Environmental

  • January 27, 2015

    EPA Pushes Aviation Lead Emissions Ruling To 2018

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently denied a petition filed by a coalition of environmental groups that asked the agency to regulate lead emissions from aviation gasoline under the Clean Air Act, saying the agency will not release a "final endangerment finding" until 2018.

  • January 27, 2015

    BP Witness Says Marshes, Beaches Back To Pre-Spill Form

    A witness for BP Exploration and Production Inc. on Tuesday testified in Louisiana federal court that beaches and marshes drenched with oil as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill are back to pre-spill conditions, an assertion that faced scrutiny from the U.S. government.

  • January 27, 2015

    Obama Walks Political Tightrope With Oil, Gas Policies

    President Barack Obama’s plan to open the Atlantic Ocean up to oil and gas drilling while making more portions of the Arctic off-limits highlights the balancing act he is attempting to maintain between environmental concerns over fossil fuel development and the production boom that has made the U.S. the world’s largest oil producer.

  • January 27, 2015

    Fla. Gov. Announces $5B Everglades Restoration Project

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday unveiled the first part of his proposed budget with a plan to spend $150 million in the coming year for Everglades restoration, part of his proposal to devote $5 billion over the next 20 years to save the River of Grass.

  • January 27, 2015

    NJ High Court Prevents Rush To Courthouse On Spill Suits

    The New Jersey Supreme Court's rejection of a six-year window for private contribution actions over contaminated sites should foster negotiations before litigation erupts and promote site cleanups by closing an escape hatch for alleged polluters who may owe a share of the costs, attorneys say.

  • January 27, 2015

    Split 6th Circ. Says Permit Shield Protects Coal Co.

    A split Sixth Circuit said Tuesday that a Kentucky coal mining company accused of discharging selenium into nearby creeks may not be sued by environmentalists because its general permit, while not specifically setting selenium limits, still shielded the company from liability.

  • January 27, 2015

    EPA Moves To Bury Alaska Copper Mine Suit

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is urging an Alaska federal judge to toss a lawsuit accusing it of conceding too much to environmental groups seeking to shut down a Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.-backed mine, saying that it has a responsibility to hear all sides of an issue when making a decision.

  • January 27, 2015

    FERC 'Essential' To Clean Power Plan Success, Chair Says

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will be “essential” to successfully implementing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur said Tuesday, arguing its work on “unsexy” energy reliability and cost issues will be crucial to the plan’s success.

  • January 27, 2015

    EPA Asks DC Circ. To Restore Water Transfer Rule

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday asked the D.C. Circuit to overturn a decision striking down a rule that exempted some water transfers from Clean Water Act permitting requirements, arguing it properly exercised its discretion in crafting the regulation.

  • January 27, 2015

    Wind Project Investment Passes $30B In 2014, Report Says

    Total investment in wind energy has reached $31.7 billion in 2014 and mergers and acquisitions in the space were strong despite a slowdown in venture capital funding, Mercom Capital Group said in a report released on Tuesday.

  • January 27, 2015

    Texas City Fights Off Bid To Remand Drilling Ban Suit

    A Texas federal judge on Tuesday blocked a bid by a group of mineral rights owners to remand their suit alleging the city of Denton’s drilling moratoria operated as an illegal taking, saying the suit raised a federal claim and could be heard in federal court.

  • January 27, 2015

    DOI May Owe Attys' Fees In Mining Permit Row, 9th Circ. Says

    A coalition of tribal and conservation groups won new life Monday in their bid to force the U.S. Department of the Interior to pay their legal fees from a mining permit feud in Arizona, after the Ninth Circuit ruled the groups were eligible for — but not necessarily entitled to — a fee award.

  • January 27, 2015

    Pa. Bill Would Allow Integration Of Multiple Gas Leases

    A Pennsylvania state senator introduced legislation on Monday that would allow the state’s Public Utility Commission to regulate the pooling of leased land into units for coordinated extraction activity by oil and gas drillers.

  • January 27, 2015

    Oil And Gas Groups Challenge EPA's GHG Reporting Rule

    The American Petroleum Institute and the Gas Processors Association have asked the D.C. Circuit to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new greenhouse gas reporting and confidentiality rules, which revised monitoring and data disclosure requirements.

  • January 27, 2015

    DuPont Hiding Docs In Bad Drinking Water MDL, Class Says

    Plaintiffs in a multidistrict litigation over contaminated drinking water asked an Ohio federal judge to compel E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. to turn over documents related to its financial condition, citing concerns that the company might be trying to avoid a judgment by diluting its assets.

  • January 27, 2015

    Obama's Offshore Plan Opens Up Atlantic To Drilling

    The 2017-2022 offshore oil and gas leasing program unveiled by the Obama administration on Tuesday would open up parts of the Atlantic Ocean to drilling, fulfilling a wish of the oil industry while angering environmentalists and some coastal lawmakers.

  • January 27, 2015

    Atty Blasts 'Baseless' DQ Bid In Enviro Settlement Fight

    Representing plaintiffs suing law firm Freese and Goss PLLC and others over their handling of a settlement in an environmental contamination class action, attorney Chuck McRae and his co-counsel told a Mississippi federal court Monday that the firm’s second attempt to disqualify him for concurrent representation was "baseless."

  • January 26, 2015

    Obama Floats Broader Drilling Ban In Arctic Wildlife Area

    President Barack Obama proposed new drilling restrictions Sunday for more than half the 19 million acres in Alaska's oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan that drew ire from congressional Republicans.

  • January 26, 2015

    Democrats Stall Keystone XL Pipeline Bill In Senate

    The U.S. Senate on Monday failed to approve the Keystone XL pipeline bill after a vote fell short of the required number needed to end long-running debate, as Democrats protested Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s bid to end debate before all pending amendments had been decided.

  • January 26, 2015

    NextEra Energy Unit Plans 3 New Solar Plants In Fla.

    NextEra Energy Inc.'s Florida unit on Monday announced plans to build three new solar photovoltaic power plants in the state before the end of 2016 that will triple the amount of solar energy the utility uses to serve customers.

Expert Analysis

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: 2014 JPML Practice Trends

    Alan E. Rothman

    At its December session, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation considered the second attempt by a distributor of dietary supplements to create an MDL proceeding, raising the prospect of the first Hawaii MDL proceeding in nearly 20 years. But as we gear up for the panel hearing on Thursday, let's also consider how JPML trends of 2014 compare with prior years, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • How To Develop Alongside Endangered Species In Pa.

    Jason M. Gilmore

    Permit seekers in Pennsylvania must to be aware of the need to accommodate protected species as early in the development process as possible. Preliminary steps, such as securing necessary incidental take permits and developing mitigation plans, should be taken before the final design of a project is developed, say Eugene Dice of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC and Jason Gilmore of Langan Engineering & Environmental Services Inc.

  • New Coal Ash Standard May Reignite Tax-Exempt Bond Market

    Mary Nash Rusher

    The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent determination that coal ash is solid waste could have a material impact on capital expenditures relating to coal ash. Coal plant owners should be aware that the final rule provides certain financing benefits by clarifying the ability to finance certain facilities with tax-exempt bonds, say Mary Nash Rusher and S. Christina Kwon of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • 11 Ways To Reform NY's Brownfield Cleanup Program

    Lawrence P. Schnapf

    All stakeholders agree the Brownfield Cleanup Program has significantly driven the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties in New York state. There is also broad consensus that the program should be extended, but with changes to better target tax credits to sites that need them most. A number of recommendations are now on the table, say co-chairmen of the New York State Bar Association's Brownfield Task Force.

  • A Data Security Checklist For Companies Hiring Law Firms

    Jenn Topper

    We trust our law firms with huge amounts of data, whether in or out of discovery, investigations or litigation. All too often, we have relied on privilege, confidentiality and attorney ethics as a proxy for data protection and information security. But in fact, law firms ought to be held to a much more stringent standard — and in-house counsel would be wise to begin with a number of specific inquiries, says legal industry consultan... (continued)

  • Tracking The Transparency Of Enviro Justice Policies

    Mark R. Ter Molen

    The execution of recent state and federal regulatory agency initiatives over environmental justice raises legal questions regarding transparency. While some mapping and screening tools and their underlying methodologies are publicly accessible, others are not, and the regulated community is unable to “audit” assessments when faced with seemingly arbitrary decision-making, say attorneys at Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Top 10 Trade Secrets Developments Of 2014: Part 2

    Randy Kahnke

    While the world of patentable subject matter shrinks, the world of trade secret protection may be expanding, say attorneys with Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • EPA Methane Strategy May Sit On Policy Back Burner

    Cynthia AM Stroman

    While it remains to be seen whether Congress will act to disapprove the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's methane emissions reduction strategy, at a surficial level, its limitation to “new” sources might place it lower on Capitol Hill’s priority list, says Cynthia Stroman of King & Spalding LLP.

  • Wis. High Court Case Will Impact Farm Insurance Policies

    Cameron F. Field

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court's ruling in Wilson Mutual Insurance Co. v. Falk, which holds that manure contaminating a well is a “pollutant” and is not covered under a farm's general liability insurance policy, should prompt policyholders to understand how a policy defines pollutant. The case may be informative in states that have yet to hear a similar case, say attorneys at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.

  • Fracking Bans May Trigger Civil Authority Coverage After All

    Walter J. Andrews

    A recent Law360 guest article suggests a number of reasons why civil authority coverage will not be implicated by local fracking bans. The article does not, however, fully address three important issues that will impact the question of whether civil authority coverage is, in fact, triggered, say attorneys with Hunton & Williams LLP.