• October 2, 2015

    USDOT To Streamline $20B Hudson River Tunnel Project

    Amtrak and federal and state agencies will push ahead with plans to build a new $20 billion passenger rail tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey, starting with an expedited environmental review, representatives for involved organizations confirmed Friday.

  • October 2, 2015

    Victims' Families Want Quebec Derailment Suit In State Court

    Families of the victims of a train derailment in Quebec, Canada, asked a Texas federal judge on Friday to remand a wrongful death and injury suit against Canadian Pacific Railway Co. to state court, arguing that the case was removed because it was incorrectly classified as a mass civil action.

  • October 2, 2015

    Liberty Says Texas Law Applies In Sinkhole Suit

    Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc. told a Texas federal court Friday that its battle with Occidental Chemical Corp. and Texas Brine LLC over liability for a massive sinkhole is governed by Texas law because the insureds are based in that state.

  • October 2, 2015

    Tribe Sues BP Over Deepwater's Effect On Natural Resources

    A Louisiana tribe that failed to reach a settlement with BP in the massive multidistrict litigation over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Thursday sued the oil giant separately, accusing it of damaging its property and cultural and natural resources during the spill and subsequent cleanup process.

  • October 2, 2015

    IRS To Issue Energy Credit Property Regulations

    The Internal Revenue Service said on Friday that it plans to issue regulations aimed at certain types of property qualifying for an energy credit, seeking public comment on how to define solar energy, wind and other forms of energy-related property.

  • October 2, 2015

    Exxon Mobil Loses $236M MTBE Cleanup Appeal In NH

    The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a $236 million trial judgment against Exxon Mobil in a groundwater contamination case Friday, capping 12 years of litigation in the state over a gasoline additive that is meant to reduce air pollution but may cause cancer.

  • October 2, 2015

    Pa. DEP Wants Gas Group's Permit Program Challenge Axed

    A Pennsylvania court was urged Thursday to find that a gas industry group did not have standing to pursue claims accusing environmental regulators of running a permitting program that didn’t comply with a landmark ruling that gutted legislation aimed at establishing statewide rules for drillers.

  • October 2, 2015

    Rice Energy Unit Challenges Pa. DEP's Pipeline Fine

    A Rice Energy Inc. unit filed on Thursday to challenge a nearly $500,000 penalty imposed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection over violations of state laws connected to construction of a gas pipeline in Greene and Washington counties.

  • October 2, 2015

    Feds Continue Pipeline Safety Push With New Proposals

    The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed long-awaited rules that would tighten safety requirements for pipelines carrying oil and other hazardous liquids, including expanding the use of leak detection systems and requiring inspections of pipelines in areas hit by extreme weather or natural disasters.

  • October 2, 2015

    VW's Top US Exec To Testify Before House Committee Oct. 8

    As part of its ongoing investigation into the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the U.S. House of Representative’s Energy & Commerce Committee announced Thursday that the German automaker’s top U.S. executive, along with an official from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will testify before a house subcommittee next week.

  • October 2, 2015

    Dominion Seeks Green Light On $130M Va. Solar Projects

    A subsidiary of Dominion Resources on Thursday asked a Virginia state commission to approve three solar facilities with a combined expected output of 56 megawatts, saying its $129.5 million total investment would be a boon to consumers.

  • October 2, 2015

    Judge Sinks Bid To Trim Sites From Puerto Rico MTBE MDL

    A New York federal judge refused Thursday to trim three "release sites" from Puerto Rico's suit accusing Shell Oil Co. and others of contaminating its groundwater with a common gasoline additive, saying the defendants hadn't shown that the commonwealth’s claims at those sites were time-barred.

  • October 2, 2015

    Switzerland Bans Some VWs From Its Roads Amid Scandal

    Switzerland’s transportation authority said Friday that it will not allow any new Volkswagen vehicles to be registered in the country as of Monday if they are affected by the automaker’s emissions scandal.

  • October 1, 2015

    Berkshire Unit Off The Hook For $44M For Superfund Cleanup

    An Idaho federal judge ruled Wednesday that a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary does not owe the government $44 million for cleanup of a Superfund site because it is not a successor in interest to the company that ran the contaminated Idaho mine.

  • October 1, 2015

    Givaudan Renews Bid For Pollution Defense Costs

    Givaudan Fragrances Corp. asked a New Jersey court Wednesday to rethink its ruling that Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. and Continental Casualty Co. don't have to defend it against pollution claims brought by environmental regulators and others, citing a precedential 2010 decision establishing that insurers have a broad duty to defend.

  • October 1, 2015

    VW, Kirkland Face DOJ Push For Individual Prosecutions

    Kirkland & Ellis LLP faces the formidable task of defending Volkswagen after the company admitted to using software blatantly designed to trick emissions tests, and experts say the attorneys' job here is more delicate as this is perhaps the first major corporate scandal since the U.S. Department of Justice signaled its desire to prosecute individual company executives.

  • October 1, 2015

    EPA Fights For Centralization Of Multiple Water Rule Battles

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers fought an uphill battle Thursday to convince a panel of federal judges to treat as a single unit the phalanx of lawsuits challenging its new Clean Water Act clarification.

  • October 1, 2015

    BLM Owes Tribes More Than Lip Service Over Fracking Rules

    In blocking the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's new rules governing fracking on federal and tribal land on Wednesday, a Wyoming federal judge recognized both the growing role tribes play in shaping federal regulations and agencies' duty to abide by their own policies requiring tribal consultation, experts say.

  • October 1, 2015

    New Ozone Rule Poses Additional Compliance Challenges

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s stricter ozone rule poses a new set of compliance headaches, including emission offset requirements and costs, both for areas that struggled with the last round of standards and those that have not yet had to worry about reducing the greenhouse gas.

  • October 1, 2015

    Industry Has Edge Over Enviros To Fight EPA Ozone Rule

    Successful legal challenges to the tighter national ozone standards unveiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday will be tall tasks, though experts say courts will be more receptive to industry arguments over whether the standards can be achieved than to environmentalists' arguments that the standards aren't low enough.

Expert Analysis

  • Gold King Mine Spill Points To EPA Institutional Failure

    Jeffrey D. Dintzer

    With its limited resources, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proved woefully incapable before the Gold King Mine spill of overseeing the actions of its contractor. This is a humiliating failure in one of the EPA’s core and original functions — to remediate contaminated sites where no one else is available to take on the work, say Jeffrey Dintzer and Matthew Wickersham of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • NY Shared Solar Is A Bold Step Forward For Clean Energy

    Thomas C. Havens

    Community shared renewables initiatives have the potential to dramatically expand the deployment of solar and other forms of distributed generation. New York recently enacted its own version of community renewables, which represents the most aggressive effort thus far to expand customer access to solar and other clean energy resources, say Thomas Havens and Kate McGinnes at Day Pitney LLP.

  • Calif. High Court Humbles Itself Over CEQA Case

    Donald E. Sobelman

    The California Supreme Court's willingness to take itself to task in City of San Diego v. Board of Trustees of the California State University over state agencies undertaking projects that require off-site environmental mitigation under the California Environmental Quality Act is a welcome step. Here is to hoping that other courts take notice, says Donald Sobelman of Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp LLP.

  • The Future Of Mediation: Joint Session 2.0

    Jeff Kichaven

    What are we going to do about opening joint sessions in mediations? Mediators love them, but many lawyers have grown to avoid them at all costs. Can we reconcile this and invent a new, improved opening joint session that mediators and lawyers alike will applaud? asks Jeff Kichaven of Jeff Kichaven Commercial Mediation.

  • Exxon Ruling Is Useful For Evaluating NJ Pollution Claims

    David J. Mairo

    A New Jersey judge's recent decision approving Exxon Mobil Corp.'s $225 million environmental damage settlement with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection provides owners and prospective purchasers of contaminated New Jersey property the most current set of tools to evaluate natural resource damages, say David Mairo and Dennis Toft at Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC.

  • Climate Change And The Growing Challenges Of Migration

    Jaime de Melo

    Pressure from climate change is relentlessly building and in order for countries to deal with the resulting migratory pressures they will need to delegate national sovereignty and accommodate far greater migration flows than in recent history — or they will face widespread conflicts, says The Brookings Institution's Jaime de Melo, former chief of the World Bank's trade policy division.

  • EPA's Hazardous Waste Rule Is Just What The Doctor Ordered

    Gregory W. Blount

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ushered in a new era with the recent release of a proposed rule for streamlining waste management practices. While there will be much to parse and scrutinize in the proposed rule, it could finally cure the ill-suited regulatory patchwork that currently applies to the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals, say attorneys at Troutman Sanders LLP.

  • CPP Is An Opportunity For Appliance And Equipment Industry

    John A. Hodges

    Though no longer one of the Clean Power Plan's "building blocks," demand-side energy-efficient programs will likely still be used by the states when they craft their compliance plans for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's final rule. The appliance and equipment industry stands to benefit from increased sales resulting from such measures, but faces a plethora of state requirements, says John Hodges of Harris Wiltshire & Grannis LLP.

  • Lessons For EPA Regulators After Gold King Mine Spill

    Charles M. Crout

    After the Gold King Mine spill, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may now have a glimpse of the difficulties private parties are expected to overcome in responding to such a release. That the EPA struggled with alerting the proper authorities shows the challenges others face in navigating through local, state and federal agencies when addressing a release, says Charles Crout of Andrews Kurth LLP.

  • How Municipalities Shoulder Their Stormwater Burden

    Richard E. Glaze Jr.

    For large cities and counties dealing with stormwater pollution, the mother of all permitting requirements is for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems. A permit for an MS4 must be tailored to each municipality and issued as an individual permit, in contrast to most construction and industrial permits, says Balch & Bingham LLP's Richard Glaze Jr., former attorney for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.