Environmental

  • May 22, 2015

    Volvo Tells High Court EPA's $62M Engine Fine Broke Rules

    Volvo Powertrain Corp. on Friday told the U.S. Supreme Court that the Environmental Protection Agency illegally exercised extraterritorial enforcement authority under the Clean Air Act by imposing $62 million in penalties for 7,262 engines that were neither built nor sold in America.

  • May 22, 2015

    New ESA Petitioner Rule Faces Likely Extinction

    The federal government's proposed rule requiring Endangered Species Act petitioners to gather information from states about the animal in question creates a new burden that likely won’t withstand inevitable legal challenges, experts say.

  • May 22, 2015

    NY DEC Backs Up On Tar Sands Facility Over Enviro Concerns

    The New York Department of Environmental Conservation said Thursday it plans to rescind its partial approval of a permit to build an oil-heating facility at the Port of Albany, citing concerns raised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups.

  • May 21, 2015

    $1.3B Malpractice Suit Over Chevron Pollution Suit Restarts

    A malpractice trial against John O’Quinn and Associates LLP and appellate court Judge Russell T. Lloyd for allegedly mishandling a pollution suit against Chevron US Inc. officially began Thursday with testimony over a lost-profits model crucial to $1.3 billion in damages sought by Gulf Coast Asphalt Co. LLC, almost four years after the suit was initially filed.

  • May 21, 2015

    9th Circ. Revives San Diego's Huge Kinder Morgan Spill Suit

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday revived the city of San Diego's nine-figure lawsuit against Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP over leaking fuel tanks that polluted soil and groundwater for decades, including an aquifer beneath Qualcomm Stadium, saying a lower court erred finding the city couldn't support its damage claims.

  • May 21, 2015

    Eastman Chemical Challenges EPA Emissions Rule At DC Circ.

    Eastman Chemical Co. on Tuesday challenged in the D.C. Circuit a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency final rule under the Clean Air Act ramping up emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants at waste sites.

  • May 21, 2015

    CPSC Lumber Liquidators Probe A Clue To Agency's New Tone

    Lumber Liquidators Inc., whose CEO resigned Thursday amid allegations the company sold toxic laminate flooring, faces one of the first high-profile U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission investigations under Elliot Kaye, which attorneys say can set the tone for the agency's oversight under its new chairman.

  • May 21, 2015

    Levee Board Asks 5th Circ. To Revive Coastal Damage Suit

    A Louisiana state levee board on Wednesday asked the Fifth Circuit to overturn a federal judge's February decision to toss its multibillion-dollar suit against 88 energy companies including BP PLC, Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips Co. over alleged oil and gas drilling damage to coastal ecosystems.

  • May 21, 2015

    Workers Race To Clean Up Major Oil Spill In Southern Calif.

    Nearly 350 people are still working to clean up a Tuesday morning oil spill near Santa Barbara, California, that released an estimated 105,000 gallons of crude underground, about one-fifth of which made it to the ocean water nearby, officials said late Thursday.

  • May 21, 2015

    As Fuel Efficiency Rises, Ore. Turns Tax Focus To Mileage

    Oregon will become the first state in the nation this summer to tax some drivers on mileage rather than on fuel use, with the launch of a voluntary program aimed at making up for declining revenue as cars have become more efficient.

  • May 21, 2015

    Sen. Touts Bills To Restore Lands To Oregon Tribes

    Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee panel on Thursday that two bills he is sponsoring would redress a historic injustice by taking federal lands into trust for four Native American tribes located in the state.

  • May 21, 2015

    6th Circ. Says Ohio Can't Lease Reservoir Land To Coal Co.

    The Sixth Circuit ruled Thursday that the state of Ohio had no authority to lease coal rights under land acquired for a reservoir and dam built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, reversing a district court’s finding that Ohio could grant the lease without the Corps’ approval.

  • May 21, 2015

    La. Parish Sues Army Corps For $2M In Katrina Levee Repair

    A Louisiana parish sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in federal claims court on Wednesday, seeking reimbursement for a $2 million judgment against it after the Corps allegedly reneged on a promise to pay landowners for soil the parish seized to repair the Corps-maintained levees breached following Hurricane Katrina.

  • May 21, 2015

    Conrail Aims To Sink Training Claims In NJ Derailment Suits

    Consolidated Rail Corp. and other railroad companies battling federal lawsuits over a 2012 derailment and chemical spill in Paulsboro, New Jersey, moved Thursday to knock out allegations that Conrail failed to properly train its employees, contending that federal law preempts those claims.

  • May 21, 2015

    Ex-Im Bank Fights Enviros' Challenge To LNG Project

    Halting U.S. Export-Import Bank funding of Australian liquefied natural gas projects in the Great Barrier Reef will not stop the projects or address the claims of environmental groups, the bank argued before a California federal judge on Wednesday.

  • May 21, 2015

    Obama's GHG Guidance For Agencies Leaves Attys Skeptical

    Guidance proposed by the Obama administration to assist federal agencies with factoring greenhouse gas emissions into National Environmental Policy Act reviews is likely to fuel confusion and litigation if not significantly revised in its final form, experts say.

  • May 21, 2015

    Senate Dems Prod Obama To Choose Pipeline Czar

    Ten Democratic senators from California, West Virginia and other states called on the Obama administration Wednesday to appoint a permanent director to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration after many months of delay.

  • May 21, 2015

    Blackfeet Officials Say Tribal Court Is Fair In Water Dispute

    Blackfeet Nation officials urged a federal court Wednesday to stay a utility complaint brought by a Montana town until a related matter is settled in tribal court, saying the town's concerns that its customers' water service could be shut off are put to rest by a tribal court order.

  • May 21, 2015

    Gas Coalition Says Pa. Frack Site Regs May Paralyze Drillers

    The Marcellus Shale Coalition said Tuesday that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s proposed rules governing surface operations at fracking sites could immobilize drillers.

  • May 21, 2015

    Taylor Energy Must Cough Up Docs On Gulf Oil Leak

    A federal magistrate judge on Wednesday refused Taylor Energy Co. LLC’s request to maintain confidentiality over documents reportedly showing that a 2004 oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico was worse than the company or federal regulators had portrayed, potentially bolstering environmental groups’ suit over the spill.

Expert Analysis

  • 10 Topics For Corporate Counsel To Consider On Coal Ash

    Kirsten L. Nathanson

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regulations on the disposal of coal combustion residuals are the first of their kind under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's Subtitle D enforcement structure, which grants enforcement authority to states and citizens rather than to the EPA, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Tips For Guiding Your Client Through The Mediation Process

    Raphael Lapin

    With all the tangible and intangible costs associated with litigation today, mediation is becoming more common as a means of resolving disputes. Yet attorneys trained and experienced in litigation do not always have the skills to guide their clients through a mediation process, says Raphael Lapin, an adjunct professor at the Whittier School of Law and principal of Lapin Negotiation Strategies.

  • REBUTTAL: Donziger’s Lies Cannot Excuse His Fraud

    Stephen W. Green

    Steven Donziger’s recent “op-ed” in this publication is his latest deception — repeating on the eve of appeal the lies he has told a thousand times before. Far from a never-before-detailed account, his article is nothing more than a recycling of discredited misrepresentations and outright falsehoods, says Stephen Green, vice president for policy, government and public affairs, Chevron Corp.

  • Virginia's ‘Rocket Docket' Continues To Roar

    Robert M. Tata

    The Eastern District of Virginia ― known as the “Rocket Docket” ― had the fastest trial docket in the country in 2014, for the seventh year in a row. The median time interval to trial was 12.5 months. That’s compared to a nationwide average of 24.9 months to try a case, says Robert Tata, managing partner of Hunton & Williams LLP's Norfolk, Virginia, office.

  • OPINION: Donziger's Case Against Chevron, In His Own Words

    Steven R. Donziger

    With all eyes on the Second Circuit this Monday when oral arguments begin in the appeal of Judge Lewis Kaplan's decision in Chevron Corp.'s RICO case against Steven Donziger and two of his clients from the Ecuadorian rainforest, the plaintiffs attorney for the first time offers his view, in detail, of the decades-long, multibillion-dollar Lago Agrio oil field pollution case.

  • 2 Routes To Hourly Rates For Lawyers

    Gerald G. Knapton

    If we were developing a system to determine legal fees from a clean slate, we would price our professional services according to quality, efficiency and results — tasks and team would be agreed upon. Instead, we have an hourly system that discourages tight management, can lead to padded bills and includes time for work that may not have been necessary, says Gerald Knapton of Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley PC.

  • How Long Is The ESA's Arm On LNG Projects?

    Barry M. Hartman

    If the plaintiffs in Center for Biological Diversity v. Export-Import Bank of the U.S. are successful in presenting evidence that shipping on the high seas is part of the liquefied natural gas projects, then the extraterritorial application of the Endangered Species Act may be broadened considerably, say attorneys at K&L Gates LLP.

  • Changes To Calif. Prop 65 May Affect Texas Businesses

    Maryann Zaki

    Proposed amendments to Proposition 65 may impose additional chemical warning requirements for companies that do business in California. Detailed warnings also may be required for a growing number of companies based in Texas, including those in the business of petroleum products, gasoline service stations, vehicle repair facilities, diesel engines, raw wood and alcoholic beverages, say David Baay and Maryann Zaki of Sutherland Asbil... (continued)

  • How To Weather Media Inquiries In High-Profile Cases

    Jolie Balido

    Avoid using “no comment” in response to a question or statement from reporters. Some reporters, particularly TV news reporters, are simply trying to elicit a reaction for a quick visual and aren’t particularly concerned with the actual answer, says Jolie Balido, president of marketing communications firm Roar Media.

  • Taking Legal Analytics To The Next Level

    Nathalie Hofman

    Sixty-eight percent of legal technology professionals expect their organizations’ investments in legal data analytics to increase over the next two years. That is just one of the results of a recent survey of more than 125 legal professionals, say Laurie Fischer and Nathalie Hofman of Huron Legal.