts Fall Short

    Unreliable experts doomed the case of a former gas station attendant’s widow who claimed that her husband developed cancer due to benzene in gasoline manufactured by Shell Oil Co., Chevron USA Inc. and Texaco Inc., a Louisiana federal judge said Monday.

  • June 29, 2015

    Supreme Court Won't Hear Deepwater Liability Appeals

    The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals by BP Exploration & Production Inc. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. on Monday, letting stand a decision that found them liable for Clean Water Act violations stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

  • June 29, 2015

    Pa. Building Code Review Process Illegal, Enviro Group Says

    The Clean Air Council has filed suit in Pennsylvania court claiming that a state Department of Labor and Industry advisory council’s April vote rejecting proposed building code amendments aimed, in part, at increasing energy efficiency was marred by serious procedural problems and due process violations.

  • June 29, 2015

    Corporate Attys Want More High Court Action After Slow Term

    With the U.S. Supreme Court closing the curtain Monday on a term that brought landmark decisions on same-sex marriage, health insurance subsidies and lethal injections, court watchers focused on corporate transactions and capital markets are feeling a little left out. Here, experts tell Law360 what has kept the justices away from business cases and the issues they'd like to see taken up in the future.

  • June 29, 2015

    High Court To Hear Miss.-Tenn. $615M Groundwater Fight

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to take up Mississippi’s request to pursue a $615 million claim that Tennessee is stealing its groundwater through a large commercial water well that pumps from fields near the states’ border.

  • June 29, 2015

    High Court Curbs EPA's Power To Regulate Emissions

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday nixed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's landmark rule limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants, saying in a 5-4 ruling that it should have considered the rule's billion-dollar compliance costs first.

  • June 26, 2015

    Freedom Creditors Want Ch. 11 Plan OK'd To Speed Cleanup

    Parties involved in Freedom Industries Inc.'s Chapter 11 proceedings have asked a West Virginia bankruptcy judge to quickly approve the company's amended liquidation plan and proposed settlement, saying it will bring a faster end to the cleanup of a coal-related chemical spill.

Expert Analysis

  • Midpoint 2015: What To Expect From State AGs

    Joseph W. Jacquot

    Whether on competition in the solar energy market, oversight of professional occupations or the safety of electronic payment systems, businesses should proactively engage with state attorneys general as they fulfill their consumer protection role, says Foley & Lardner LLP's Joseph Jacquot, a former Florida deputy attorney general and chief of staff of the attorney general’s office.

  • Flawed Federal Oversight Hinders Tribal Energy Development

    Ryan A. Smith

    Indian tribes and their members are together the third-largest owner of domestic mineral resources, including oil, gas and coal. Until the federal review process is significantly streamlined and made more predictable, tribes will continue to have difficulty developing their resources, and potential private partners will be less inclined to make the necessary investments, say Ryan Smith and Teddy Tanzer of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • The Top 3 New Do’s And Don’ts For Law Firm Websites

    Stephan Roussan

    In legal marketing circles, there are few topics peddled about more than “hot tips” for improving your law firm’s website. Google it. You’ll find more advice than you could ever digest. However, there are larger trends in technology, culture and user behavior that are impacting firms in very significant ways and are not being talked about nearly as much as they should be, says Stephan Roussan, founder of consulting and web developm... (continued)

  • What To Include In Your Calif. Project’s Enviro Baseline

    Gina Gribow

    The recent California state appeal's court decision in CREED-21 v. City of San Diego is an important milestone in California Environmental Quality Act jurisprudence, defining what should or should not be included in a project's environmental baseline for CEQA purposes, say Roger Grable and Gina Gribow of Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP.

  • Tracing The Supreme Court's Treatment Of CERCLA

    Colin G. Van Dyke

    From Key Tronic Corp. v. U.S. to CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, the U.S. Supreme Court's consistent position that courts should be guided by the plain meaning of CERCLA's text stands in stark contrast to lower courts' historical tendency to be guided instead by the act's supposedly "broad remedial purpose," says Colin Van Dyke of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • Why Solar Projects Move Forward Despite Tribes’ Objections

    Troy Eid

    Tribal nations are derailing fewer renewable energy projects through litigation than in years past. It is important for both sides to understand why. A California federal court's recent decision in Colorado River Indian Tribes v. U.S. Department of the Interior is a good place to start, says Troy Eid, a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig LLP who serves on the Tribal Issues Advisory Committee of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

  • This Week In Congress: Trade And Transportation

    Richard A. Hertling

    The House and Senate will end this month on a high note, as they are expected to send Trade Promotion Authority legislation to the president this week for signature, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • NY Composting Initiative Could Stink For Local Restaurants

    Robert Ontell

    The New York City Sanitation Department is considering whether to require restaurants, hotels and other food-related businesses to participate in a mandatory composting program. If the law is enacted industrywide, it will, in addition to the beneficial environmental effects, have the potential to negatively impact the bottom line of thousands of small businesses, says Robert Ontell of Michelman & Robinson LLP.

  • Cyberattacks Could Strike Gold In Mining Industry Data

    Evan D. Wolff

    Hacking activists. Nation states. Disgruntled employees. The ever-evolving threat of cyberattack that the mining industry faces has prompted the federal government to consider legislation, develop voluntary standards and encourage cyberinformation sharing between agencies and companies, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring LLP, including a former adviser to senior leadership at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

  • Why Lateral Candidacies Fail

    Adam S. Weiss

    According to The American Lawyer, over 2,700 AmLaw 200 law firm partners switched firms last year, representing between 4 and 5 percent of all partners on the AmLaw list. But what about the thousands of other partners who tried — but failed — to switch firms? While no statistics are available on this number, I have a secret to share: Many, if not most, lateral partner candidacies fail, says Adam Weiss of the Lateral Lawyer Group.