Environmental

  • October 21, 2014

    Mass. Wind Farm Says Sovereign Immunity Sinks Suit

    Massachusetts and Cape Wind Associates LLC filed briefs in the First Circuit defending against a suit brought by a Cape Cod town and local businesses to block a $2.6 billion offshore wind farm, arguing Monday that the plaintiffs' claims cannot overcome sovereign immunity.

  • October 21, 2014

    Sierra Club Threatens EPA With Suits Over Ozone Standards

    The Sierra Club has threatened to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its alleged failure to take action against states that have not submitted air quality standard plans to the agency, according to letters made public Monday.

  • October 21, 2014

    REIT Sinks $144M Into JPMorgan Wind Projects

    Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital Inc. said Monday that it's invested $144 million in a portfolio of 10 wind farms owned by a JPMorgan & Chase Co. affiliate, the latest clean energy acquisition by the Maryland-based real estate investment trust.

  • October 21, 2014

    10th Circ. Lets Insurers Bow Out Of Pollution Exclusion Row

    The Tenth Circuit on Monday affirmed a lower court's decision that Ace American Insurance Co. and Zurich American Insurance Co. did not wrongfully deny Headwaters Resources Inc. coverage in product liability and pollution suits, saying that the policies clearly contained pollution exclusions.

  • October 21, 2014

    EPA IG Refuses GOP Sen.'s Request To Halt Fracking Review

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general on Tuesday rejected a Republican senator’s request that his office not proceed with a study of the ability of the agency and the states to manage water contamination caused by hydraulic fracturing.

  • October 21, 2014

    Honeywell, DuPont Coolant Pact May Violate Antitrust Law: EU

    The European Commission announced Tuesday that it believes Honeywell International Inc. and E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. may have violated antitrust rules by allegedly limiting the production and development of a new environmentally friendly refrigerant used in car air-conditioning systems.

  • October 21, 2014

    Exxon Blasts Feds’ Claim It’s 'Rewriting' CWA In Oil Spill Row

    Exxon Mobil Corp. on Tuesday pushed back against arguments that it seeks to “rewrite” the Clean Water Act by saying oil spill liability should be limited to oil that reaches navigable waters, arguing in Arkansas federal court that the act makes no mention of air or ground pollution.

  • October 21, 2014

    LDK Solar Floats Prepack To Restructure $295M In Bonds

    Affiliates of Chinese solar cell manufacturer LDK Solar Co. Ltd. filed for bankruptcy in Delaware on Tuesday, the first step toward executing a prepackaged restructuring plan supported by senior bondholders owed nearly $295 million.

  • October 21, 2014

    EPA Ozone Rulings Are Inconsistent, States Tell DC Circ.

    A coalition of states, including Texas and Delaware, urged a D.C. Circuit panel Tuesday to nix U.S. Environmental Protection Agency findings that certain counties failed to meet federal ozone restrictions, claiming the agency ignored data and inconsistently applied the standards across the country. 

  • October 21, 2014

    BP’s Deepwater Pretrial Motions Under Fire From States, Feds

    The state of Alabama has asked the Louisiana federal judge overseeing multidistrict Deepwater Horizon litigation to throw out counterclaims that would subtract BP PLC expenditures from a possible judgment the state could receive in a pending trial, one of a flurry of pretrial filings from BP, federal and state governments.

  • October 20, 2014

    Enviros Say Ky. Can't Enforce EPA-OK'd Selenium Standards

    Environmental groups seeking to overturn Kentucky’s new water quality standards for selenium said Friday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency improperly relied on the state’s promise to measure water quality through fish tissue analyses, even though some waterways no longer have fish because of the contaminant — a coal-mining byproduct.

  • October 20, 2014

    Quebec Government OKs Innergex Plan for $356M Wind Farm

    Canadian company Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. and community partners have obtained approval from the Quebec government to prepare for construction on a $365 million wind farm expected to power 30,000 households.

  • October 20, 2014

    EPA Watchdog Slams Weak Clean Air Act Revenue Oversight

    Air quality regulators in some of the most heavily permitted areas in the country are failing to collect enough money from businesses and jeopardizing effective state and local Clean Air Act program implementation, a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General report said Monday.

  • October 20, 2014

    EPA Watchdog To Audit Calif. Enviro Board Laser Purchase

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Inspector General will audit the California Air Resources Board’s purchase of a laser used to monitor air pollution and review allegations that the board is misreporting pollution data, the watchdog recently said.

  • October 20, 2014

    DOD Seeks Contractors For Fort Hood Green Energy Project

    The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency on Friday issued a solicitation for proposals to allow the Fort Hood military base in Texas to generate 100 percent of its power needs from renewable energy sources.

  • October 20, 2014

    Scotts Says Rejected Deals Should Kill Toxic Bird Food Suit

    The Scotts Company LLC on Friday asked a California federal judge to toss a proposed class action accusing the company of illegally selling wild bird food that contained toxic pesticides, arguing that the plaintiffs’ refusals to accept individual settlements made the dispute moot.

  • October 20, 2014

    Supreme Court Wants SG's Take On Miss., Tenn. Water Fight

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday asked the solicitor general to weigh in on Mississippi’s $615 million claim that Tennessee is stealing its groundwater through a large commercial water well that pumps fields near the states’ border.

  • October 20, 2014

    Philippines Energy Co. Secures $315M Loan For Wind Project

    Philippines-based Energy Development Corp. said Monday it has signed a 15-year, $315 million agreement with foreign and local banks to build a 150-megawatt wind farm in the coastal province of Ilocos Norte, projected to be the country’s largest.

  • October 20, 2014

    Judge Sets Cleanup Cost Formula For Long Island Gas Plants

    A New York state judge has ruled that Century Indemnity Co. must use a pro rata allocation formula to determine cleanup costs for polluted manufactured gas plant sites on Long Island, New York, in a 17-year-old dispute pitting Century and others against current policyholder KeySpan Corp.

  • October 20, 2014

    High Court Won't Consider State Claims In BP Spill

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by several Louisiana parishes asking the high court to revive their state-law claims against BP PLC and others over pollution-related wildlife damage linked to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Expert Analysis

  • BP Damages Will Be Punishing, Though Not Punitive

    B.D. Daniel

    After the Phase One rulings in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation, any oil spill plaintiff still seeking punitive damages from BP PLC will face a gauntlet of legal obstacles, which is good reason to doubt BP will ever pay punitive damages in personal injury cases — a small consolation given BP's potential liability for civil penalties, says B.D. Daniel of Beck Redden LLP.

  • OPINION: Pro Bono May Help Diversity Recruiting Efforts

    David A. Lash

    A recent Law360 article about the perennial BigLaw concern over how to recruit and retain female and ethnically diverse attorneys addressed a new approach being taken by some law firms — going beyond traditional mentoring programs by creating a sponsorship relationship. Pro bono can also play a part, say David Lash and Merle Vaughn of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • How Research Efficiency Impacts Law Firm Profitability

    David Houlihan

    For a law firm, excess time dedicated to legal research generates waste, either in the form of artificially reduced billable hours or, particularly in flat or contingency fee projects, as overhead eroding the profitability of legal work. By measuring five factors, firms will begin to understand their own opportunities for improving profits, says David Houlihan of Blue Hill Research Inc.

  • Be Wary Of Inadvertent Waivers In Contamination Claims

    Richard F. Ricci

    A New Jersey appellate court's ruling in Favorito v. Puritan Oil Company Inc. provides valuable lessons in how to — and how not to — prosecute claims for damages based on contamination migrating from one property to another, say Richard Ricci and Nikki Adame Winningham of Lowenstein Sandler LLP.

  • Nonsignatory Arbitration Extensions Remain The Exception

    Michael D. Kibler

    Transatlantic Reinsurance Co. v. National Indemnification Co. makes clear that arbitration provisions in reinsurance agreements will be enforceable only against the signatories that assented to arbitration as a means to resolve disputes, say Michael Kibler and Craig Waldman of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

  • Best Business Planning Practices For Lawyers

    Jenn Topper

    Each lawyer's practice is a self-run business, even within the platform of a firm, and yet the level of entrepreneurialism within the practice of law is oftentimes marginalized, says legal industry business development specialist Jenn Topper.

  • Bermuda Form: Retroactive Integrated Occurrences

    James R. Murray

    Two potential risks in retroactively declaring an integrated occurrence and moving a claim to a subsequent year is that other unknown claims may fall in the same policy year and that the policy year of the integrated occurrence contains exclusions subject to continuity dates, say attorneys at Dickstein Shapiro LLP.

  • Initial Impressions From Deepwater Horizon Ruling

    B.D. Daniel

    At first blush, Halliburton Co.'s recent $1.1 billion settlement looks like a complete victory for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee as the ruling shifts any remaining actual damage liability from Halliburton to BP Exploration and Production Inc., thus relieving Halliburton of any liability for punitive damages — it is hard to see where it now has any further exposure, says B.D. Daniel of Beck Redden LLP.

  • Greater Guidance Comes To Calif. For Land Appraisals

    Bradford B. Kuhn

    San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Schmidt provides considerable guidance for California parties involved in the valuation of land containing natural resources — appraisers can avoid relying on comparable sales and instead focus on an income approach to value, say Bradford Kuhn and Alex Suarez of Nossaman LLP.

  • Texas High Court Sets High Bar For Evidentiary Standards

    B.D. Daniel

    The Supreme Court of Texas' ruling in Houston Unlimited Inc. Metal Processing v. Mel Acres Ranch appears to erect heightened standards for establishing the reliability of evidentiary bases and evidentiary assumptions underlying damage opinions in environmental contamination cases, says B.D. Daniel of Beck Redden LLP.