Environmental

  • November 17, 2014

    Greens Threaten Ky. Mining Co. Over CWA Reports

    An array of environmental groups on Friday threatened to sue Frasure Creek Mining LLC, claiming the company violated the Clean Water Act by falsifying reports about mountaintop removal mining-related pollution discharges into Kentucky waterways to escape potentially $1 billion in fines.

  • November 17, 2014

    Beveridge & Diamond Nabs Top Caltrans Enviro Pro In SF

    An environmental lawyer for the California Department of Transportation and a former assistant U.S. attorney who served as judge advocate in the U.S. Air Force, whose practice focuses on major project and infrastructure development, has joined Beveridge & Diamond PC’s San Francisco office, the firm said Monday.

  • November 17, 2014

    Outgoing NRC Chair Urges Updated Decommissioning Rules

    Outgoing Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Allison Macfarlane on Monday urged the commission to put in place a new rule governing the oversight of nuclear power plants during the decommissioning process, saying the current oversight process is inappropriate for plants in the process of winding down.

  • November 17, 2014

    LA Says Exide's Ch. 11 Vernon Plant Deal Moving Too Fast

    Both the city and county of Los Angeles balked Monday at the speed of a nearly $50 million deal bankrupt Exide Technologies Inc. struck with California regulators over its troubled Vernon plant, arguing they need more time to evaluate how the settlement affects their environmental claims.

  • November 17, 2014

    BP Wants $12B Cap On CWA Penalties For Deepwater Spill

    BP PLC on Friday asked a Louisiana federal judge to cap its potential Clean Water Act penalties for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster at a maximum of $12.3 billion — a third less than the $18 billion U.S. prosecutors are seeking.

  • November 14, 2014

    House Republicans Ask For EPA's Data On Ozone Costs

    House Republicans on Thursday asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide them with data on the costs of meeting 2008 ozone standards, saying it's important to understand this information before new standards are set.

  • November 14, 2014

    Monsanto, Dow Bum-Rush GMO Crop Ban In Hawaii

    Monsanto Co. and a Dow Chemical Co. affiliate sued Hawaii's Maui County on Thursday for its recently approved ban on genetically modified organisms, saying the ordinance is preempted by state and federal commerce laws.

  • November 14, 2014

    Enviros Sue Over BLM Idaho Wolf Kill Derby Permit

    Environmental groups hoping to stop a hunt for wolves, coyotes and other predators in Idaho in a “predator hunt derby” sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Thursday, alleging it failed to prepare a proper environmental impact statement and should not have approved the event.

  • November 14, 2014

    NY Appeals EPA's Loan Rejection For Tappan Zee Bridge

    New York state on Thursday asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reverse its denial of Clean Water Act funds for the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge, saying the agency's decision was "arbitrary and capricious."

  • November 14, 2014

    FERC Says 25-Second Delay Dooms Challenge To LNG Project

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday urged the D.C. Circuit to toss the Sierra Club’s untimely challenge to an order approving a proposed $6 billion natural gas liquefaction and export facility in Louisiana, saying the court lacks jurisdiction because a rehearing petition was filed with the commission 25 seconds too late.

  • November 14, 2014

    PPG Can’t Stop Enviros’ Atty From Testifying In Pollution Row

    A Pennsylvania federal judge has ruled that an attorney for environmental groups in a suit against PPG Industries Inc. was not disqualified because she was a witness for the plaintiffs since her testimony during a hearing was limited to a chronology of events.

  • November 14, 2014

    Delek To Pay Fine Over Fatal 2008 Refinery Pipe Rupture

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday reached a $475,000 settlement in its suit against Delek Refining Ltd. in Texas federal court alleging hazardous substances were released into the air after a 2008 pipe rupture and fire that killed two employees at one of its refineries.

  • November 14, 2014

    House Greenlights TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved TransCanada Corp.’s proposal to complete the 1,700-mile Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to southern Texas, a move that, if adopted by the Senate, could force a showdown with a reluctant Obama administration.

  • November 13, 2014

    BP Can't Dodge Negligence Ruling, Faces Up To $18B Fines

    A Louisiana federal judge on Thursday denied BP PLC’s bid to escape a finding that the company was grossly negligent in the events leading up to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, potentially putting BP on the hook for up to $18 billion in Clean Water Act penalties.

  • November 13, 2014

    Landfill Owner Topples NJ DEP's Takeover Order, DQ Bid

    New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection was dealt two setbacks this week in a landfill owner's ongoing litigation, with a state appellate court upending an emergency order allowing the DEP to seize control of the landfill and with a federal judge declining to disqualify the owner's counsel.

  • November 13, 2014

    EPA Urges DC Circ. To Nix Challenge To Large Boiler Rule

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has urged the D.C. Circuit to reject a challenge from industry groups and environmentalists to a rule that establishes toxic emission standards for large boilers.

  • November 13, 2014

    Houston Jury Clears Int'l Paper In $3B River Pollution Suit

    International Paper Inc. escaped a $3 billion environmental enforcement suit on Thursday after a Harris County jury found the company not responsible for polluting a Texas river with toxic waste.

  • November 13, 2014

    Essex To Settle Suit Over $22M Oil Cleanup Bill

    Essex Insurance Co. reached a tentative settlement on Wednesday with the U.S. Department of Justice and other parties in a coverage dispute over $22 million that a defunct Washington scrap metal business allegedly owed the federal government for cleaning up an oil spill in the Columbia River.

  • November 13, 2014

    States Back EPA In Murray's DC Circ. Challenge To Plant Rule

    Thirteen states and the District of Columbia on Monday told the D.C. Circuit it should toss Murray Energy Corp.'s bid to sink the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule to cut greenhouse gas emissions at existing power plants, calling the challenge premature and meritless.

  • November 13, 2014

    Enviros Sue Calif. Regulators Over Aera Fracking Permits

    A coalition of environmental groups sued California regulators in state court on Wednesday, claiming the state violated the California Environmental Quality Act by issuing permits allowing Aera Energy LLC to drill in South Belridge Oil Field in Kern County without first carrying out a required environmental review.

Expert Analysis

  • Talking The Talk: Nuclear Energy Lingo For Bankers

    George Borovas

    Three and a half years after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the nuclear industry is experiencing somewhat of a revival, however the apparent disconnect between its rhetoric and the mindset of financiers must be overcome to stimulate the successful development of new plants, say George Borovas and Helen Cook of Shearman & Sterling LLP.

  • EPA Emissions Proposal May Spur Greater Enforcement

    Nancy MacKimm

    If finalized, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to prohibit excess emissions during periods of startup, shutdown or malfunction in state implementation plans under the Clean Air Act could result in additional enforcement actions for violations of emission limitations during periods of malfunction, say attorneys at Jones Day.

  • Putting Calif.'s $1.4B Fine Against PG&E In Perspective

    Michael C. Dotten

    What constitutes an excessive fine has been articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court as a proportionality test, and, as Pacific Gas & Electric Co. argued in its brief before the California Public Utilities Commission, courts sometimes measure excessiveness in penalties by reference to fines levied in other, like circumstances, says Michael Dotten of Marten Law PLLC.

  • What Litigators Can Learn From Novelists

    Michael H. Rubin

    Many legal briefs are written in impenetrable jargon and begin with an introduction telling the court what it already knows, using words that stem from the 18th century, such as “hereinafter.” Instead, we should approach briefs the way novelists approach their writing, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

  • Work Plan Signals Expanded Calif. Green Chemistry Program

    Joshua A. Bloom

    California's Safer Consumer Products Regulation will be closely watched given the potential for its broad application — indeed, following its enactment, Congress attempted to develop nationwide green chemistry initiatives, say Joshua Bloom and Christopher Jensen of Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp LLP.

  • Information Governance: A Missed Opportunity For Lawyers

    Ann Snyder

    Today, information intersects every practice area, making all lawyers effectively information governance practitioners in one way or another. The issue is whether you will consciously embrace this emerging discipline — and capitalize on it to the benefit of your clients and your practice, says Ann Snyder of the Information Governance Initiative.

  • CAFA Removal Procedure At Center Stage In Dart Cherokee

    Archis A. Parasharami

    If Public Citizen's amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens is correct in arguing that an appellate court can insulate questions arising under the Class Action Fairness Act from Supreme Court review by denying leave to appeal then that will create perverse incentives for lower courts and may hamper the development of uniform rules governing CAFA removals, says Archis Parasharami of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • RCRA Citizen Suits No Longer Option In Regulating Diesel

    Kirsten L. Nathanson

    The Ninth Circuit's ruling in Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice v. BNSF Railway Co. has potentially broad implications for all diesel exhaust emitters — it may even serve to foreclose future Resource Conservation and Recovery Act citizen suit challenges to air emissions beyond diesel, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • E&P Wetlands Compliance Strategy: Nationwide Permits

    Robert E. Holden

    Despite being confusing — and violations expensive — the exploration and production industry should utilize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' nationwide permitting program as a way to streamline and simplify wetlands permit requirements when seeking approval of on-shore activities, say Robert Holden and Lesley Pietras of Liskow & Lewis.

  • A Primer On 'Bad Faith' In Federal Removal Jurisdiction

    Ugo Colella

    The Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act grants a federal district court discretion to permit removal after the one-year period if it finds a plaintiff has “acted in bad faith” to prevent removal, but it didn’t come with a clear definition of "bad faith." Recent case law offers some minimal guidance on how the exception should be interpreted, say Ugo Colella and Todd Seaman of Thompson Hine LLP.