Environmental

  • August 22, 2016

    Feds, Arizona Prevail Against Freeway Challenge

    The Arizona Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration did not take shortcuts on environmental reviews when greenlighting a Phoenix-area freeway project, a federal judge concluded Friday in a setback for a tribe and other groups trying to halt the road's construction.

  • August 22, 2016

    Murray Energy Says EPA Can't Exit 'War On Coal' Suit

    Murray Energy Corp. on Friday relied on portions of Ralph Nader’s congressional testimony from the 1970s in its bid to make the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency face allegations that it’s ignored the consequences of its air pollution regulations on jobs, urging a West Virginia federal judge to deny the agency’s bid to toss the suit.

  • August 22, 2016

    Truckers, Energy Groups Rip FHWA's Greenhouse Gas Regs

    More than two dozen transportation and energy trade groups said Friday that the Federal Highway Administration should not overstep its authority by attempting to measure greenhouse gas emissions as part of new proposed performance, transparency and accountability measures that states must hit to ease highway congestion.

  • August 22, 2016

    Ala. DOT Fights To Toss Suit Over $450M Highway Project

    The Alabama Department of Transportation on Friday fought for the dismissal of a suit brought against it by Birmingham residents seeking to block a $450 million highway repair project, saying it followed the proper procedure to approve the project.

  • August 22, 2016

    Feds Want New Claim In GMO Salmon Approval Case Tossed

    The United States urged a California federal judge Friday to trim litigation challenging the approval of a genetically engineered salmon for human consumption, saying there’s no basis for a new allegation claiming the government must analyze the environmental impact of an expansion to the project.

  • August 22, 2016

    EPA Wants Aircraft Emissions Standards Suit Tossed

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday asked a D.C. federal judge to toss a lawsuit seeking to force the EPA to promulgate carbon emissions standards for aircraft, saying environmentalists sued prematurely.

  • August 20, 2016

    Rainmaker Q&A: Morgan Lewis' James Dragna

    Twenty years ago, I would have said that to be a successful marketer all that was required was skill, a platform that supports your practice, and the ability to tirelessly and fearlessly look for work. These days that is no longer enough. You need to bring a broader skill set to the marketing table, says James Dragna, a partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • August 19, 2016

    Enviros Reach $6M Deal Over W.Va. Coal Mining Cleanup

    A company that took over mines and environmental liabilities from bankrupt Patriot Coal Corp. has agreed to put $6 million toward environmental restoration efforts in exchange for extra time complying with a selenium pollution settlement, according to a consent decree filed Friday in West Virginia federal court.

  • August 19, 2016

    Arnstein & Lehr Adds To Gov't, Environmental Practices

    Arnstein & Lehr has bolstered its municipal and governmental and environmental practice groups with the addition of two new partners, including a prominent lobbyist, who will be based in the firm's West Palm Beach, Florida, office.

  • August 19, 2016

    Sundevil Seeks DIP Extension As EPA Renews Sale Protest

    Power plant owner Sundevil Power Holdings LLC asked a Delaware bankruptcy judge to approve a second extension of its $45 million bankruptcy loan Friday, saying the company needs more time to secure U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other regulator approvals and complete its Chapter 11 plan.

  • August 19, 2016

    Dakota Access Fights Tribe's Bid To Stall $3.8B Pipeline

    The developers behind the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline and the Army Corps of Engineers urged a D.C. federal court on Thursday not to block construction on the pipeline while it hears a lawsuit brought by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe challenging approvals for the project.

  • August 19, 2016

    Split Texas Appeals Court Nixes City’s Single-Use Bag Ban

    A split Texas appeals court ruled Wednesday that the city of Laredo’s proposed ordinance banning single-use plastic and paper bags in its retail stores is unenforceable, reversing a lower court decision and finding that a state statute governing solid waste management preempts Texas cities from restricting bag sales.

  • August 19, 2016

    PG&E Fined $26M For Bad Record-Keeping Behind Leaks

    The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday hit Pacific Gas and Electric Co. with $25.6 million in fines for “systemic failures” in its record-keeping that allegedly led to natural gas leaks, service interruptions and a destroyed house.

  • August 19, 2016

    Ex-DOI Bigs Push To Revive Fracking Rule At 10th Circ.

    Four former U.S. Department of the Interior leaders Friday asked the Tenth Circuit to reinstate a federal rule for hydraulic fracturing on federal and Native American lands, saying a lower court's nix of the rule threatens the government’s ability to protect its lands.

  • August 19, 2016

    Texas Wind Farms Owe EFH Unit $9M For Undelivered Power

    A wind farm owned by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc. must pay $8.9 million to an Energy Future Holdings Corp. unit for failing to provide enough wind power, a Texas appeals court held Thursday, but it rejected EFH’s claim it should have been paid an additional $10.6 million.

  • August 19, 2016

    Wells Fargo Must Face Fraud Suit Over Enviro Contamination

    A New Jersey state appeals court on Thursday reinstated a lawsuit alleging a former property owner and a Wells Fargo Bank NA predecessor fraudulently concealed an environmental cleanup at a contaminated site before selling the property in 1988, saying the new property owner discovered the alleged fraud and brought his claims within the requisite filing period.

  • August 19, 2016

    DC Circ. Says Feds Can't Escape Lockheed Cleanup Costs

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday ruled the federal government must share future cleanup costs for contamination at Lockheed Martin Corp. rocket plants in California, rejecting the government’s argument that it’s already indirectly paid those costs under contracts with the defense giant.

  • August 19, 2016

    Feds Fight Exxon's Bid For Calif. Superfund Suit Dismissal

    The federal government on Thursday asked a federal court to not let Exxon Mobil Oil Corp. and Continental Heat Treating Inc. escape some responsibility for cleanup of a California site, arguing a prior settlement didn’t cover them from having to contribute.

  • August 19, 2016

    Rainmaker Q&A: Ervin Cohen's Ellia Thompson

    Too often, young lawyers just want to rush out and start chatting up prospective clients without knowing enough to understand what their prospective clients’ needs are and without an understanding of how to handle the legal work. Become a good lawyer first, then focus on getting clients, says Ellia Thompson, a partner at Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP.

  • August 18, 2016

    Texas Atty Acquitted Of Scamming BP With Fake Claims

    A Mississippi federal jury on Thursday cleared a well-known Texas plaintiffs lawyer and his brother of mail fraud, wire fraud and identify theft charges that accused him of filing false claims to BP in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but found a consultant hired by the attorney guilty.

Expert Analysis

  • Regulating Aircraft GHG Emissions: EPA's Initial Steps

    Eric B. Rothenberg

    An endangerment finding issued Monday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicates that aircraft greenhouse gas emissions are a threat to public health and triggers the EPA’s duty under the Clean Air Act to promulgate emission standards for aircraft engines included in the finding, say Eric Rothenberg, Bob Nicksin and Remi Moncel at O'Melveny & Myers LLP.

  • Legal Aid, Meet Legal Tech

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    Because there will never be enough free lawyers to satisfy demand from low-income Americans, we need to leverage technology to allow the legal expertise of one lawyer to reach hundreds or thousands of clients at once, say Jonathan Petts and Rohan Pavuluri, co-founders of startup nonprofit Upsolve.

  • Eliminating Ultrahazardous Activity Liability In Enviro Cases

    Thomas A. Manakides

    In toxic tort or environmental cases, both the causal chain and the equities at stake are markedly different compared to standard ultrahazardous activity cases. Such cases raise the question of whether an activity involving no known serious risks at the time it was carried out can give rise to strict liability decades later, say Thomas Manakides and Joseph Edmonds at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Testing The UBE: Portable But Inaccurate Bar Exam Scores

    Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus

    While there is not much that is new about the uniform bar exam’s components, what is new is that where you take the bar exam may make the difference between passing and failing. Half of the score depends on the strength of the applicant pool in the jurisdiction where the candidate wrote the exam, which may lead to “UBE shopping,” says Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus, director of bar programs at Touro Law Center.

  • EPA Wants More Control Over State-Issued Discharge Permits

    Ronda L. Sandquist

    Proposed changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Pollutant Discharge Permit System would make minor revisions to program definitions and the contents of permit fact sheets, and major revisions that will expand the EPA’s ability to object to permits administratively continued by a state program, say attorneys at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • Testing The UBE: Missouri Benefits From Uniform Bar Exam

    Jim Nowogrocki

    We in Missouri do not take lightly to new trends or frothy ideas. Yet, the uniform bar exam has allowed us to meet the challenges of an increasingly mobile legal profession and the changing needs of clients, and to ensure that a newly admitted attorney has the knowledge, character and fitness to practice in the Show-Me State, says Jim Nowogrocki, president of the Board of Law Examiners in Missouri — the first state to adopt the UBE.

  • Feeding The Future World: The Israel Outlook

    Meital Stavinsky

    While improvements to the global availability of and access to food are expected in the coming years, many countries will continue to struggle. A further robust collaboration between the U.S. and Israel would both help expand the innovative food and agricultural industry growth in the U.S., and may offer an answer to the looming global food crisis, says Meital Stavinsky at Greenberg Traurig LLP.

  • DOT Oil Train Rule Proposes Costly Requirements

    J. Scott Janoe

    A recently proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Transportation intends to improve oil spill response readiness and mitigate effects of rail incidents involving petroleum oil and certain high-hazard flammable trains. However, the expanded requirements would likely impose substantial costs and burden on railroads and could increase the price of crude oil transport by rail, say attorneys at Baker Botts LLP.

  • How States Are Reacting To EPA's CAA Mandate

    Allison B. Rumsey

    States' responses to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s action calling for revision of their Clean Air Act implementation plans suggest that while they are working to comply with the EPA mandate, at the same time many are attempting to build in some flexibility where there are excess emissions as a result of startup, shutdown or malfunction, say Allison Rumsey and Erika Norman at Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • How Law Firms Can Create Next-Generation Office Spaces

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    Law firms today are recognizing that the process of creating a next-generation workplace is far more complex than relocating to a more modern space in a trendier part of town. The challenge is more significant for larger firms with multiple generations represented within their executive teams, says Tere Blanca, founder of Miami-based Blanca Commercial Real Estate Inc.