Environmental

  • May 23, 2016

    Gov't Says Reversal Doesn't Justify Recusal In Superfund Suit

    The government fought back Friday against Titan Tire Corp. and parent company Dico Inc.’s request that an Iowa federal judge recuse himself from a $3 million PCB-contamination suit, arguing their dissatisfaction with the judge’s previous ruling isn’t grounds for recusal.

  • May 23, 2016

    NRC Tells 2nd Circ. Public Had Say On Indian Point Terror Risk

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Monday rejected assertions by environmentalists that it has paid only lip service to the possible impact of fire born of a terrorist assault on Entergy Corp.'s Indian Point facility at a Second Circuit hearing where two judges wondered if the issue was properly before them at all.

  • May 23, 2016

    WV, Texas AGs Press EPA To Stop Clean Power Plan Work

    Two state attorneys general spearheading a legal challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan on Monday said that they have urged the agency to halt assistance to states implementing voluntary portions of the rule, saying that the EPA is undermining the stay imposed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • May 20, 2016

    Pa.'s Environmental Chief Quits Amid Email Flap

    Pennsylvania Secretary of Environmental Protection John Quigley has resigned amid reports that he sent an email to advocacy groups complaining about delays in updates he wanted in the state’s oil and gas drilling regulations, according to a statement from Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday.

  • May 20, 2016

    Industry Rips EPA For Overreaching On Chemical Risk Rule

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed changes to its chemical facility risk management program rule prompted nearly 35,000 responses, with many chemical manufacturers, energy companies and others complaining the agency is imposing onerous compliance regimes and forcing them to publicly release sensitive information.

  • May 20, 2016

    Northern Arapaho To Mediate With Feds In Shoshone Dispute

    The Northern Arapaho Tribe agreed Friday to pursue mediation with the federal government and voluntarily dropped its claims against Eastern Shoshone officials in its suit alleging the Bureau of Indian Affairs wrongly gave the Eastern Shoshone Tribe its blessing to take control of programs regulating joint tribal land.

  • May 20, 2016

    NY Reforms Electricity Regs In Clean Energy Push

    Major electric utilities in New York must file a system efficiency proposal with the state government by Dec. 1, under reformed regulations the state hopes will expand residents’ choices for clean and renewable power, the New York Public Service Commission said Thursday.

  • May 20, 2016

    Regulators Say Alpha Ch. 11 Lacks Enviro Compliance Plan

    Federal and state regulators filed objections on Friday in Alpha Natural Resources' Chapter 11 bankruptcy, telling a Virginia bankruptcy court the proposed plan can't go forward without assurances the coal producer's new owner will live up to environmental laws and obligations.

  • May 20, 2016

    Florida Landowners Lose Bid To Kill Gas Pipeline Suit

    Florida landowners who urged a federal court to throw out an eminent domain suit brought by Sabal Trail Transmission LLC to clear the way for a $3 billion natural gas pipeline saw their dismissal bid rejected on Friday.

  • May 20, 2016

    Feds Face Hard Choices In Final Energy Regulatory Push

    From tackling greenhouse gas emissions to boosting energy efficiency, the Obama administration has laid out an ambitious energy regulatory agenda for its final months, but lawyers say the ticking clock and threat of congressional disapproval of last-minute rules means regulators will have to choose which rules to push toward the finish line and which to leave behind.

  • May 20, 2016

    Long Beach Hits Monsanto, Pfizer Unit With Enviro Suit

    The city of Long Beach, California, sued Monsanto and subsidiaries of Pfizer and Eastman Chemical in California federal court on Thursday for increasing costs the city is facing due to Monsanto's alleged contamination of the Port of Long Beach with toxic substances.

  • May 20, 2016

    Ecuador Wants High Court Review Of Chevron's $96M Award

    The Republic of Ecuador has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject opposition from Chevron Corp. and hear the country’s challenge to a D.C. Circuit ruling over a $96 million arbitration award in a dispute involving the development of Ecuador’s oil fields.

  • May 20, 2016

    8th Circ. Reverses Class Cert. In General Mills Toxins Suit

    The Eighth Circuit on Friday reversed a district court's grant of class certification to homeowners suing General Mills Inc. for allowing carcinogenic vapors from a Superfund site to seep into their Minneapolis neighborhood, saying questions of liability and damages are too individualized to be grouped.

  • May 20, 2016

    Canada Follows FDA's Lead, OKs Genetically Modified Salmon

    Canadian regulators say genetically modified salmon that’s already being sold in the United States is safe for Canadians to eat, allowing an engineered food animal to be sold for consumption north of the border for the first time.

  • May 20, 2016

    EU Appeals WTO Ruling In Argentine Biodiesel Fight

    The European Union is appealing a World Trade Organization ruling against anti-dumping duties it imposed on imports of Argentine biodiesel, the WTO said Friday, noting that more details would follow in the next few days.

  • May 20, 2016

    Coal Ash Site's Arsenic Problem Violates CWA, Enviros Say

    The Sierra Club on Thursday asked a Virginia federal judge to rule that Dominion Virginia Power has been violating the Clean Water Act by letting arsenic from 60 years worth of coal ash waste seep into the state’s groundwater.

  • May 20, 2016

    EPA Will Review Every Chemical For Safety, Congress Says

    The U.S. Congress released details Friday of its bipartisan plan to update the Toxic Substances Control Act, a much-anticipated piece of legislation that would give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency broad new duties and powers to regulate hazardous chemicals.

  • May 20, 2016

    Texas Road Project's Enviro Review Deficient, Greens Say

    Environmentalists said Thursday that they may sue the Texas Transportation Department and Federal Highway Administration, claiming the agencies shirked environmental review obligations required by the Endangered Species Act when they approved a highway extension running through a conservation district.

  • May 20, 2016

    Creditors To Probe SunEdison Under Ch. 11 Financing Deal

    A committee representing SunEdison unsecured creditors will investigate controversial transactions and financial disclosures the company made prior to filing for bankruptcy as part of a sweeping deal announced Friday in New York that should clear the renewable energy giant’s path to securing Chapter 11 financing.

  • May 20, 2016

    Activists Can't Halt NJ Battlefield Construction, Court Hears

    The Institute for Advanced Study argued Thursday that there is sufficient evidence supporting an environmental regulator’s determination that a historic battlefield in Princeton, New Jersey, contains no protected wetlands, blasting activists' latest efforts to halt a planned residential development.

Expert Analysis

  • OPINION: Advising The GOP About Its Obligation To Advise

    Sam P. Israel

    By engaging in their blanket refusals, Senators McConnell, Grassley and other Judiciary Committee members have de facto deprived and severely burdened those who elected President Obama of their fundamental right to elect an executive empowered to appoint a U.S. Supreme Court justice. This "no way, no how" position might just be ripe for litigation, says Sam Israel, founder of Sam P. Israel PC.

  • Conflicts And Confusion With CPP's Compliance Deadlines

    Charles T. Wehland

    Given the current timeline involved with the D.C. Circuit's review of the Clean Power Plan, and the fact that an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is almost certain, a lift of the plan's stay may not occur until the end of 2017 or early 2018. This timeline conflicts with some of the initial deadlines in the CPP and creates a confusing situation for those charged with implementing it, say Charles T. Wehland and Alina Fortson at Jones Day.

  • Protecting Privileged PR Info During An Enviro Crisis

    Meaghan Goodwin Boyd

    While a PR consultant can be a critical adviser in selecting and shaping a company's next legal steps after an environmental crisis, communications with that consultant are generally not privileged. However, courts have recognized three theories for protecting such information from discovery, say Meaghan Goodwin Boyd and Ronnie Gosselin at Alston & Bird LLP.

  • Solar Energy Keeps Shining In Massachusetts — For Now

    Eric K. Runge

    Recently passed legislation in Massachusetts represents a compromise between the desire to grow the state's solar energy industry and concerns about controlling costs to consumers. At present, the law will help support Massachusetts' vibrant solar energy production, though some see a need for more comprehensive legal and regulatory changes in the not too distant future, say Eric Runge and Jennifer Galiette at Day Pitney LLP.

  • Attorney-Client Privilege Derailed By Custom And Practice

    Michael L. Foran

    While the Eastern District of New York's opinion in Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s v. National Railroad Passenger is currently the subject of a motion for reconsideration, it offers a timely reminder that attorney-client privilege is a narrow exception to the broad discovery allowed in U.S. courts and shows how to ensure privileged communications are and remain privileged, say attorneys at Foran Glennon Palandech Ponzi & Rudloff PC.

  • Conservationist Coal Company: No Longer An Oxymoron

    Hayden S. Baker

    Why would an environmentalist buy up bankrupt coal mines? It turns out this seemingly contradictory and controversial strategy is gaining momentum and may shed light on how coal states like West Virginia could implement the federal Clean Power Plan, should it ultimately prevail in the courts, say Hayden Baker and Jeffrey Gleit at Sullivan & Worcester LLP.

  • In Congress: Kicking Off 3 Busy Weeks

    Hertling_Richard_Covington.jpg

    This week, both chambers will be in session, kicking off three busy weeks of legislative activity before the next scheduled recess. The Senate will resume consideration of its proposal to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, while the House will be taking up legislation related to the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules and two bills related to domestic finance reforms. Attorneys with Covington & Bu... (continued)

  • Legal Delivery In The 'Gig Economy'

    Mark A. Cohen

    As Paul Simon said, “One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.” So it is with law firms and service providers. The firm model is being challenged as never before, and that creates opportunity for both to collaborate and to respond to client needs by proactively delivering “agile” services. It also means that the law firm model is being replaced, says Mark Cohen, a former civil trial lawyer and the founder of Legal Mosaic LLC.

  • 'Waters Of The US' Still Murky After 6th Circ. Ruling

    Katy M. Franz

    It's likely that the legality of the new definition of “waters of the United States” will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the potential for litigation to proceed in both the Sixth Circuit and various district courts will ensure that the scope of federal authority under the Clean Water Act remains in limbo for the foreseeable future, say Katy Franz and Rees Alexander at Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

  • Succession Planning: A Key Strategy For Law Firm Longevity

    Jonathan R. Fitzgarrald

    To law firms swamped with court dates and deadlines, succession planning may seem like the kind of thing to put on the back burner until something major happens. But the best decisions aren't made when we're forced to make them, which means it's imperative that firms take steps now in order to ensure their business's future is secure, says Jonathan Fitzgarrald, a managing partner at Equinox Strategy Partners.