Environmental

  • April 28, 2015

    5 Things To Watch For After Approval Of $1.7B LA Stadium

    Carson, California's recent city council vote approving a $1.7 billion Los Angeles County stadium that could be the home of two National Football League teams is a major step forward for the project, but hurdles remain. Here, Law360 looks at five things to watch as the stadium project moves forward.

  • April 28, 2015

    EPA Leaning On FERC To Blunt Clean Power Plan Grid Effect

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working closely with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure the implementation of its plan to slash carbon emissions from existing power plants doesn't threaten the reliability of the U.S. electric grid, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told Law360 on Tuesday.

  • April 28, 2015

    Painting Contractor Hits BP With Deepwater Damages Suit

    A Texas-based painting contractor has hit BP Exploration and Production Inc. with a lawsuit in Louisiana federal court seeking compensation for damages and losses resulting from the Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill.

  • April 28, 2015

    Senate Enviro Committee Clears Chemical, EPA Science Bills

    The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Tuesday passed long-debated legislation to reform the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act, a rare showing of bipartisanship that bodes well for the bill’s prospects in the full Senate.

  • April 28, 2015

    SolarCity, Musk Duck Suit Over Restated Financials

    A California federal judge ruled on Monday that a proposed shareholder class action against billionaire Elon Musk and other executives at SolarCity Corporation didn’t allege securities violations in enough detail to proceed.

  • April 28, 2015

    Enviros Urge 9th Circ. To Overturn Uranium Mine Ruling

    Environmental groups suing to halt a uranium mining project have joined the Havasupai Tribe in urging the Ninth Circuit to reverse a district court ruling that the U.S. Forest Service was not required to conduct further environmental review for the project to resume.

  • April 28, 2015

    ATP Wants OK To Pursue Deepwater Claims Against BP

    A Texas bankruptcy judge was asked Monday to allow ATP Oil & Gas Corp. to proceed with civil litigation against BP PLC, with ATP arguing that it needs any proceeds from the Deepwater Horizon dispute to help pay down a $283 million debtor-in-possession loan.

  • April 28, 2015

    NJ Dems Introduce Bill To Bolster 'High Hazard' Train Safety

    A group of Democratic lawmakers in the New Jersey General Assembly announced Tuesday they have introduced a bill in response to a 2012 train derailment that would require owners of trains carrying hazardous material through the state to prepare and submit a spill response, cleanup and contingency plan.

  • April 28, 2015

    5 Native American Environmental Cases To Watch In 2015

    High-profile environmental lawsuits in Indian Country this year include disputes over energy projects proposed on culturally important sites, the rights of tribes to manage the implementation of federal clean air and water statutes, and the responsibility of states to ensure tribes have clean water and plenty of fish.

  • April 27, 2015

    Judge Paves Way For Deepwater Personal Injury Jury Trials

    A Louisiana federal judge concluded Monday that a plaintiff in ongoing medical benefits class action over the BP PLC Deepwater Horizon disaster is entitled to a jury, setting the stage for BP to potentially face thousands of jury trials involving personal injury claims.

  • April 27, 2015

    Enviros, EPA Pause Fracking Chemical Disclosure Dispute

    A D.C. federal judge granted a joint stay motion Friday in a lawsuit that nine environmental and open government groups brought against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to respond to a 2012 petition to increase transparency on chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. 

  • April 27, 2015

    9th Circ. Says Boeing Pollution Row Belongs In Federal Court

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday said a suit targeting The Boeing Co. and its environmental-remediation contractor Landau Associates Inc. over alleged groundwater contamination from a Washington-based plant belongs in federal court, reversing an order sending the dispute to a state court.

  • April 27, 2015

    Feds Drop Appeal Of Hog Farm Loan Guarantee Revocation

    The federal government on Friday dropped its appeal of an Arkansas federal judge’s decision to revoke $3 million in loan guarantees for a Cargill Inc. hog farm that said the agencies didn’t take the “required hard look” into the farm’s environmental impact.

  • April 27, 2015

    Fla. House Passes Contentious Fracking Regulation Bill

    The Florida House of Representatives on Monday approved a bill that would increase regulations on the oil and gas drilling technique known as fracking despite opposition from environmentalists and concerned residents who favor an outright ban.

  • April 27, 2015

    Halliburton Urges Dismissal Of Okla. Pollution Suit Claims

    Halliburton Energy Services Inc. urged an Oklahoma federal judge Friday to nix certain property owners’ claims in a suit accusing the company of contaminating groundwater around a plant near their homes, arguing they have failed to demonstrate a legally cognizable injury.

  • April 27, 2015

    BIA Says It Didn't Deprive Crow Members Of Water Rights

    The Bureau of Indian Affairs on Friday again urged a Montana federal judge to toss a complaint accusing it of denying members of the Crow Nation a fair share of water rights on the tribe’s reservation, arguing the government didn’t take away those rights but is holding them in trust for the tribe and its members.

  • April 27, 2015

    Real Estate Rumor Mill: Morgan Stanley, Apple, EPA

    Morgan Stanley is reportedly close to inking a massive 400,000 square-foot lease deal in Manhattan, while Texas is hot with rumored deal activity, with Apple Inc. buzzed to have inked a major lease deal in Austin and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said to be searching for new digs in Dallas.

  • April 27, 2015

    Calif. Builders Must Plan With Eye On Coast, Official Says

    If developers want to avoid permitting delays to build along California’s coastline, they shouldn’t focus just on how to reduce adverse effects a project could have on public access and coastal resources, but on how to avoid them altogether, and that requires early strategic planning, California Coastal Commission’s executive director told Law360 in a recent interview.

  • April 27, 2015

    9th Circ. Won't Rehear Truckers' Diesel Rule Fight

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday refused to reconsider its March ruling that a lower court didn’t have jurisdiction to decide if federal law preempted a California Air Resources Board regulation requiring heavy-duty diesel trucks to undergo upgrades.

  • April 27, 2015

    Honeywell Can't Completely DQ Firm In $42M Cleanup Fight

    An Arizona federal judge last week denied a request from Honeywell International Inc. and several other defendants to completely disqualify a law firm in a $42 million groundwater clean-up row, saying the court can’t control related actions before a state environmental agency.

Expert Analysis

  • Combating Climate Change Continues With Executive Orders

    George O. Wilkinson Jr.

    President Obama's latest executive order on greenhouse gas emissions will impact both federal agencies and government contractors and once again signals the White House's intention to combat climate change in spite of some members of Congress, state governments and industry groups, say George Wilkinson Jr. and Corinne Snow of Vinson & Elkins LLP.

  • High Court May Take On Corporate 5th Amendment Privilege

    Ramzi Abadou

    A festering but virtually unnoticed circuit split over a legal doctrine the U.S. Supreme Court first recognized early last century may provide the Roberts court with the opportunity to grant corporate persons privilege against self-incrimination for the first time in U.S. history, says Ramzi Abadou of Kahn Swick & Foti LLP.

  • Rage Rises To The Top At BLM's New Fracking Rules

    J. Tom Boer

    The Bureau of Land Management's final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands saw a swift political backlash — energy industry groups filed a lawsuit challenging the rulemaking and the GOP-controlled Senate issued a statement criticizing the rule as duplicative and unnecessary, says J. Tom Boer, a partner with Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp LLP and former attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Regulatory Divergence May Be New Norm After GHG Guidance

    Mark C. Kalpin

    The White House Council on Environmental Quality's revised draft guidance on greenhouse gas emissions gives significant discretion to agencies to proceed appropriately in light of their unique mandates and circumstances, which raises concerns about possible divergent practices among different agencies, say attorneys at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.

  • Not Saved By The Bell: Dismissing Classes Prediscovery

    Laura E. Vendzules

    While bet-the-company class actions are on the rise with support from regulatory agencies, courts remain more open to limiting their scope. Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station is critical in that it signals a willingness to dispose of class claims before class discovery and prior to any motion for certification if the class as alleged is implausible on its face, say Laura Vendzules and Michael Iannucci of Blank Rome LLP.

  • What Yates Tells Us About High Court's View Of Criminal Law

    Kedar Bhatia

    If you look beyond the headlines and the immediate ruling in Yates v. U.S., the U.S. Supreme Court's 43-page decision, split across plurality, concurring and dissenting opinions, provides important guideposts about where the justices see the current state of criminal law, say Kedar Bhatia and Shamoil Shipchandler of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

  • Is Your Landfill Or Other Wasting Asset Fairly Assessed?

    Ronald S. Cusano

    As an investment, a landfill is high risk due in part to the potential for extreme environmental liabilities. Conventional appraisal methods, including cost, comparable sales and even the traditional income method, do not account fully for these unique factors, says Ronald Cusano of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP.

  • NJ Supreme Court Clarifies Expert Testimony Rule

    Timothy Freeman

    Practitioners should take note of the New Jersey Supreme Court's recent decision in Townsend v. Pierre when seeking to exclude expert testimony that is based on factual scenarios that have no support in the record, says Timothy Freeman of Sedgwick LLP.

  • Insurance Implications Of EPA's New Coal Ash Rules

    Mark J. Plumer

    In light of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new rules regarding coal combustion residuals, companies with coal ash surface impoundments that were in operation prior to the mid-1980s should review historic general liability policies with an eye toward determining whether prior settlements of, say, manufactured gas plant claims may have released coverage, say Mark Plumer and Matthew Jeweler of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • Criminal CWA Case May Signal New Trend In Mining Industry

    Amy McMaster

    XS Platinum Inc. and five of its officers and employees recently became the subject of the first federal criminal environmental enforcement action against a mining company in Alaska. Although the mining industry has long been a target of civil environmental actions, criminal enforcement is relatively new, say attorneys with Venable LLP.