Environmental

  • February 1, 2016

    Exxon Pushes High Court To Nix $236M MTBE Judgment

    ExxonMobil Corp. has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a $236 million trial judgment against the company in a long-running groundwater contamination case upheld by New Hampshire's top court, claiming that it's unjust and that the state's use of statistics as primary evidence should have been barred.

  • February 1, 2016

    Duke Loses Bid For 4th Circ. Review In Coal Ash Pollution Suit

    A North Carolina federal judge on Friday rejected a Duke Energy unit’s bid to have the Fourth Circuit decide how the Clean Water Act addresses aspects of groundwater pollution in a case over the company’s alleged release of toxic coal ash around a power plant.

  • January 29, 2016

    DC Circ. Backs EPA Schedule On Potential Mining Rules

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday approved a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deal setting a hard deadline for the agency to decide whether to impose new financial rules for hard rock mining companies involved in Superfund litigation, rejecting the industry’s arguments that the schedule is arbitrary and unreasonable.

  • January 29, 2016

    Ariz. Tribe Says Feds' Mine Project Consultation Not Enough

    An Arizona tribe blasted the federal government’s contention that it provided adequate consultation on the construction of a uranium mine atop culturally significant land, telling the Ninth Circuit Friday the government was legally required to undertake a more extensive consultation.

  • January 29, 2016

    ND Joins High Court Fight To Halt Clean Power Plan

    North Dakota urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to halt implementation of new federal standards to reduce carbon emissions while the plan is being challenged in court, joining other states and industry groups calling on the high court to stay the rule.

  • January 29, 2016

    DOI Flaring Rule Could Crimp Tribal Oil & Gas Plans

    A proposed U.S. Department of the Interior rule to reduce emissions by curbing the venting and flaring of natural gas on public and tribal lands is likely to create heavy infrastructure compliance burdens, particularly for those tribes fighting to gain a foothold in the industry, experts say.

  • January 29, 2016

    Arbitrator Not Biased In Wind Project Dispute, Court Says

    A Canadian court has refused to set aside an award issued by a Toronto-based arbitrator against Canadian investment bank Jacob Securities Inc. over an alleged conflict of interest, saying there is no evidence that bias influenced the resolution of a renewable energy financing dispute.

  • January 29, 2016

    Texas Appeals Court Revives Co.'s Claims Against Utility

    A state appeals court in Texas has revived several claims by a contractor against a San Antonio power utility, reversing its own decision from last year and saying it now believes a trial court correctly refused to toss the $12 million breach of contract suit over a pollution-control project.

  • January 29, 2016

    Chinese-Language Notice Doesn't Ax Award, 10th Circ. Told

    A Chinese firm seeking to collect a $1.6 million Shanghai arbitration award from Colorado-based Lumos Solar told the Tenth Circuit on Thursday that Lumos and a lower court erroneously blamed it for trying to trick Lumos by sending a Chinese-language arbitration notice.

  • January 29, 2016

    Pa. Fracker Can't Keep Pollution Tests From Residents

    Residents near a Range Resources fracking operation can seek records of air monitoring and other pollution tests that a consultant performed at company gas wells and related facilities, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Friday, shooting down the company's objections.

  • January 29, 2016

    Feds Halt Pacific Offshore Fracking Permits Amid Review

    Federal offshore regulators on Friday agreed to perform a sweeping environmental review of hydraulic fracturing and other drilling techniques used in the Pacific Ocean and halt issuing permits for those activities until the review is completed, settling a pair of suits lodged by environmental groups.

  • January 29, 2016

    FERC Withholds Full Go-Ahead Of $683M Gas Pipeline

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved prerequisite tree-felling to begin on the Pennsylvania portion of the proposed $683 million Constitution Pipeline, but withheld it from the New York portion Friday in a move greeted as a victory by both the project's supporters and environmentalists who oppose it.

  • January 29, 2016

    NJ Enviros Decry Pinelands Commission Leader Swap

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie replaced the state Pinelands Commission's chairman with a fellow commissioner on Friday, sparking outcry from environmentalists claiming the move furthers the governor’s attempt to support pipeline development at the expense of natural resources.

  • January 29, 2016

    FERC Won't Reverse $971M Pipeline Project Approval

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has refused to rescind its approval of a $971 million gas pipeline project running through New York to New England and rejected a bid by environmental groups and others to block project work until administrative and judicial challenges to FERC's approval are completed.

  • January 29, 2016

    Tang Says AVIC's China Cos. Must Pay $70M Arbitration Award

    Tang Energy Group Ltd. told a Texas federal judge Thursday that AVIC Aviation’s Chinese alter ego companies have no basis for asking the court to set aside Tang’s $70 million award against AVIC’s U.S. arm in a dispute over a joint wind energy investment.

  • January 29, 2016

    'Monkey Selfie' Judge Details Decision To Toss Copyright Suit

    A California federal judge issued a written ruling Friday explaining his decision to toss a lawsuit engineered by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that claimed an ape could sue for copyright infringement over a famed "monkey selfie."

  • January 29, 2016

    Calif. Senators Push Federal Probe Of Gas Leak

    California’s two U.S. senators on Friday called for a task force headed by the secretary of energy to investigate the response to the massive Aliso Canyon methane leak and weigh in on whether the storage facility and others near residential areas are safe enough to continue operating.

  • January 29, 2016

    High Court Power Demand Ruling Dooms FERC Row: Enviros

    FirstEnergy's bid to strip "demand response" from wholesale electricity markets run by PJM is moot because the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's rule that consumers be paid for using less power during high demand, environmentalists told the commission Thursday.

  • January 29, 2016

    6 Environmental Nuisance Suits Attorneys Need To Track

    Public nuisance claims are being brought with increasing frequency by plaintiffs in environmental lawsuits who have had recent success convincing courts that their state nuisance claims are not preempted by federal statutes, experts say, making a few key cases required reading for environmental attorneys.

  • January 28, 2016

    NJ Enviros Appeal Pinelands Gas Pipeline Approval

    New Jersey environmentalists continue to decry a proposed 21.6-mile natural gas pipeline that would cut through sensitive pinelands, announcing Thursday that they’re appealing the $90 million plan’s approval by the state’s Board of Public Utilities.

Expert Analysis

  • Achieving Successful Brownfields Redevelopment — Part 1

    Maribel N. Nicholson-Choice

    There are many questions concerning the environmental justice movement and where it currently stands — particularly, its effects on brownfields cleanup and redevelopment. Maribel Nicholson-Choice of Greenberg Traurig LLP analyzes the current state of affairs and how to manage environmental justice for a successful brownfields redevelopment.

  • CEQA’s Continuing Saga In California Supreme Court

    Coon_Arthur_MillerStarr.jpg

    As is apparent from its past California Environmental Quality Control Act decisions and docket of pending cases, the California Supreme Court has played and continues to play an extremely active role in clarifying and shaping the state’s signature environmental law, says Arthur Coon at Miller Starr Regalia.

  • What Did The Paris Climate Conference Really Achieve?

    Nigel Howorth

    From a political perspective, the success of the Paris Climate Change Conference should not be underestimated. However, the agreement does place fairly limited substantive obligations on the parties involved and there is still a great deal of work to do in order to implement change, say attorneys at Clifford Chance LLP.

  • OPINION: Don't Dismiss 'Monkey Selfie' Case As Distraction

    Justin F. Marceau

    The frequently discussed "monkey selfie" case asks whether, as a legal matter, a nonhuman primate can ever be an “author” of something he deliberately creates. Whatever answer the courts eventually provide, the sophistication of an animal's mind is a matter deserving of litigation, says Justin Marceau of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

  • Conflicting Priorities Could Slow Environmental Reviews

    Cliff Rothenstein

    The juxtaposition of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, which seeks to accelerate NEPA reviews, and recent "go slow" guidance concerning greenhouse gas emissions from the White House Council on Environmental Quality paints a troubling image of one foot on the gas and the other foot on the brakes when it comes to the pace of environmental reviews and project approvals, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.

  • 3 Things To Expect From Legal Tech In The New Year

    Scott Stuart

    While legal technology has advanced considerably in recent years, hold onto your hats. In 2016, tech innovations are only going to accelerate and further disrupt the legal space — for better or worse, say Drew Stern and Scott Stuart, co-founders of virtual document review platform Esquify Inc.

  • Changes To Rule 37 Will Affect Environmental Disputes Too

    Andrew C. Lillie

    It's easy to assume that the recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure involving electronically stored information have little bearing on environmental litigation. However, ESI issues do in fact arise in such cases and recent litigation demonstrates the importance of ESI preservation when it comes to environmental disputes, say attorneys with Hogan Lovells LLP.

  • Capitalizing On Mexico's New Wholesale Electricity Market

    Marcia Hook

    Mexico's new wholesale electricity market has opened a wide range of opportunities for those hoping to export power from the U.S. to Mexico. Of course, there are still several regulatory hurdles that will need to be addressed, but with intelligent planning investors can look forward to capitalizing on Mexico's burgeoning power market, says Marcia Hook of Baker Botts LLP.

  • The Future Of California's Renewable Energy Market

    Brian J. Nese

    In proposing a decision to preserve retail rates for residential distributed generation, the California Public Utilities Commission chose to side with solar advocates. And if the judgement is adopted officially, California will once again be a market leader in renewable energy, according to attorneys with Stoel Rives LLP.

  • The Paris Agreement And Business Interruption Coverage

    Dan Millea

    The recent Paris agreement is being touted as a major step in avoiding a global climate disaster. But even if one accurately assesses the degree to which nations will comply with the accord, the impact that will have on climate change and the frequency, severity and locations of future natural disasters, when it comes to contingent business interruption coverage one’s ultimate fate is still subject to the vicissitudes of American j... (continued)