Environmental

  • July 16, 2014

    Enviros Urge DOT To Ban Older Rail Cars For Oil Transport

    Environmental groups on Tuesday urged the U.S. Department of Transportation to immediately bar the use of outdated, more hazardous railcars to ship crude oil from the Bakken Shale, saying the action is needed to protect local communities from potential accidents amid increased oil-by-rail transportation.

  • July 16, 2014

    Obama Unveils Local Climate-Change Aid Programs

    President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled a series of initiatives to help states and local communities deal with the impacts of climate change, including millions of dollars to strengthen rural portions of the electric grid and improve coastal and stormwater management.

  • July 15, 2014

    Texas City Rejects First-In-State Proposed Fracking Ban

    A North Texas city that sits atop the Barnett Shale on Tuesday rejected a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing within city limits after a lengthy and divisive meeting, but the ban isn’t dead yet, as voters will have a chance to pass the measure when it hits their ballots in November.

  • July 15, 2014

    ADB Pours $600M Into Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan Power Projects

    The Asian Development Bank said Tuesday it approved loans totaling $600 million for two renewable energy projects, including upgrading Soviet-era power equipment in Uzbekistan and building a hydropower plant in Sri Lanka, intended to accommodate growing energy demand while lessening fossil fuel dependence.

  • July 15, 2014

    Del. Justices Won't Revive Gas Station Buyer's Fraud Claims

    The Delaware Supreme Court won't revive a fraud lawsuit brought by a company that purchased gas stations later found to contain environmental problems, affirming a chancery judge’s ruling that the seller should only be held liable for breach of contract damages totaling $1.5 million.

  • July 15, 2014

    IRS Rejected Synergy Offer Too Quickly, Tax Court Says

    The U.S. Tax Court said Tuesday that an Internal Revenue Service officer wrongfully rejected Synergy Environmental Inc.'s $600 offer-in-compromise in a dispute over tax liabilities, remanding the case for a new hearing on the home repair and energy efficiency company's proposal.

  • July 15, 2014

    Wind Developers Say EPA's GHG Rule Could Boost Demand

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule limiting carbon emissions from power plants could be a driving force in boosting wind development even if the U.S. Congress doesn’t renew the production tax credit for wind energy, industry experts said Tuesday.

  • July 15, 2014

    EPA May Require Automakers To Prove MPG Claims

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday it is considering a new regulatory program to require in-use gas mileage auditing for all automakers, following a rash of complaints about misleading fuel economy estimates.

  • July 15, 2014

    DC Circ. Rebuke Could Shake Up CFIUS Review Process

    A surprising decision by the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday to resurrect the first-ever challenge to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States review process opens the possibility for significant changes to the often frustratingly opaque procedure, experts say.

  • July 15, 2014

    House Panel Advances Funding Bill Blocking EPA GHG Rules

    The U.S. House Committee on Appropriations approved a spending bill on Tuesday that would slash U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding and block the agency’s proposed rules to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, sending it to the full House for a floor vote.

  • July 15, 2014

    NJ Court Backs Dismissal Of PSE&G Solar Credit Suit

    A New Jersey appeals court on Tuesday backed the dismissal of a putative class action accusing Public Service Electric and Gas Co. of hurting solar credit prices by flooding the market with an inflated yield of those incentives.

  • July 15, 2014

    NJDEP To Argue Science In New Bid To Halt Seismic Study

    The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said Tuesday it will lobby a federal court to argue the scientific merits of its bid to stop a seismic study it says poses a threat to marine life, its latest attempt to derail the study following the Third Circuit’s denial of an emergency injunction. 

  • July 15, 2014

    Landowners Barred From Suing Cuomo Over Fracking Delay

    A New York court on Monday dismissed two suits seeking to force the state to promptly decide whether to allow hydraulic fracturing and contending that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration have been illegally dragging out the review process.

  • July 15, 2014

    1st Circ. Revives CWA Claims Against Maine Dam Operators

    The First Circuit on Monday revived Clean Water Act claims in two suits against several dam owners and operators in Maine alleging they harmed endangered salmon, finding the court should consider evidence to determine whether the owners desired to harm the fish.

  • July 15, 2014

    Chinese Wind Co. Can Sue Obama Over Nixed Deal: DC Circ.

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday revived Ralls Corp.'s suit against the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and President Barack Obama for nixing its acquisition of four Oregon wind farms on national security grounds, saying the government violated the Chinese-owned U.S. wind energy company's due process rights.

  • July 15, 2014

    DC Circ. Won't Reconsider DynCorp's Win In Chemical Suit

    The D.C. Circuit has declined to reconsider its decision affirming a lower court victory for DynCorp International Inc. in a dispute involving a group of 2,000 Ecuadoreans accusing the government contractor of causing injuries by spraying harmful herbicides on the Colombia-Ecuador border.

  • July 14, 2014

    Solvay, Arkema Face New Water Contamination Suit In NJ

    A Solvay SA unit and Arkema Inc. were sued Monday in New Jersey federal court by residents of a New Jersey municipality who claim the chemical companies contaminated their private water supply through the negligent operation of a manufacturing site.

  • July 14, 2014

    Gas Industry, Enviros Say Data Can Help Stop Methane Leaks

    As voluntary programs to update pipeline infrastructure and reduce methane emissions gather steam, natural gas industry leaders and environmental advocates say they’ll benefit from increased data collection about emissions and the best strategies to curb them, panelists said Monday.

  • July 14, 2014

    Iowa Supreme Court Greenlights Solar Power Sales

    The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled a plan by Eagle Point Solar to sell electricity to the city of Dubuque generated through a solar panel installation on a city building’s roof would not violate state law, potentially expanding the availability of solar power in the state.

  • July 14, 2014

    NCR Can't Collect Cleanup Costs From Coke, GSK: 6th Circ.

    The Sixth Circuit said Monday that companies including GlaxoSmithKline LLC and Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. don’t have to help NCR Corp. clean up a polluted Ohio landfill, upholding a lower court’s ruling that NCR is limited to a statutory claim that is time-barred.

Expert Analysis

  • EPA Moves Toward National List Of Fracking Chemicals

    Peggy Otum

    Toxic Substances Control Act reporting requirements from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would inevitably extend more federal control over hydraulic fracturing and might establish a credible basis to achieve uniformity in reporting standards, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • A Blurry Vision Of A Clean Power Future

    James W. Rubin

    If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Program is finalized largely as proposed, it could create major opportunities for clean energy providers and investment in clean energy. However, the proposal will generate legal and political opposition, and how it might eventually impact the power sector may ultimately depend as much on the D.C. Circuit as it does on who is in the White House, say attorneys with Dentons.

  • Food Fight Over GMOs And The 'Right To Know'

    Daniel J. Herling

    Vermont’s law regulating genetically modified organisms has sparked a national debate, with proponents arguing that consumers have the "right to know." However, because GMOs are poorly understood, mandatory labeling may unnecessarily frighten consumers, especially when there is no widely accepted science concluding that GMOs are inherently dangerous to either people’s health or the environment, say attorneys at Mintz Levin Cohn Fer... (continued)

  • Smartphone Forensics: Tips From The E-Discovery Trenches

    Jeffrey Hartman

    Seeking discovery of electronically stored information on mobile devices does not come naturally to most attorneys, since they are simply not accustomed to asking for it, but this data can make or break your case, says Jeffrey Hartman, co-founder of 4Discovery.

  • UK-Based LLP Partners Now Enjoy More Protections

    Sharon Tan

    The crux of the debate in Bates van Winklehof v. Clyde & Co LLP was whether a partner could be considered a “worker” under U.K. law. The U.K. Supreme Court's holding will have potentially wide-reaching implications for LLPs with U.K.-based partners, say Katie Clark and Sharon Tan of McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

  • Ralls' Lessons To Investors On CFIUS Deal Reviews

    Richard J. Burke

    Although a degree of transparency in the merger review process of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States may emerge from the D.C. Circuit's Ralls Corp. case, a district court decision and the statutory regime reflect the deference accorded to the president and the CFIUS. Ralls’ experience also shows that the onus is on foreign investors to carefully consider the risks of not seeking CFIUS review prior to deal clos... (continued)

  • Heller Ruling May Be Knockout Punch Against Jewel Claims

    Robert L. Eisenbach III

    It’s not an overstatement to say that a California district judge’s decision last week in the Heller Ehrman LLP bankruptcy case essentially dismantles the applicability of Jewel v. Boxer to insolvent or bankrupt law firms. If upheld after any appeal and followed by other courts, the decision could mark the end of California “unfinished business” claims against law firms in the noncontingency, hourly fee context, says Robert Eisenba... (continued)

  • Still The Fastest Justice Anywhere

    Robert M. Tata

    What fuels the Eastern District of Virginia “Rocket Docket” more than 50 years after the reputation was first earned? We asked some of the judges, says Robert Tata, managing partner in Hunton & Williams LLP's Norfolk, Virginia, office.

  • With More Time, EPA Looks For Ways To Combat Acid Rain

    James E. Smith

    In Center for Biological Diversity v. EPA, the D.C. Circuit refused to find the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in violation of the Clean Air Act, despite the agency's admitted failure to revise the secondary standards for nitrogen and sulfur oxides. The ruling has delayed it, but it seems that the EPA will, eventually, issue a new, multipollutant, aquatic acidification index-based secondary standard for nitrogen and sulfur ox... (continued)

  • What Tesla's Open Patents Could Mean For Tech Entrepreneurs

    John Harris

    If Tesla Motors Inc. CEO Elon Musk's open-source announcement is signaling that he and other big-time entrepreneurs are going to throw out the patent baby with the bathwater, I should remind that everybody cannot do like Musk at the beginning of a venture. I doubt that patents are going to suddenly disappear from the entrepreneurial scene just yet, says John Harris of Morris Manning & Martin LLP.