Environmental

  • January 17, 2017

    Fla. Counties Fight Dismissal Bid In Rail Bond Challenge

    Two Florida counties on Monday shot back at bids to dismiss their suits challenging the U.S. Department of Transportation's approval of $1.75 billion in tax-exempt bonds for a Miami-to-Orlando passenger railroad, saying the suits aren’t mooted just because the approval of those bonds was replaced by another approval.

  • January 14, 2017

    Environmental Group Of The Year: Beveridge & Diamond

    Beveridge & Diamond PC earned a spot among Law360’s 2016 Environmental Practice Groups of the Year for an impressive array of work that includes successfully defending Siemens Industry against a $12.6 million suit over polychlorinated biphenyls contamination and securing a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that protects biosolids recycling.

  • January 13, 2017

    EPA Agrees To Update Air Pollution Standards To End Suit

    The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday filed a notice with the Federal Register saying it has reached an agreement to settle a suit filed by environmental groups accusing the agency of failing to update its air quality standards for sulfur oxide and oxides of nitrogen every five years.

  • January 13, 2017

    RFS Targets Impossible In 'Real World,' Fuel Groups Say

    Petroleum industry groups told the D.C. Circuit on Thursday that the statutory volumes set for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard program aren’t possible in the "real world," asking the appeals court to back the agency's view of its authority to break with Congress’ timetable for incrementally replacing conventional fuels with renewables.

  • January 13, 2017

    Feds, Pepco Come To $1.6M Deal On River Pollution

    Potomac Electric Power Co. has agreed to pay a $1.6 million civil penalty and implement stormwater treatment measures to resolve a federal enforcement action over Clean Water Act permit violations at its service center in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Department of Justice said Friday.

  • January 13, 2017

    DuPont Can't Ax Cancer Causation Claim On Eve Of C8 Trial

    A federal judge on Thursday rejected DuPont's efforts to excise a key legal argument from an imminent trial over Ohio water contamination caused by decades' worth of Teflon manufacturing waste, the second of 40 trials expected this year in the multidistrict litigation.

  • January 13, 2017

    Feds Urge 6th Circ. To Shut Down Clean Water Rule Foes

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday urged the Sixth Circuit to uphold the controversial Clean Water Rule against the onslaught of industry challengers, states, environmental groups and municipalities that dragged them to court over the rule.

  • January 13, 2017

    EPA Proposes Risk-Based Chemical Evaluation System

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed a system for identifying chemicals as either high- or low-priority risks, a move that further implements Congress’ recent changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act.

  • January 13, 2017

    Energy-Related Confirmation Hearings: What To Watch For

    Energy policy takes center stage on Capitol Hill starting Tuesday when the U.S. Senate begins confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald J. Trump's nominees for secretaries of Energy and the Interior and for administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Here's a glimpse of what to expect in each hearing.

  • January 13, 2017

    DOT Approves Safety Rules For Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

    The U.S. Department of Transportation signed off on new regulations governing the safety and upkeep of onshore hazardous liquid pipelines Friday, fulfilling an obligation under a law passed in June 2016 aimed at strengthening rules around the transportation of energy.

  • January 13, 2017

    4 Ex-NJ Govs Urge Pinelands Board To Reject Pipeline

    Four former New Jersey governors on Thursday voiced their opposition to a proposed natural gas pipeline that would traverse 21.6 miles of the environmentally sensitive Pinelands region, telling the agency set to vote on the project that it contravenes the preservation goal for the area.

  • January 13, 2017

    In Quick Move, EPA Sets Fuel Standards Before Inauguration

    In an action taken just days before Donald Trump is sworn in as the next president, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized rules Thursday that will maintain heightened greenhouse gas emissions standards for 2022 through 2025 model year cars and light trucks.

  • January 13, 2017

    Fiat Chrysler Faces Consumer Suit Over Emission Software

    The morning after the Environmental Protection Agency’s Thursday announcement that Fiat Chrysler installed and didn’t disclose engine software allowing over 100,000 vehicles to produce excessive nitrogen oxide emissions, an Alabama man brought a federal court suit alleging the automaker misled customers as well as regulators.

  • January 13, 2017

    Attys Seek $150M In $375M Dow, Boeing Nuke Pollution Deal

    Attorneys for a class of residents who reached a $375 million settlement with Dow Chemical Co. and a former Rockwell subsidiary owned by Boeing Co. over exposure to nuclear waste in a 27-year-old class action asked for $150 million in fees in Colorado federal court on Thursday.

  • January 13, 2017

    Pa. Frack Spill Ruling Could Dent DEP’s Negotiating Power

    A recent Pennsylvania appellate court ruling that state law does not authorize ongoing penalties for a single waterway leak could dramatically weaken the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s negotiating power when punishing future spills, but the fate of the case likely rests with a reshuffled state Supreme Court lacking a clear record on environmental matters.

  • January 13, 2017

    5 NJ Enviro Developments Attys Need To Know For 2017

    Last year gave New Jersey environmental attorneys much to ponder as 2017 gets underway, with a crackdown on time frames for hazmat remediation projects and a shake-up to the window for filing contamination contribution claims. Here, Law360 looks at recent environmental developments in New Jersey that attorneys should know.

  • January 13, 2017

    Ex-Drinker Biddle Atty Suspended For Overbilling Maxus

    The New Jersey Supreme Court has imposed a three-month suspension on a former Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP attorney who inflated his billable hours spent on a matter involving Maxus Energy Corp., leading the company to overpay the firm by nearly $50,000.

  • January 13, 2017

    EPA Denies Bids To Reconsider Or Stay Clean Power Plan

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday denied dozens of administrative petitions to reconsider or delay its controversial Clean Power Plan, and defended the plan as a moderate, reasonable way to achieve emissions reductions that could help mitigate climate change impact.

  • January 13, 2017

    High Court To Review 6th Circ.'s Water Rule Jurisdiction

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review the Sixth Circuit’s finding that it has jurisdiction to hear challenges to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ controversial Clean Water Rule.

  • January 13, 2017

    Chem Co. To Pay $1.4M Fine Over Hazardous Waste Handling

    Phosphate product maker Innophos agreed Thursday in Louisiana federal court to pay $1.4 million to settle allegations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that the company transported hazardous waste to a facility that was not authorized to receive it.

Expert Analysis

  • Amended Rule 37(e): 1 Year Later

    Samantha Southall

    After a full year in effect, the amended Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e) has been tested in a variety of district courts. A sampling of these decisions reveal that courts seem to be adhering closely to the amended rule and ordering adverse inference instructions only where there was intent to deprive another party of access to relevant information, say Carrie Amezcua and Samantha Southall of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

  • Evidence Substantiation Burden May Shift To FTC Under Trump

    Margaret E. Krawiec

    To date, questions about how the Trump administration will impact the Federal Trade Commission have focused primarily on antitrust issues, but clues to how the new administration will affect consumer protection issues might be found by examining the record of former Commissioner Joshua Wright, whom Trump has named to lead the FTC transition efforts, say attorneys at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • In Congress: More Confirmation Hearings

    Richard Hertling

    Democrats will have a difficult time actually defeating any of President-elect Trump's cabinet nominations because of a change they made to the Senate rules to end the filibuster for executive branch nominations. Their goal is not really to defeat the nominees but to draw stark differences early on in the new administration, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • EPA's New Risk Management Rule Is Here ... For Now

    Michael Reer

    After the 2013 explosion at a fertilizer facility in Texas, President Obama signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to identify improvements to risk management practices. In response, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just published a final rule amending its Risk Management Program regulations. But changes to the Congressional Review Act could affect the rule's future, says Michael Reer of Harris Finley & Bogle PC.

  • Avoiding The Hidden Costs Of Bargain-Priced E-Discovery

    Michael Cousino

    Many organizations are interested in finding electronic discovery partners who offer tantalizingly low prices for electronic discovery services. However, unforeseen gaps, lax security practices, ignorance of global practices and delayed deliverables can all add up to a surprisingly large final cost, says Michael Cousino of Epiq Systems.

  • Saving Lawyers 1 Breath At A Time: Mindfulness In The Law

    Jennifer Gibbs

    As critical as lawyers are to society, they are reported to be the most frequently depressed occupational group in the United States. In response to the inherently stressful nature of the practice of law, more and more lawyers are turning to an ancient contemplative practice called “mindfulness,” says Jennifer Gibbs of Zelle LLP.

  • Understanding How Blockchain Could Impact Legal Industry

    R. Douglas Vaughn

    Blockchain is essentially a computerized public ledger that can apply to almost anything that a person might save into a database or spreadsheet. This versatile technology may enhance the legal industry by providing an improved record keeping system, setting up "smart contracts" and tracking intellectual property and land records, say R. Douglas Vaughn and Anna Outzen of Deutsch Kerrigan LLP.

  • Clearing The Air: Pollution Notification In Florida

    Daniel H. Thompson

    Last month, an administrative law judge struck down the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's proposed "Public Notice of Pollution," which would have required that pollution be reported to government officials and property owners in affected areas. Industry opposition to the rule suggests that future notice requirements will continue to be hotly debated, says Daniel Thompson of Berger Singerman LLP.

  • Bishop Criteria: The Future Of Indian Water Settlements

    Ryan A. Smith

    After decades of negotiation, the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana has successfully moved its water settlement through the House of Representatives, thanks in part to the new "Bishop Criteria" for Indian water settlement legislation. Although the new process is difficult and exacting, it nonetheless provides a path where none existed before, says Ryan Smith of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • Does The US Constitution Ensure A Future Livable Planet?

    Melissa K. Scanlan

    In Juliana v. United States, where the plaintiffs sued the government for allowing and encouraging increasing carbon emissions over the past 50 years, the litigants have a steep road ahead. Melissa Scanlan, director of the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School examines the legal questions raised by this case and next steps for the litigants.