• August 28, 2015

    Environmental Groups Lose Fight For Coal Program Review

    Environmental groups can’t force the federal government to take a fresh look at how its coal management program affects climate change, partly because no substantial changes have been proposed that would trigger a review, a D.C. federal judge ruled Thursday.

  • August 28, 2015

    Pa. Justices Asked To Revive Enviro Challenge To Gas Leases

    An environmental group has urged the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to clarify a provision of the state’s constitution guaranteeing the public’s right to clean air and pure water as part of a dispute with the state over who has the power to oversee and authorize the leasing of public land for gas drilling.

  • August 28, 2015

    Wash. Tribes Win Contested Fishing Area In Pacific Ocean

    A Washington federal judge has handed a second major victory to two northwestern Native American tribes, granting them the contested fishing zones they had fought for in the Pacific Ocean.

  • August 28, 2015

    Merck Challenges Pa. Stormwater Permit For Vaccine HQ

    Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. on Thursday challenged an amendment to a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection stormwater permit for the company’s vaccine-production headquarters, alleging the changes don’t resolve concerns that the permit’s requirements are overly costly and scientifically unfounded.

  • August 28, 2015

    Dentons Hired By Tribe In Coal Terminal Permit Fight

    A Native American tribe has tapped Dentons to represent it in a fight to stop a coal export terminal from being built in traditional fishing waters, with the tribe mulling litigation should the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hold off on a request that the project be dumped.

  • August 28, 2015

    EPA's Stance On Water Rule Injunction Sows Confusion

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says a North Dakota judge’s injunction blocking a Clean Water Act jurisdiction rule only applies to the 13 states that petitioned in that case, a move that experts said creates a patchwork of states that now have different standards.

  • August 28, 2015

    Navajo To Reopen Irrigation Canal After Colo. Mine Spill

    Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye on Thursday said that the locally vital Fruitland Irrigation Canal will be reopened as the region begins to recover from the accidental release of 3 million gallons of toxic water from Colorado's Gold King Mine.

  • August 28, 2015

    Army Corps Must Foot $3B Bill For Post-Katrina Project: Judge

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is on the hook for the entire $3 billion bill to restore wetlands surrounding the now-closed Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Thursday, lambasting the agency for delaying the "vital" ecosystem restoration necessary for future hurricane protection.

  • August 28, 2015

    ArcelorMittal Moves To Nix Noxious Odors Suit

    One of ArcelorMittal USA Inc.’s factories in Pennsylvania on Thursday retaliated against a proposed class of residents accusing the steel manufacturer of polluting their environment with noxious odors and air particulates, saying that the proposed class failed to demonstrate that the alleged emissions actually originated from its facility.

  • August 28, 2015

    Alaska Natives Want Legal Fees In Lost Drilling Permit Row

    A group of Alaskan natives demanded attorneys' fees and costs Thursday in a case they lost to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, saying their legal challenge forced the Corps to justify granting a drilling permit to ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. and eventually granted them victory.

  • August 27, 2015

    Injunction Denied In States' Suit Over Clean Water Act

    A Georgia federal judge on Thursday denied Florida and 10 other states' preliminary injunction bid in a suit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule clarifying the scope of the Clean Water Act, saying only an appellate court can hear the rule challenge.

  • August 27, 2015

    5th Circ. Urged To Consult Texas Court On Insurance Penalty

    The Texas Supreme Court should determine whether any violation of a state insurance law triggers penalty interest, a group of defense attorneys told the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday, backing an insurer fighting a policyholder’s $25.4 million win in a Hurricane Katrina coverage suit.

  • August 27, 2015

    Rivers Less Toxic But Threat From Mine Leak Remains: EPA

    The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that although concentrations of poisonous heavy metals in the Animas and San Juan rivers are down, it is concerned about the long-term effects of the metals settling into the rivers' sediment after agency workers accidentally unleashed 3 million gallons of toxic water from a Colorado mine.

  • August 27, 2015

    8th Circ. Upholds $2.3M CWA Penalty Against STABL

    Nebraska-based animal products processor STABL Inc. will have to face a $2.3 million penalty after the Eighth Circuit on Thursday affirmed a trial court’s ruling in the government’s favor in a suit alleging the processor had violated the Clean Water Act for years.

  • August 27, 2015

    Enviros Appeal Seattle Judge’s Shell Arctic Fleet Ruling

    Environmental groups appealed Thursday a Washington court ruling that the Port of Seattle did not need to conduct an environmental review before allowing Royal Dutch Shell PLC's Arctic drilling fleet to call the city home.

  • August 27, 2015

    10 Years After Katrina, Legal Fallout Continues

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, lawyers throughout the Gulf region have worked hard to recover and dig into the multitude of legal issues that washed up with the storm, and some of those questions — such as whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may be held liable for any damages and how to help adversely affected communities — have not yet been resolved.

  • August 27, 2015

    Taylor Energy Settles Decade-Old Gulf Oil Spill Dispute

    Taylor Energy Co. LLC has settled with three environmental groups in Louisiana federal court over a decade-old Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the company said Thursday, though the exact terms of the yet-to-be-finalized deal were unavailable.

  • August 27, 2015

    $225M Exxon Deal Offers Blueprint For Pollution Review

    ExxonMobil Corp.’s $225 million pollution settlement with state environmental authorities, approved by a New Jersey judge this week, is notable not only for its size and the level of public scrutiny it endured, but also the guidance it provides companies facing similar claims for natural resource damages, attorneys say.

  • August 27, 2015

    Conrail Sheds Some Claims Over Paulsboro Train Derailment

    At least 18 plaintiffs have agreed to drop claims in New Jersey federal court against Consolidated Railroad Corp. over a 2012 train derailment and chemical spill in Paulsboro, according to documents filed Thursday following a series of court decisions that trimmed the litigation.

  • August 27, 2015

    Navajos Back DOI Uranium Mining Ban Near Grand Canyon

    The Navajo Nation has urged the Ninth Circuit to keep more than 1 million protected acres around the Grand Canyon off limits to uranium mining, saying the tribe's "long and sordid" history with uranium mining backs the government's decision to err on the side of environmental protection.

Expert Analysis

  • Reading Rehnquist And Roberts Courts On Property Rights

    Paul J. Beard

    Under Chief Justice John Roberts, the U.S. Supreme Court has tended to be much friendlier to property rights than the Rehnquist court. At best, the Rehnquist court issued some confusing property rights decisions that have plagued the attempts of landowners to successfully litigate their takings claims — at worst, the Rehnquist court completely undermined their rights, says Paul Beard of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • EPA Aggregation Rule May Be As Important As Methane Regs

    Michael J. Nasi

    While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule for methane emissions has received the bulk of media attention, another proposed rule on the aggregation of multiple surface sites into a single source for air-quality permitting purposes may have as much or more of a direct impact on oil and gas operations, say attorneys at Jackson Walker LLP.

  • Think 10th Circ. Endorses State RPS? Think Again

    Harvey L. Reiter

    While some advocates of renewable energy have characterized the Tenth Circuit's ruling in Energy & Environment Legal Institute v. Joshua Epel as an endorsement of states adopting renewable portfolio standards, that is not the case. The Commerce Clause may not bar states from favoring one energy technology over another, but it does bar states from favoring in-state over out-of-state competitors, says Harvey Reiter of Stinson Leonard Street LLP.

  • Unallotted Timber Lands Case Causes A Stir In Indian Country

    Stacy Schauvliege

    Native American governments may view Chickasaw Nation v. U.S. Department of the Interior as a blow that weakens the tribes' ability to gain greater federal accountability in trust management and as a loss of recompense for the alleged waste of unallotted lands. But current federal policies require the opposite conclusion, say Stacy Schauvliege and Mike McBride of Crowe & Dunlevy.

  • 3 Ethical Traps For 'Gladiator' Litigators

    Debra Squires-Lee

    Olivia Pope, the D.C. lawyer at the heart of the television drama "Scandal," calls herself and her team "gladiators in suits." By that, she means that she is willing to fight for her clients like a gladiator thrown into the arena. While it may be good for TV drama, thinking like a gladiator in reality can get litigators into trouble. Consider the top three ethical mistakes, say Sherin and Lodgen LLP partners Debra Squires-Lee and C... (continued)

  • Inside EPA's Plan For Reducing Methane Emissions

    Stacie B. Fletcher

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recently proposed methane regulations for the oil and gas sector largely build on controls and work practice standards already employed pursuant to existing new source performance standards addressing volatile organic compounds, say Stacie Fletcher and David Schnitzer of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • A Rose By Any Other Name: EPA Demand Is A Suit In Texas

    Thomas B. Alleman

    The Texas Supreme Court may have had Juliet’s famous thought in mind when it decided McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp. v. The Phoenix Insurance Co., holding that a demand letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency constitutes a “suit” that triggers a commercial general liability policy. But Thomas Alleman at Dykema Cox Smith wonders if McGinnes really changes anything.

  • Top 5 Ways To Help A Law Professional Land A Job

    Mark Newall

    It is a hard truth, but a law degree is a tough thing to have nowadays. Overloaded with thousands of dollars in debt and only a few job prospects that require a law license, many law graduates are looking for ways to manage their careers. We suggest some proven methods to amplify and accelerate your job search, says Mark Newall of Essex Partners Legal.

  • The Clean Power Plan's Winners And Losers

    Robert S. Fleishman

    At the risk of oversimplifying the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, renewable energy, especially solar and wind, natural gas, though not quite to the extent proposed in the plan's draft rule, and nuclear energy are all winners — coal is the big loser, say attorneys at Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • 5 Reasons State Compliance With Clean Power Plan Is Easy

    John Bernetich

    The dire forecast from the group of 15 states that filed an emergency petition seeking a stay of the Clean Power Plan is greatly exaggerated. The final rule allows significant flexibility to utilities and states, and much of the legal infrastructure necessary for states to comply with the final rule is already in place throughout the country, say Ayres Law Group LLP's John Bernetich and Richard Ayres, co-founder of the Natural Reso... (continued)