Environmental

  • September 23, 2014

    Enbridge Picks Up Stakes In Quebec Wind Projects For $225M

    Canadian energy giant Enbridge Inc. said Tuesday that it will drop $225 million to pick up additional ownership stakes in two Quebec wind projects from its partner on the projects, the renewable-energy company EDF EN Canada Inc.

  • September 23, 2014

    Obama Makes Climate Risks A Factor In US Global Projects

    President Barack Obama on Tuesday inked an executive order directing all federal agencies to factor climate change resilience into all of their international development programs and investments, unveiling the initiative at the United Nations climate summit in New York.

  • September 23, 2014

    Industry Wins As Water Intake Rule Reviews Land In 4th Circ.

    In a blow to environmentalists, six challenges to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recently promulgated cooling water intake rule were consolidated Monday in the Fourth Circuit, the forum choice of an industry petitioner.

  • September 23, 2014

    EPA Drops Appeal Of Chicken Farmer CWA Order

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that it will drop its appeal of a West Virginia federal court order finding that a chicken farmer hadn’t violated the Clean Water Act despite the agency's allegations that she should have faced fines for each day she allowed chicken litter and feathers to wash into a nearby creek.

  • September 23, 2014

    DC Circ. Must Delay Quashing Power Demand Rule, FERC Says

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday urged the D.C. Circuit to delay its mandate nixing the commission's controversial rule requiring that consumers be paid for using less power during high-demand periods as the FERC mulls appealing the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • September 23, 2014

    $8B Wind Energy Project Proposed To Power Los Angeles

    Four energy companies unveiled plans Tuesday for an $8 billion wind power project in Wyoming and Utah that would provide clean energy to over a million homes in Southern California by 2023.

  • September 22, 2014

    BP Says Oil Spill Negligence Ruling Negates CWA Liability

    BP Exploration & Production Inc. on Friday told the Fifth Circuit that a district judge’s recent findings “fatally undermine” an earlier panel decision that held BP liable for Clean Water Act violations tied to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, saying the panel ruling hinges on factual assumptions that are not only in dispute but also “entirely wrong.”

  • September 22, 2014

    'Out Of Context' Ruling Equates Fish With Docs, Justices Told

    A Florida commercial fisherman convicted of records destruction under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for allegedly dumping three undersized fish has told the U.S. Supreme Court that the government has only supported its case thus far by interpreting words in the law completely out of context.

  • September 22, 2014

    US Sugar's Plan Could Bog Down Everglades Restoration

    A recently unveiled plan by U.S. Sugar Corp. to develop 67 square miles in Hendry County, Florida, for residential and commercial use has drawn the ire of environmental groups that claim it is a thinly veiled attempt to increase the price of land slated to be bought by the state for Everglades restoration.

  • September 22, 2014

    Key NY Projects Must Keep Eye On Climate Under New Law

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed a measure requiring state agencies to consider physical climate risks caused by storm surges, sea level rise or flooding in the permitting, funding and regulation of wastewater treatment plants, hazardous waste transport, and oil and gas drilling permits.

  • September 22, 2014

    High Court Urged To Keep BP Spill Claims In Deep Freeze

    BP PLC and other companies connected to the Deepwater Horizon disaster urged the U.S. Supreme Court last week not to revive several Louisiana parishes’ state-law claims over pollution-related damage from the oil spill, saying the Fifth Circuit correctly ruled that federal law preempts those claims.

  • September 22, 2014

    BP Settles $146M Suit Over Deepwater Containment Design

    BP PLC has settled a $146 million suit in Texas federal court that accused the oil and gas giant of stealing a Florida man's proprietary design for a containment system allegedly used to stem the torrential subsea oil spill caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

  • September 22, 2014

    Calif. Gov. Signs Half A Dozen Green Vehicle Bills

    California Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed legislation aimed at improving the state’s electric vehicle market and reducing its carbon emissions, just ahead of his Tuesday speech at the United Nations summit on climate change.

  • September 22, 2014

    EPA Emails Don't Constitute Policy Determinations: Judge

    A federal judge has ruled that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emails and letters to a Washington state agency regarding the accuracy of fish consumption statistics did not constitute statutory determinations and the EPA had not shirked its duty to take action on the matter.

  • September 19, 2014

    Calif. Pols Seek Probe Of PG&E's Relationship With Watchdog

    California state and local politicians urged the state attorney general to investigate inappropriate communications between PG&E Corp. and the California Public Utilities Commission over a penalty case stemming from the fatal 2010 pipeline explosion and PG&E rate cases on Friday, the same day conservation groups asked the attorney general to review whether the CPUC colluded with utilities.

  • September 19, 2014

    Ex-BP Exec Faces Renewed Obstruction Charge In Spill Case

    A Louisiana federal jury Friday updated its criminal indictment against an ex-BP PLC executive accused of lying about how much oil was escaping from a well damaged by the Deepwater Horizon explosion, after the Fifth Circuit revived a charge of obstruction of Congress.

  • September 19, 2014

    Clean Air Suit Over Soot Deadline Must Be Tossed, EPA Says

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency urged a Washington federal judge on Friday to throw out a lawsuit brought against the agency for allegedly letting the state of Alaska get away with dangerously low standards for fine particulate pollution, saying the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.

  • September 19, 2014

    NJ Appeals Court Revives Town's Suit Over Smelly Well

    A New Jersey appellate court Friday revived the town of Berlin’s lawsuit against two engineering companies accused of negligently locating a well near groundwater containing an odorous chemical, saying that expert testimony on damage costs had been improperly dismissed.

  • September 19, 2014

    Bankruptcy Judge Won’t Block $2.9M W.Va. Spill Settlement

    A West Virginia bankruptcy judge on Tuesday rejected a water company’s objection to Freedom Industries Inc.’s $2.9 million class action settlement over a chemical spill that contaminated the drinking water in West Virginia, finding the agreement is reasonable.

  • September 19, 2014

    9th. Circ. Strikes Calif.'s Boeing Site Cleanup Law

    The Ninth Circuit said on Friday that a bill requiring Boeing to clean up a toxic site to a farming-safe level was too stringent under the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity, and that California overextended its authority by requiring more within a government site than was generally required in the rest of the state.

Expert Analysis

  • An In-House Lawyer's Top 10 Tips For Outside Counsel

    Francis M. Drelling

    To this day, I have yet to see a litigation hold letter that was written by someone who understands the realities of how a business is actually run. In-house counsel cannot issue decrees to business units that read like they are issued by the king to his subjects, says Francis Drelling, in-house counsel at Specialty Restaurants Corp.

  • Consider Hearsay Issues Before A Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition

    Susan F. DiCicco

    To avoid the risk of multiple depositions or inadmissible testimony, all counsel should focus prior to a deposition — and before designating a witness — on knowledge and hearsay issues that may arise at Rule 30(b)(6) depositions, say Susan DiCicco and Stephen Scotch-Marmo of Bingham McCutchen LLP.

  • Law Firms May Be Violating Copyrights

    Roy Kaufman

    On average, a legal professional forwards content to 14 different people per week. Yet many attorneys and staff lack an understanding of copyright and their firm’s specific policies regarding shared third-party materials, says Roy Kaufman of Copyright Clearance Center.

  • NY High Court Cuts Middle Path For Medical Disclosure

    Rachel T. Reynolds

    The New York Court of Appeals' joint opinion in Hamilton v. Miller and Giles v. A. Gi Yi suggests the state is taking a pragmatic approach to disclosure of medical reports and causation and is striking a balance between the interests of plaintiffs and defendants, says Rachel Reynolds of Sedgwick LLP.

  • NJ High Court Improves Cleanup Cost Allocation System

    Kevin J. Bruno

    The New Jersey Supreme Court's Magic Petroleum Corp. v. Exxon Mobil Corp. decision is particularly significant to the regulated community because it allows courts to make a percentage allocation of liability prior to the final tally of cleanup costs, ensuring that remediation proceeds promptly, say Kevin Bruno and Kevin Doherty of Blank Rome LLP.

  • Will Ralls Decision Really Bring CFIUS Transparency?

    Nancy L. Perkins

    Although the D.C. Circuit decision in Ralls Corp. v. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States plainly establishes that consideration of a transaction under Section 721 of the Defense Product Act must meet due process requirements, the decision’s ramifications as a practical matter in future transactions are much less clear, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • A Close Look At NY's New Privilege Log Rule

    Joseph B. Schmit

    In addition to significantly reducing costs incurred in the preparation of privilege logs, the new categorical approach to privilege logs in New York will allow parties to identify and frame legal issues requiring the court’s attention more clearly — thus positively impacting the efficiency of the dispute resolution process as well, say Joseph Schmit and Aaron Schue of Phillips Lytle LLP.

  • Courtroom Challenge: Preparing For A First Trial

    John S. Worden

    Trials are stressful and, while there is a certain kind of nervousness from the fear of being embarrassed among inexperienced lawyers, learning how to examine and cross-examine witnesses as well as how to craft arguments are not mechanical and can only be mastered through experience, say John Worden and Lindsey Berg of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • CERCLA Dual Standard Hurts Property Owners, Purchasers

    Amy E. Gaylord

    Elimination of the dual standard for compliance with the "all appropriate inquiries" rule should not be controversial as a single standard will reduce uncertainty surrounding Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act defenses, says Amy Gaylord of Pillsbury Winthrop Pittman Shaw LLP.

  • Compliance Reigns Supreme As In-House Demographics Shift

    James A. Merklinger

    With more and more traditionalists and baby boomers retiring, the pendulum in corporate law departments will continue to swing toward younger generations. The demographic shift underscores the shift in the skills that different generations prioritize — notably, nonlegal skills, says James Merklinger of the Association of Corporate Counsel.