Environmental

  • June 25, 2015

    North Dakota Tribal Panel Wants To Regulate Oil Development

    Residents of the oil-rich West Segment of North Dakota's Fort Berthold Reservation have formed a five-member panel that aims to regulate areas as varied as compliance with speed limits and drug testing for oil-field workers, with mandatory business registration starting June 30.

  • June 25, 2015

    Pinnacle Says Illegal Mining Suit All But Determined

    A Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. unit told a West Virginia federal judge Wednesday that the time had come to end an illegal-mining suit, saying its competitor has admitted liability for harmful drilling activities, and a solution has been proposed.

  • June 25, 2015

    OECD Says Energy Tax Policies Are Ineffectively Applied

    While there is evidence that taxation is one of the best ways to mitigate the negative consequences of energy use, an analysis of 41 countries found that energy taxes are not being used effectively, according to a report released Thursday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

  • June 25, 2015

    Northrop Settles Environmental Cleanup Fight With Insurers

    Northrop Grumman Corp. told a New York federal judge Wednesday that it had settled the current phase of its case with Travelers Indemnity Co. and Century Indemnity Co. over coverage for costs at environmental cleanup sites.

  • June 24, 2015

    Waterfront Landowner Hits Plains With Class Action Over Spill

    A woman who owns beachfront property affected by last month's Santa Barbara County pipeline spill filed a proposed class action in California federal court Tuesday, claiming the spill has spoiled her land and the value of her home.

  • June 24, 2015

    DC Circ. Asked To Make EPA Take New Look At Mercury Rule

    A power production industry association has asked the D.C. Circuit to review its rejected petition that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reconsider certain aspects of its mercury rule, claiming that the public didn't have enough time to comment on the rule.

  • June 24, 2015

    Fla. Appeals Court Rejects Landowners' Takings Suit

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday tossed lawsuit brought by a group of Miami-Dade County landowners over the South Florida Water Management District's alleged unconstitutional taking of their property through its prolonged planning for a wetland conservation area.

  • June 24, 2015

    Ind. Gov. Threatens To Disobey EPA's Clean Power Plan

    Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence wrote President Barack Obama on Wednesday saying that unless there are changes, the state won’t follow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, saying that it’s “ill-conceived” and an abuse of power.

  • June 24, 2015

    House Votes To Force Court Review Of EPA Clean Power Plan

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation seeking to force judicial review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s contentious proposed plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at existing power plants, and allow states to opt out of complying with the plan.

  • June 24, 2015

    $170M CAA Claims Settlement For Four Corners Coal Plant

    The Four Corners Power Plant in New Mexico must complete $160 million in upgrades to its sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide pollution controls as part of an almost $170 million Clean Air Act settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice, the government said on Wednesday.

  • June 24, 2015

    Mass. City Voters Advance $650M Waterfront Casino Plan

    New Bedford, Massachusetts, voters approved on Tuesday a proposed $650 million waterfront casino and an attached $50 million environmental cleanup project by casino developer KG Urban Enterprises LLC, which is expected to team up with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation if the project gets regulatory approval.

  • June 24, 2015

    AVIC Can't Alter Arbitration In $2B Fight, 5th Circ. Told

    Clean energy investor Tang Energy Group Ltd. urged the Fifth Circuit on Monday to keep intact the existing panel arbitrating its $2.25 billion fight with the U.S. arm of Aviation Industry Corp. of China, arguing that its former partner agreed to the arbitration procedure it's now disputing.

  • June 24, 2015

    White House Puts House EPA Spending Bill In Crosshairs

    The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto a House bill that would slash funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and block several administration initiatives regarding power plant emissions and water pollution.

  • June 24, 2015

    Trade Foes Shift Focus To TPP As Fast-Track Nears Passage

    As the bill to renew Trade Promotion Authority, also known as fast-track, moved closer to becoming law Tuesday, a slew of unions, environmental and consumer advocacy groups accepted defeat in their fight to sink the legislation and set their sights squarely on toppling the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership accord.

  • June 24, 2015

    First Solar Was Never Close To 'Holy Grail,' Funds' Suit Says

    Several funds managed by Maverick Capital Ltd. sued First Solar Inc. in Arizona federal court on Tuesday alleging the company and its executives hid several key failings and misrepresented its progress toward achieving the "Holy Grail" of grid parity with its solar projects.

  • June 24, 2015

    Full DC Circ. Asked To Rethink River Protection Decision

    The National Association of Home Builders asked the D.C. Circuit Tuesday to reconsider denying its bid to overturn the government’s finding that two stretches of an Arizona river are subject to the Clean Water Act, saying it conflicted with previous decisions on Article III standing and issue preclusion.

  • June 23, 2015

    States Land 11th-Hour Stay Of BLM Fracking Rules

    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s new hydraulic fracturing rule governing federal and tribal lands won’t take effect Wednesday as originally planned, after a Wyoming federal judge stayed the effective date of the rule following Tuesday’s oral arguments.

  • June 23, 2015

    Lockheed Can Recoup Cleanup Costs From US, DC Circ. Told

    A pair of industry groups threw their weight behind Lockheed Martin Corp. in a D.C. Circuit case Monday involving the cleanup of Lockheed's California rocket factories, saying contractors have to be able to recuperate some cleanup costs from the federal government to be competitive.

  • June 23, 2015

    EPA Rule Row Won’t Slow Climate Talks: State Dept. Official

    Court challenges to Environmental Protection Agency rules shouldn’t slow international efforts to curb climate change, according to one State Department official who said Tuesday that many nations have already inked their own commitments ahead of talks in Paris this fall.

  • June 23, 2015

    LG Agrees To Redesign $300M Englewood Headquarters

    After several years of controversy over LG Electronic USA’s plans to build its new North American headquarters near the Palisades in New Jersey, LG and its critics have agreed upon a new building design, the parties involved said in a statement Tuesday.

Expert Analysis

  • Digging Through The New Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure

    Leeron Morad

    Last month, behind the scenes, the U.S. Supreme Court quietly approved changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Though the ultimate impact of the amendments remains to be seen, they will affect discovery and document production proceedings for both litigants and practitioners, say Leeron Morad and Andrew Bramhall of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.

  • No Consensus On CEQ Draft Guidance For NEPA Reviews

    Elizabeth A. Lake

    Despite its intended goal of reducing "litigation driven by uncertainty," the White House Council on Environmental Quality's revised draft guidance regarding National Environmental Policy Act reviews avoids providing direction on determining when greenhouse gases and climate change impacts are significant, and its consideration of upstream and downstream impacts is particularly vague, says Elizabeth Lake of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • The Spin And Substance Surrounding NY's Brownfields

    Richard G. Leland

    The principal implication of the latest reforms to New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program is that the state will continue to struggle with the inherent conflict between the needs to redevelop contaminated sites and to conserve resources — not to mention the political spin that subsidizing development in New York City during an apparent real estate boom is a giveaway to developers, says Richard Leland of Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

  • Proposition 218 Obstacles To Calif. Tiered Water Rates

    Sue Meyer

    Capistrano Taxpayers Association Inc. v. City of San Juan Capistrano teaches us that, under California's Proposition 218, the burden of proof is on an agency to demonstrate that revenues derived from a water service fee or charge not exceed the funds required to provide the service and that the fee or charge imposed on a parcel not exceed the proportional cost of the service attributable to the parcel, says Sue Meyer of Nossaman LLP.

  • Colo. Lone Pine Case Is Setback For Fracking

    Carl J. Pernicone

    After the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling in Antero Resources Corp. v. Strudley, hydraulic fracturing defendants are likely to see an increase in defense costs, fewer dismissals and fewer early settlements. Had it won, industry could have used the decision to secure early dismissals of fracking suits or, at minimum, force plaintiffs to choose — and stick with — a case theory, say attorneys at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP.

  • The Short And Long Game Of Calif.'s GHG Reduction Plan

    Allison C. Smith

    While the lack of specific direction over how to implement reductions in greenhouse gas emissions based on California Gov. Jerry Brown's recent executive order leaves some uncertainty, in the near term we could see state agency action and, by the time the state's legislative session concludes in September, there may be a definitive statutory mandate to achieve reductions by 2050, says Allison Smith of Stoel Rives LLP.

  • Consider 5 Things Before Choosing An E-Discovery Provider

    Barry O’Melia

    There has been a rapid and robust growth in the number of companies offering electronically stored information collection, management and processing services. But a recent survey indicated that not all service providers offer the level of expertise needed in today’s world of big data, the cloud and mobile devices, says Barry O’Melia, chief operations officer at Digital WarRoom.

  • Induced Seismicity Legal Issues Break New Ground

    Barclay R. Nicholson

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Oklahoma Geological Survey and a recent Texas study all raise a variety of potential issues surrounding induced seismicity for the energy industry and may shape emerging regulatory trends and liability theories, say Barclay Nicholson and Emery Richards of Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.

  • As Climate Continues To Change, So Does CEQA

    Arthur F. Coon

    In the face of rapid ecological and regulatory change, is it possible the usual rules for analyzing cumulative environmental impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act are in flux or no longer apply? At the very least, California Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent executive order highlights that CEQA analysis of greenhouse gas emissions has evolved, says Arthur Coon of Miller Starr Regalia.

  • Court-Appointed Experts — A Powerful But Rarely Used Tool

    Philip Woo

    The Tessera Inc. patent case highlights a useful procedure seldom used in the federal court system — Federal Rule of Evidence 706, which allows for a court-appointed expert. But Rule 706 provides little guidance on when to use such an expert, how to select one or how to work with one. Here are some tips, say Philip Woo and Nathan Greenblatt of Sidley Austin LLP.