Environmental

  • June 20, 2016

    Feds, Enviros Urge 10th Circ. To Unblock BLM Fracking Rule

    The U.S. government and a group of environmentalists on Monday asked the Tenth Circuit to reinstate fracking rules that were blocked by a lower court, arguing the regulations are well within the Bureau of Land Management's authority.

  • June 20, 2016

    Maxus Energy Hits Ch. 11 Ahead Of NJ Pollution Trial

    Maxus Energy Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday after cementing a deal with its parent company, YPF SA, ahead of a trial over the cleanup bill for toxins dumped into New Jersey's Passaic River decades ago.

  • June 20, 2016

    Trelleborg Auto Says Travelers Can't Evade Cleanup Costs

    Trelleborg Automotive USA Inc. told a Michigan federal court Friday that Travelers should have to cover environmental remediation costs at an auto parts manufacturing facility, at the same time Travelers claimed that the cleanup costs fall outside of its insurance policy.

  • June 17, 2016

    EPA Enviro Justice Goals May Affect Future Regs, Settlements

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new technical guidance on how its analysts should incorporate environmental justice principles into their work shows how serious the agency is about applying those principles to its rulemaking and enforcement efforts and could mean new requirements for businesses covered by future EPA rules or settlements, experts said.

  • June 17, 2016

    Atty Asks 5th Circ. To Rethink DQ From BP Claims Program

    One of the principals of Andry Lerner LLC pressed the Fifth Circuit on Thursday to rethink upholding an order barring him from participating in the court-supervised settlement program for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill after an investigation turned up ethical violations related to referral fees.

  • June 17, 2016

    Kinder Morgan Strikes $20M Deal In City's Contamination Suit

    The city of San Diego and Kinder Morgan Inc. announced Friday a $20 million deal that resolves all of the city’s claims in a long-running federal court dispute concerning contamination beneath Qualcomm Stadium, just days after a trial was slated to begin.

  • June 17, 2016

    Sierra Club Asks DC Appeals Court To Block Gas Export

    The Sierra Club is asking the D.C. Court of Appeals to review a U.S. Department of Energy decision to approve a Dominion Resources Inc. unit's plan to export natural gas.

  • June 17, 2016

    New Pipeline Safety Bill Turns Up Heat On PHMSA

    The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration reauthorization bill that President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law soon heaps more significant safety mandates on the agency's crowded regulatory plate, which could further slow its already sluggish and much-maligned rulemaking pace, experts say.

  • June 17, 2016

    Ala. DOT Aims To Nix Enviro Suit Over $450M Highway Project

    The Alabama Department of Transportation on Friday fired back at Birmingham residents suing to block a $450 million highway bridge repair project, saying they are using trumped-up environmental claims as a front for concerns about the project's impact on economic revitalization in the city.

  • June 17, 2016

    Ex-EPA Official Allowed To Testify In 'War On Coal' Suit

    A West Virginia federal judge on Friday shot down the Environmental Protection Agency’s request to keep a Bracewell LLP attorney who had worked for the EPA from testifying in Murray Energy’s lawsuit accusing the agency of failing to study how its air quality regulations impact jobs, saying the EPA couldn't prove that he had a conflict of interest in the case.

  • June 17, 2016

    Fla. Health Supervisor Charged With Taking Builders' Bribe

    An environmental supervisor for the Florida Department of Health faces up to 20 years in prison on a charge that he accepted a bribe from home builders in exchange for expediting several permits, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

  • June 17, 2016

    Texas High Court Rescinds Homeowners' Win In Flood Suit

    In its second 5-4 split in a case it first decided in June 2015, the Texas Supreme Court on Friday reversed course and sided with Harris County in a suit brought by homeowners who claimed the county had knowingly approved developments that would flood their homes.

  • June 17, 2016

    Ore. DOT Pushes Feds To Ban Oil Trains In State For Now

    Oregon transportation officials have asked the Federal Railroad Administration to temporarily ban oil trains from traveling through the state, saying regulators still have to better inspect tracks with bolt defects like the one involved in a recent Union Pacific oil train derailment.

  • June 17, 2016

    Reno In Cahoots With Nevada Recycling Cos., Suit Says

    Green Solutions Recycling LLC sued competing recycling companies and the city of Reno, Nevada, in federal court Thursday for allegedly forming an exclusive pact and conspiring to limit competition and fix prices for recyclable materials collection in the city.

  • June 16, 2016

    Lumber Liquidators Dodges Mandatory Recall In Flooring Row

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on Thursday said Lumber Liquidators Inc. wouldn't resume sales of allegedly hazardous laminate wood flooring and that there wouldn't be a mandatory recall, after the company recently paid $26 million to settle related shareholder and derivative suits.

  • June 16, 2016

    $32B Interior, Environment Bill Clears Senate Committee

    The Senate Appropriations Committee narrowly moved forward Thursday a $32.03 billion spending bill that funds Native American health and education programs and federal land management agencies but blocks implementation of the so-called Waters of the United States rule.

  • June 16, 2016

    Wichita Tribe Looks To Nix History-Center Land Row

    The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes moved to dismiss the Caddo Nation’s challenge to the construction of a history center on disputed lands, telling an Oklahoma federal court Thursday the suit fails for several reasons, including sovereign immunity.

  • June 16, 2016

    Pa. Legislators Set New Rules For Fracking

    Pennsylvania's legislature on Wednesday reached a bipartisan deal on new rules for hydraulic fracturing at oil and gas wells that the governor said would strengthen environmental protections at extraction sites in the Keystone State.

  • June 16, 2016

    France Becomes First Major Nation To Ratify Paris Accord

    French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday became the first head of a major country to ratify the landmark Paris climate change accord, starting what supporters hope is a string of similar actions.

  • June 16, 2016

    Enviros Ask DC Circ. To Block Indian Point Reactivation

    Friends of the Earth on Thursday urged the D.C. Circuit to prohibit the restart of a nuclear power plant near New York City until the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issues a “full and reasoned” decision on the environmental groups’ petition for assurances the plant is safe.

Expert Analysis

  • Classifying California Cap-And-Trade Revenue

    Allison H. Ross

    Are the auction revenues generated from California's cap-and-trade program best categorized as a tax, or as a regulatory or other type of fee? The distinction is currently being reviewed by a California court of appeals and if the revenues are categorized as a tax the program will be deemed unconstitutional under Proposition 13 of the California Constitution, says Allison Ross at Bick Law Group.

  • How Climate Change Is Transforming ESA And NEPA Analyses

    Thomas C. Jensen

    A recent decision from the District of Oregon merits the attention of those tracking how climate change is reworking application of the Endangered Species Act. The ruling demonstrates that environmental protection measures that were previously resisted are now considered reasonable and prudent for avoiding jeopardy to species listed under the ESA, say Thomas Jensen and Matthew Castelli at Holland & Hart LLP.

  • Corporate Counsel: Consumer Becomes Provider

    Mark A. Cohen

    Corporate legal departments are in the midst of a “golden age,” while law firms are feeling the squeeze. Let's take a look at the causal connection, says Mark A. Cohen, an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School and founder of Legal Mosaic LLC.

  • Wash. Court Decision Puts Recovery Of PURPA Costs At Risk

    Arthur W. Adelberg

    While a Washington appellate court's decision in Pacific Power & Light v. Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission reflects the understandable interest of a state to shield its citizens from shouldering the economic burden of sister states’ renewable energy policies, its conclusion that the cost recovery mandate of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 did not apply rests on shaky ground, says Arthur Adelberg of Barclay Damon LLP.

  • OSHA’s Silica Rule: Understanding The Current Landscape

    Louis J. Thorson

    Many affected industries are concerned that the requirements imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's recently released Silica exposure rule will result in significant costs for regulated entities that OSHA did not properly consider, says Louis Thorson at Foley & Lardner LLP.

  • Colo. High Court Ban On Fracking Bans Could Set Precedent

    John D. Fognani

    The Colorado Supreme Court recently issued two anticipated opinions that essentially rendered local fracking bans invalid in Colorado. These opinions might well lead the way for similar efforts pending in a number of states where local governmental entities are trying to rein in fracking, say John Fognani and Jamie Jackson at Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Navigating Choice Of Law Provisions For Offshore Contracts

    Robert B. Garner

    Understanding how the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act can impact contractual choice of law provisions for offshore projects can help oil and gas companies avoid exposure to unforeseen liabilities. Robert Garner and Michael Yates at King & Spalding LLP explain important factors to consider when determining what choice of law will apply to offshore service contracts as well as the potential commercial impacts of OCLSA jurisdiction.

  • The Fastest Rocket Docket For The 8th Straight Year

    Robert M. Tata

    Even complex patent and class action cases have not knocked the Eastern District of Virginia off the medal stand when it comes to remaining the fastest trial docket in the nation. Yet it can’t be overlooked that the No. 1 rocket docket has also slowed down a bit. In his annual review, Hunton & Williams LLP partner Robert Tata looks at the numbers and what some Virginia judges have to say about them.

  • The Legal Barriers To Off-Grid Solar Photovoltaic Systems

    Molly L. Zohn

    As solar plus battery off-grid systems become more technologically feasible and economically viable, analysts and public utilities have struggled to predict whether a “utility death spiral” will eventually occur. However, technological innovation is only part of the equation. Another critical factor is whether off-grid systems are legal, says Molly Zohn at Klinedinst PC.

  • 6 Ways Lawyers Can Enhance Cross-Office Communication

    N. Courtney Hollins

    Building relationships with your partners and keeping a finger on the pulse of firmwide legal activity yields strong benefits. However, many attorneys never quite pick up on this important tool while in the trenches of practice. Courtney Hollins and Dan Ujczo at Dickinson Wright PLLC offer tips for cultivating a strong firmwide communication network.