Environmental

  • October 14, 2014

    11th Circ. Sinks Camp Lejeune Drinking Water Suit

    The Eleventh Circuit on Tuesday said revisions to a North Carolina statute of repose, intended to protect military families’ right to sue over drinking water contamination at the Camp Lejeune military base, do not apply to multidistrict litigation filed before the law was passed.

  • October 14, 2014

    NY Appeals Court Clears Way For NYU's $6B Expansion

    A New York appeals court on Tuesday struck down an earlier decision that had blocked New York University's $6 billion construction project from encroaching on three parcels of land, ruling the plaintiffs failed to show that the land had been dedicated for public use.

  • October 14, 2014

    Skanska, Ecotricity JV To Invest $800M In British Wind Energy

    Swedish construction giant Skanska AB and British clean energy startup Ecotricity have teamed up in a new joint venture to inject £500 million ($796.3 million) into wind energy projects in the U.K. over the next five years, the companies said Tuesday.

  • October 14, 2014

    Fallout From Act 13 Ruling Overblown, Pa. Energy Boss Says

    The consequences of last year's Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down parts of a sweeping 2012 law aimed at promoting natural gas development have been widely overstated, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's top deputy for energy affairs told Law360, arguing an unchallenged impact fee has helped buoy the industry by easing tensions between communities and drillers.

  • October 14, 2014

    DC Circ. Finally Allows NJ To Oversee Nuclear Materials

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday upheld the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s plan to transfer oversight of nuclear materials to the state of New Jersey, rejecting Shieldalloy Metallurgical Corp.’s argument that the move would unfairly burden its remediation of a former manufacturing facility.

  • October 14, 2014

    Sierra Club Accuses EPA Of Violating CAA In Alaska Fight

    The Sierra Club asked a federal judge in Washington state for an early win Friday in a suit alleging that federal regulators let the state of Alaska get away with dangerously low standards for fine particulate pollution, arguing the government’s conduct violates the “clear language” of the Clean Air Act.

  • October 14, 2014

    King & Spalding Adds Ex-BakerHostetler Atty To Litigation Group

    King & Spalding LLP has bolstered its environmental and tort litigation practice in its Houston office with the addition of a BakerHostetler appellate lawyer who has experience in the energy, health care and automotive sectors, it said Monday.

  • October 10, 2014

    FirstEnergy Escapes $2M CERCLA Suit Over Fla. Sites

    An Ohio federal judge on Friday reversed his past decision to preserve Progress Energy’s suit against FirstEnergy Corp. over $1.8 million in cleanup costs at two polluted Florida sites, finding the claims were time-barred under new Sixth Circuit precedent.

  • October 10, 2014

    Pa. High Court To Mull Jury's Role In Interpreting Farm Law

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday said it will consider whether a jury should be allowed to determine whether the land application of sewage sludge can be counted as a "normal agricultural operation" under the state's Right to Farm Act.

  • October 10, 2014

    CPUC Proposes $1.3B Credit Deal Over Nuke Plant Shutdown

    The California Public Utilities Commission on Friday pitched a settlement that would pay out $1.3 billion in customer credits and refunds for the shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station after it leaked low-level radiation.

  • October 10, 2014

    Enviros Say Army Corps' Seawall Plan Flouts CWA

    Three environmental groups accused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of violating the Clean Water Act by issuing a permit allowing construction of seawalls and bulkheads to prevent land erosion, saying the structures cause other environmental damage, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in District of Columbia federal court.

  • October 10, 2014

    DuPont, Enviro Cos. Settle Radioactive Waste Suit

    A Tennessee federal judge dismissed a three-way breach of contract dispute between DuPont Inc. and two environmental services companies over responsibility for the disposal of waste that was allegedly too radioactive, after the parties said they’d reached a settlement on Thursday.

  • October 10, 2014

    Buffett-Backed Utility Puts Up $280M For Iowa Wind Projects

    MidAmerican Energy Co., a unit of Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said Friday that it will sink another $280 million into wind energy development in Iowa through the expansion of an existing wind farm and the construction of a new farm.

  • October 10, 2014

    Conn. Oil Dealers Sue To Block State's Natural Gas Plan

    A group of Connecticut oil and gasoline distributors filed suit on Friday to stop the state energy department’s plan to convert 280,000 customers to natural gas over a 10-year period, alleging the agency failed to properly consider the impact of leaked methane on the environment.

  • October 10, 2014

    Scottish Gov't OKs $2.4B Offshore Wind Farm

    The Scottish government has given Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd. the green light to build a £1.5 billion ($2.4 billion) offshore wind farm that will plug directly into the Scottish electricity system and provide up to 450 megawatts of electricity, the Irish clean energy developer said Friday.

  • October 10, 2014

    Enviros Sue To Block Calif. Oil Refinery, Rail Project

    Environmentalists on Thursday sued to block the expansion of Alon USA Energy Inc.'s currently shuttered Bakersfield, California, oil refinery and the construction of a new rail facility, claiming the project will worsen local air quality and increase risky rail transports of flammable crude oil.

  • October 9, 2014

    Punish Donziger's Fraud In Chevron Row, 2nd Circ. Told

    Business trade group the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday urged the Second Circuit to "punish" what it claimed was "massive fraud" on the part of Steven Donziger, the attorney for indigenous Ecuadoreans in their pollution battle against Chevron Corp.

  • October 9, 2014

    EPA Ozone Rule Under White House Review

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday delivered its updated — and potentially stricter — rule for ground-level ozone to the White House for review, less than two months before it must propose a final standard.

  • October 9, 2014

    EU Raids Ethanol Cos. On Price-Fixing Allegations

    Officials from the European Commission's competition watchdog raided the headquarters of several unnamed ethanol companies based on allegations the companies were manipulating industry benchmarks, the EC said Thursday.

  • October 9, 2014

    EPA Approves $200M Expansion For Texas Power Plant

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that it’s approved the private-equity backed owners of a Victoria, Texas, gas-fired power plant to embark on a $200 million expansion project that will nearly double the plant's capacity.

Expert Analysis

  • Navigating The 'Twilight' Of 2 CERCLA Sections

    Janet L. McQuaid

    In light of Hobart Corporation v. Waste Management of Ohio Inc., it may be important in some situations for potentially responsible parties pursuing or defending cost recovery to review any action-forcing document in order to determine if it is sufficient to state a cause of action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, say Janet McQuaid and Joshua Snyder of Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • Tax Clarification Should Clear The Way For Renewables

    Arnold E. Grant

    A recent notice from the Internal Revenue Service on production and investment tax credits provides welcome clarity that can only encourage tax equity investors who have been on the sidelines due to prior uncertainty over renewable energy projects, say attorneys at Reed Smith LLP.

  • Calif. Anti-Fracking Ordinances On Shaky Legal Ground

    Jeffrey D. Dintzer

    Compton’s hydraulic fracturing ban may implicate the Takings Clause of the U.S. and California Constitutions since fracking is meant to access energy resources that cannot otherwise be extracted from the underlying property — the ban could constitute a taking of private property without just compensation, say Jeffrey Dintzer and Nathaniel Johnson of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • 5 Reasons Large Companies Are Turning To Boutique Firms

    David M. Levine

    The departure of attorneys from large firms is a trend that has increased as a result of the Great Recession and its aftermath, and boutique firm partners who previously worked at large firms understand the potential large-firm pitfalls, say attorneys with Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider & Grossman LLP.

  • Tracking Fracking: Where Is Ill. 1 Year Later?

    Lawrence W. Falbe

    While final hydraulic fracturing regulations in Illinois can reasonably expect approval by mid-October, the rules may be challenged on the basis that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources did not properly consider all public comments and revise them accordingly, say Lawrence Falbe and Sanford Stein of Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • EPA's Concern Over TCE Vapor Intrusion Is Misguided

    Richard C. Coffin

    A recently issued memo from a director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on short-term trichloroethylene exposure levels in Region 9 should be reconsidered — if there is a legitimate weight of scientific evidence supporting them, then they should be applied to all Superfund sites, say attorneys of Barg Coffin Lewis and Trapp LLP.

  • As Climate Changes So Does Focus On Methane Emissions

    Andrew R. Wheeler

    Given that the Obama administration has focused almost entirely on carbon dioxide up until now, stakeholders should be prepared for the president to move quickly and aggressively to reduce methane emissions from the natural gas sector in the coming months, say attorneys at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • Some Calm For NY Claims Handlers Over Late Disclaimers

    William E. Murray

    The impact of a threatened expansion of the late disclaimer standard prior to the New York Court of Appeals' ruling in KeySpan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance American Inc. would have been heavy for the insurance industry in that it would have created a significant burden on claims handlers, say William Murray and Joseph Geoghegan of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP.

  • Calif. High Court Case Has Not Made CEQA Obsolete

    Timothy M. Taylor

    Initial observations after the California Supreme Court's ruling in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court suggest that voter-sponsored initiative petitions under the Elections Code are not widely employed as an end-run around the California Environmental Quality Act, say attorneys at Stoel Rives LLP.

  • Tax Credit Timetable Should Lead The Way For Renewables

    John C. Crossley

    Developers in the renewable energy industry that are able to move quickly now have a clearer path forward for a number of projects that appeared quite risky prior to the recent release of additional guidance on production tax credits from the Internal Revenue Service, says John Crossley of Husch Blackwell LLP.