Environmental

  • July 17, 2014

    6 NY High Court Appeals To Put On Your Radar

    Having agreed to take a fresh look at cases tied to securities, taxes, environmental cleanup liability and New York's legal industry, the state high court's cupboard of high-profile matters is far from empty going into the fall. Here's a look at six cases that are sure to make headlines when Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and his companions on the seven-member Albany court come down with rulings.

  • July 17, 2014

    Colo. Legislature Fails To Tackle Oil & Gas Well Rules

    Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Wednesday that a bipartisan deal intended to head off looming anti-fracking referendums is dead, clearing the way for voters in the fall to decide how much control local communities will have over oil and gas drilling near them.

  • July 17, 2014

    RES Americas Secures $508M In Loans For 2 Wind Projects

    Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. has closed on construction loans totaling $508 million to build two wind farms, one in North Dakota and another in Minnesota, pushing a broader shift toward low-carbon facilities that are expected to benefit from tax breaks.

  • July 17, 2014

    $256M Tappan Zee Loan Approved Amid Ongoing Criticism

    New York's Public Authorities Control Board approved a $256 million loan on Wednesday for the financing of projects related to a $3.9 billion twin-span replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge, despite continued criticism from environmental groups.

  • July 17, 2014

    Baltimore Dodges Suit Alleging Casino Project Contaminants

    A Maryland federal judge on Wednesday tossed a lawsuit alleging the city of Baltimore, developers and operators of the Horseshoe Casino failed to prevent hazardous materials and contaminated groundwater from seeping from the casino's construction site, saying the plaintiffs failed to properly state their claims.

  • July 17, 2014

    Dealmakers Q&A: Jenner & Block’s Tom Stromberg

    The California Finance Lenders Law is both unclear and intrusive to business — and when lawyers who have worked with the law for years struggle with its meaning and application, it needs to be reformed, says Thomas Stromberg of Jenner & Block LLP.

  • July 16, 2014

    Fla. DEP Plans Suit Over Oil Drilling Operations

    Florida's environmental regulator said on Tuesday that it plans to sue Texas-based oil company Dan A. Hughes Co. LP after discovering operations similar to fracking in a well adjacent to a wildlife sanctuary in southwest Florida.

  • July 16, 2014

    Cleveland Airport CAA Claims Partially Barred By Bankruptcy

    An Ohio federal judge ruled Tuesday that some of a whistleblower’s claims accusing the city of Cleveland of violating the Clean Air Act are barred by a settlement struck during the plaintiff’s bankruptcy, but that claims related to conduct following the bankruptcy filing can continue.

  • July 16, 2014

    EPA Isn't Enforcing Stricter Smog Regs, Sierra Club Says

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hasn't ensured that Florida, Texas and 19 other states are abiding by stricter regulations set in 2008 intended to reduce smog, the Sierra Club claimed in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in California federal court.

  • July 16, 2014

    Enviros Sue For EPA Action On Texas Coal Plants

    Two nonprofit environmental groups sued a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official on Tuesday, seeking a court order directing the agency to finalize a decision on petitions filed concerning the renewal of operating permits for three Texas coal-fired power plants.

  • July 16, 2014

    Former NM Governor Settles SEC Microcap Fraud Claims

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday announced charges against a former governor of New Mexico — who agreed to settle the case — and three others over an alleged scheme that handed control of a small environmental company to men who were barred from such roles.

  • July 16, 2014

    Minn. Power Pays $1.4M To Settle Coal Plant CAA Allegations

    Allete Inc. unit Minnesota Power will pay $1.4 million in Clean Air Act penalties and install more than $500 million worth of pollution controls at its coal-fired power plants to settle allegations it illegally modified the plants and didn't use proper pollution controls, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday.

  • July 16, 2014

    Chinese Solar Co. Lands $161M In Bank Financing

    Chinese solar manufacturing company JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. said on Wednesday that China Minsheng Banking Corp. Ltd. has agreed to enter a five-year, 1 billion yuan ($161 million) financing agreement to support JinkoSolar and a number of its photovoltaic projects.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • Litigation Guide To EPA's Cooling Water Intake Rule

    Kevin P. Martin

    There are several arguments regulated entities can make in fighting the imposition of costly intake structure technologies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While some precedent involving site-specific consideration of retrofitting presently exists, we expect better arguments to emerge as permitting under the EPA's new water intake rule unfolds, say attorneys at Goodwin Procter LLP.

  • New 'Streamlined' DOI Strategy Takes Regional Approach

    Gregory S. Braker

    The U.S. Department of the Interior's overarching goal in its new strategy on mitigation policies seeks to encourage development while trying to protect natural and cultural resources. The department intends to do this by identifying high-value regional priorities so developers can plan projects more effectively from the outset, say attorneys at Venable LLP.

  • 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.