Environmental RSS

  • April 9, 2014

    Gas Groups Can't Intervene In Pa. Fracking Law Challenge

    A Pennsylvania state judge on Wednesday rejected a bid by industry groups to intervene in the ongoing challenge to statewide rules governing natural gas production after the state Supreme Court struck down broad portions of the industry-supported law in December.

  • April 9, 2014

    Europe Poised To Phase Out Clean Energy Subsidies

    The European Commission on Wednesday proposed ending subsidies for renewable energy in favor of a market-based scheme and exempting energy-intensive industries from helping to pay for green power in an effort to drive down electricity costs, a move blasted by clean energy advocates and the European renewable energy industry.

  • April 9, 2014

    Attys Will Slim Fees If Oil Cos. Strike Deal In La. Pollution Fight

    Lawyers representing a Louisiana flooding authority in a lawsuit accusing 97 energy giants of ravaging the state's coastal lands said on Wednesday that they will waive some attorneys' fees if the companies, which include subsidiaries of BP PLC and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., negotiate a settlement.

  • April 9, 2014

    Pa. DEP Aims To Tighten Air Pollution Emission Controls

    The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board on Monday unveiled new regulations aimed at requiring power plants and certain major industrial facilities to install new controls to reduce emissions of nitric oxide and other volatile organic compounds.

  • April 9, 2014

    Calif. Senate Panel Passes Fracking Moratorium

    Proposed legislation that would place an indefinite moratorium on hydraulic fracturing activity in California cleared its first major hurdle Tuesday, winning approval from a state Senate committee with five of the panel's nine members voting in favor of the bill.

  • April 9, 2014

    CSX, Others Can't Nix Class Claims In NJ Train Derailment Suit

    A New Jersey federal judge on Tuesday denied a request by Consolidated Rail Corp., Norfolk Southern Corp. and CSX Transportation Inc. to strike class allegations in a putative consolidated class action over a train derailment and vinyl chloride spill near Paulsboro, N.J., saying they failed to show that plaintiffs could not satisfy class prerequisites. 

  • April 8, 2014

    Texas Family Claims $9M For Fracking-Related Illnesses

    A Texas family seeking $9 million in a nuisance suit told a Dallas jury on Tuesday the company drilling natural gas wells near their property is making them sick, in one of the first trials seeking to hold a company liable for medical problems allegedly linked to chemicals used in fracking.

  • April 8, 2014

    Queensland Court Asks For Tough Rules For $10B Mine

    The Land Court of Queensland on Tuesday voted to impose strict licensing conditions on mining joint venture GVK Hancock for its $10 billion Alpha coal mine as the company sought to reassure regulators that it would work to meet all necessary standards. 

  • April 8, 2014

    NJ Offshore Wind Farm Co. Appeals BPU's Denial Of Project

    Fishermen’s Energy LLC filed an appeal with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on Monday asking the agency to reconsider its rejection of the developer’s Atlantic City offshore wind farm proposal last month, saying the agency’s decision was based on misunderstandings.

  • April 8, 2014

    Expanded CWA Protections Could Create New RE Headaches

    A recent rule proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that aims to extend the reach of the Clean Water Act could trigger a new wave of uncertainty and litigation for property owners in an area of law that experts say has thus far been relatively settled.

  • April 8, 2014

    NRC Refuses To Expand Emergency Planning Zones

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday denied a petition asking for larger emergency planning zones around nuclear reactors, concluding that the zones are already big enough to protect public health and safety should there ever be a nuclear accident.

  • April 8, 2014

    Justice Of The Peace: CIT Chief Judge Donald Pogue

    Court of International Trade Chief Judge Donald Pogue talks to Law360 about his farm country roots, his advanced degree in cognitive philosophy and the surprisingly utopian mission of the nation’s trade court.

  • April 8, 2014

    National Guardsmen Challenge Trim Of $81M KBR Toxin Award

    A group of National Guard members injured by exposure to toxic chemicals at a KBR Inc. facility in Iraq told the Ninth Circuit on Monday that a district court should not have reduced an $81 million jury award and should allow them to introduce additional evidence to the case.

  • April 8, 2014

    Arctic Drilling Rule Is Imminent, Regulator Says

    Federal regulations that cover drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean will be released shortly, the nation's top offshore drilling regulator said Tuesday.

  • April 8, 2014

    Enviros Urge EPA, Pa. To Rap EQT For Fracking Pollution

    A set of environmental groups on Tuesday asked Pennsylvania officials along with the Environmental Protection Agency to launch enforcement actions against EQT Production Co. over 2012 wastewater discharges at a fracking site in the western part of the state. 

  • April 8, 2014

    EPA Reconsiders Formaldehyde Wood Emissions Rule

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is having second thoughts about proposed formaldehyde emissions standards for composite wood products, reopening the comment period on Tuesday after input from California regulators and other stakeholders raised questions about the rule.

  • April 8, 2014

    DTE To Pay $1M Over Pittsburgh Coke Plant's Air Pollution

    A DTE Energy Services unit agreed Tuesday to pay more than $1 million to address the Allegheny County Health Department's concerns about air pollution from a coke plant outside of Pittsburgh.

  • April 8, 2014

    Enel Inks Smart Grid, Renewable Energy Deal With China

    Italian utility company the Enel Group said Tuesday that it has signed a contract with the State Grid Corp. of China to help develop and implement smart grid technologies and find renewable energy sources to help the country save energy.

  • April 8, 2014

    Colo. High Court Will Hear Drillers' Lone Pine Challenge

    The Colorado Supreme Court said Monday it will review an appeals court decision in a fracking toxic tort case forbidding so-called Lone Pine orders, a ruling that has drawn the attention of oil and gas companies concerned about its potential impacts.

  • April 8, 2014

    Enviros Lose CWA Challenge To $400M Pittsburgh Project

    A Pennsylvania federal judge agreed Monday to nix an environmental group’s claims that Pittsburgh officials had failed to impose adequate stormwater control measures for a $400 million mixed-use development project by the Buncher Co. in the city’s Strip District.

Expert Analysis

  • 9th Circ. Reminds BOEM About The Importance Of Evidence

    David J. Miller

    The Ninth Circuit recently held that environmental impact statements on proposed leases for oil and gas development in the Chukchi Sea from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management violated the National Environmental Policy Act. The decision is a reminder that the deference courts grant regulators is not limitless — their environmental determinations must contain sufficient evidence to support their conclusions, say attorneys at Nossaman LLP.

  • ADR: A Silver Lining In The Legal Industry’s New Normal

    Chris Poole

    The economy has had a marked impact on the alternative dispute resolution industry, but much of that impact comes directly from the new dynamics between law firms and their clients. ADR providers have been keen observers of these trends and are learning to react creatively. It’s not all a bed full of roses from the ADR side, but there have been some positive changes, says Chris Poole of JAMS.

  • We Won't See NY Fracking Impact Statement Anytime Soon

    Emily Pincow

    A group of New York landowners recently filed a petition seeking to compel the state government to issue its final impact statement on the effects of fracking, after more than five years of waiting. Despite the lawsuit, the wait for an answer on fracking in New York will likely continue, and for those outside New York waiting to hear about the environmental and health effects of fracking, the wait may prove to be even longer, says Emily Pincow of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • How To Avoid Discovery Problems While Using The Cloud

    Robert Keeling

    Cloud users must know how to use the cloud responsibly to prevent later difficulties with document production. When negotiating a cloud service agreement, users should look for certain services that will prove useful when responding to discovery requests, such as comprehensive search options, instant suspension of the auto-delete function, and preservation of metadata and embedded data, say attorneys with Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Circuits Still Split Over Enviro Fines In Bankruptcy

    Richard F. Ricci

    The First Circuit's recent decision in In re Munce’s Superior Petroleum Products Inc. is consistent with other circuits in concluding that noncompensatory environmental fines should receive administrative priority under the Bankruptcy Code. The decision, however, is at odds with other courts that have addressed the treatment of prepetition violations that result in post-petition penalties, say attorneys at Lowenstein Sandler LLP.

  • 9th Circ. Simplifies Enviro Process For Transit Projects

    Robert D. Thornton

    In a decision of national importance, the Ninth Circuit recently rejected environmental challenges to the 20-mile Honolulu Rail Transit Project. The decision is significant because it is based, in part, on recent federal legislation aimed at simplifying the complex and lengthy environmental process governing new highway and transit projects, says Robert Thornton of Nossaman LLP.

  • Comcast Turns 1: Trends In Class Certification

    Erik Snapp

    In the year since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, nearly 200 cases have cited the ruling, but the only consensus reached is that its significance for class actions is unsettled. However, notwithstanding the lower courts’ inconsistent application of Comcast's “rigorous analysis” of damages model evidence, a few guiding principles have emerged, say Erik Snapp and Quinn Shean of Dechert LLP.

  • Oil Spill Derailments Pose Challenge For Insurers

    Seth V. Jackson

    With experts predicting that train derailments involving oil spills may increase over the next decade, the insurance industry must be prepared to address this new coverage threat. While first-party property coverage may respond to these spills, the largest insurance coverage claims may arise from third-party liability insurance related to the cleanups and bodily injuries — and, based on their damage policy limits, exhaustion could occur quickly, says Seth Jackson of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • 9th Circ. CERCLA Insurance Case Now Law Of The Land

    Kevin T. Haroff

    The Ninth Circuit's decision limiting the rights of insurance companies to recover payments made for environmental cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act is likely to be cited as one of the more definitive CERCLA decisions in recent years, and now with the U.S. Supreme Court's denial of certiorari, it is effectively nationwide precedent, says Kevin Haroff of Marten Law PLLC.

  • As Legal Profession Evolves, GCs Outpace The Norm

    James Merklinger

    In stark contrast to the changing environment for the majority of lawyers today, the evolution for the general counsel is driven less by necessity than by opportunity. Today’s GC may touch every aspect of his or her organization to solve challenges and propel the company forward, keeping the GC far ahead of what is expected of the average lawyer, says James Merklinger, vice president and general counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel.