Environmental

  • September 20, 2017

    Maron Marvel Extends Footprint To Chicago, St. Louis

    Delaware-based Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson & Tardy LLC has expanded to Illinois and Missouri, the firm announced this week, continuing its focus on litigation in the areas of mass toxic tort, products liability, personal injury and environmental regulation.

  • September 20, 2017

    Mont. Justices Rule Water Claim Under State, Not Tribal, Law

    The Montana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that water rights for land acquired by Scott Ranch LLC fell under state law and not under the authority of a tribal compact, overruling the state Water Court in a case that was described as a “somewhat unusual situation.”

  • September 20, 2017

    States Sue DOT Over Greenhouse Gas Measure Delays

    Eight states, including California and Massachusetts, accused the U.S. Department of Transportation in California federal court Wednesday of dragging its feet on the implementation of greenhouse gas performance measures for national highways.

  • September 20, 2017

    Fed. Court Can't Hear Oil Well Spat Against Ill., Judge Says

    An Illinois district judge on Wednesday tossed an oil well operator and waste transporter’s suit against the state’s environmental regulator seeking a guarantee it could inject acid into its underground wells without getting fined, saying the 11th Amendment bars a federal court from hearing claims against a state.

  • September 20, 2017

    Enviros Threaten Duke Energy With Coal Ash Pollution Suits

    Community groups in Indiana, Kentucky and North Carolina on Wednesday hit Duke Energy with notices that they intend to sue the company for allegedly withholding dam safety information related to potential coal ash spills.

  • September 20, 2017

    Del. Court Grapples With Forum In Argentine Toxic Tort Suit

    Delaware’s Supreme Court wrestled with questions of forum Wednesday as attorneys for Argentine tobacco farmers argued that the dismissal of their toxic tort cases against tobacco companies, which had claimed Delaware was an "inconvenient forum," should bind the companies to alternate litigation in Argentina.

  • September 20, 2017

    Enviros Undo Calif.'s Approval Of New Pesticide Labels

    A California appeals court on Tuesday reversed a lower court’s decision in favor of the state’s Department of Pesticide Regulation in a suit by environmental groups challenging the approval of amended labels for two previously registered pesticides, saying the department’s efforts at environmental review were deficient.

  • September 20, 2017

    Starr Says Juice Maker Should Have Disclosed Presuit Notice

    Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. told a Washington federal judge Tuesday that a notice of a possible suit under California's Proposition 65 labeling law created a claim that a fruit juice maker should have told the insurer about when it applied for a policy, while the juice maker urged the court to find the claim didn't arise until the suit was filed.

  • September 20, 2017

    SF, Oakland Sue Oil Giants Over Climate Change Costs

    San Francisco and Oakland, California, on Tuesday sued BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Shell, alleging the oil companies are responsible for infrastructure costs related to climate change events due to their “production of massive amounts of fossil fuels.”

  • September 20, 2017

    Aluminum Co. To Pay $230K For Alleged Emissions Violations

    An aluminum product manufacturer agreed Tuesday to pay a $230,000 civil penalty and create new chemical testing and compliance plans to end allegations by the Environmental Protection Agency that its South Carolina facility didn’t meet federal hazardous chemical guidelines.

  • September 20, 2017

    Insurer Can't Claim Policy Error To Deny Pollution Coverage

    A Georgia federal court Wednesday refused to find that Ace American Insurance Co. need not cover any of a $2.3 million judgment against Exide Technologies Inc. over acid damage at a former battery factory, rejecting the insurer's contention that a pollution exclusion was mistakenly left off Exide's policy.

  • September 20, 2017

    California Sues Over Border Wall Project Waivers

    The Trump administration's attempt to waive environmental laws so it can move forward with its border wall project violates the U.S. Constitution and numerous federal and state regulations and should be stopped by a federal court, California argued Wednesday.

  • September 20, 2017

    Nonpolluting Co. Prevails On Appeal For Cleanup Grant

    The New Jersey Appellate Division on Wednesday reversed the state environmental regulator’s determination that a company didn’t qualify for "innocent party" cleanup funds earmarked for longtime property owners who did not cause the pollution, finding that the company’s family ties to the original owner qualified it under the state’s remediation laws.

  • September 20, 2017

    Feds Must Face Enviro Suit Over Wash. Coastal Runoff

    A federal district judge Tuesday allowed a suit from an environmental group that claimed the federal government failed to force Washington state to control pollution runoff in coastal watersheds to move forward, refusing to dismiss most of the claims in the case.

  • September 19, 2017

    Trump EPA Nominee Set To Argue Against Silica Rules

    President Trump’s nominee to serve as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s assistant administrator of air and radiation, currently a Hunton & Williams partner, is scheduled to argue before the D.C. Circuit against new rules reducing silica exposure in the construction industry, a Tuesday docket entry revealed.

  • September 19, 2017

    Sierra Club Sues EPA Over 'Unprecedented' FOIA Delays

    The Sierra Club is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in D.C. federal court for stonewalling multiple Freedom of Information Act requests, in what the environmental group calls an “unprecedented” pattern of obstruction and unresponsiveness at the agency.

  • September 19, 2017

    Permits For Washington Methanol Refinery Nixed

    Environmentalists claimed a win on Monday after a Washington state board that hears appeals of various permits voided two permits for a proposed methanol refinery in Kalama, saying there is a need for more clean energy instead of fossil fuels.

  • September 19, 2017

    Northrop Water Pollution Suit Came Too Late, 2nd Circ. Told

    Northrop Grumman Corp. on Monday shot back at a brief from Long Island water districts and a village association in support of a local water authority’s bid to revive its groundwater contamination suit, telling the Second Circuit the lower court found the claims are barred by a statute of limitations. 

  • September 19, 2017

    NC Appeals Court Backs Duke Monopoly Over Power Sales

    A North Carolina appeals court on Tuesday said that an environmental group acted as a public utility when it installed solar panels at a Greensboro, North Carolina, church and charged it for the electricity they generated, infringing upon Duke Energy Corp.'s state-sanctioned monopoly over electricity sales in the region.

  • September 19, 2017

    Lobster Thief Ordered To Fork Over $30M To South Africa

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday ordered a man who plundered South African lobster fisheries from 1987 to 2001 to fork over more than $30 million to the country, bumping up a previous restitution award after the poacher dodged his obligation to pay back victims of the overharvesting.

Expert Analysis

  • GAO Report May Impact PHMSA Pipeline Safety Inspections

    Laura LaValle

    The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration uses its Risk Ranking Index Model to determine the frequency with which pipelines must be inspected. But a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, questioning the assumptions behind the model, seems likely to lead to changes in pipeline inspection procedures, say Laura LaValle and Hana Vizcarra of Beveridge & Diamond PC.

  • 'Per-Doc' Pricing Can Improve Document Review

    file folder

    Imagine going to a restaurant and ordering your steak medium-rare. The steak arrives burned. You expect the kitchen to bring you another one properly done, right? And you don’t expect to pay for two steaks, do you? Paying a vendor for document review should be no different, says Lisa Prowse, an attorney and vice president at e-discovery firm BIA Inc.

  • Extreme Weather Fuels New Climate Change Litigation Trend

    Michael McDonough

    As federal efforts to roll back environmental regulations from the Obama era continue, environmental groups have been increasingly filing lawsuits against industry alleging damages related to climate change impacts. The most recent lawsuits show that extreme weather events such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma likely will intensify this trend, say Michael McDonough and Stephanie Amaru of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Mass. Clean Energy Standard Reshapes Energy Landscape

    Eric Runge

    With the regulations it issued last month, Massachusetts maintains its leadership position among states seeking to achieve ambitious clean and renewable energy goals. The Clean Energy Standard will create major new investment opportunities and impact the wholesale power markets in significant ways, says Eric Runge of Day Pitney LLP.

  • Opinion

    Time Limit On Asbestos Depositions Threatens Due Process

    Freddy Fonseca

    California’s Senate Bill 632 seeks to impose a seven-hour limit on depositions in asbestos cases at the expense of defendants’ due process rights. All defendants maintain an interest in properly and fairly preparing their defense, and no party should be required to jeopardize that right, says Freddy Fonseca of Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP.

  • A Guide To The Executive Branch Official Nomination Process

    Adam Raviv

    Although the Trump administration has completed the vetting and confirmation of a cabinet and White House staff, thousands of senior positions remain unfilled throughout the executive branch. More than ever, people selected for those posts find themselves under close scrutiny, say Adam Raviv and Reginald Brown of WilmerHale.

  • Navigating Hurdles To Bring Pheromone Pesticides To Market

    Johnny Johnson

    For a given pesticide, registration can involve a vast amount of data and many years of testing and product development. However, many of these precautions should not apply to pheromones used for pest management, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized this and adjusted its review of pheromone-based products, say Johnny Johnson and Christian Kerr of Lightfoot Franklin & White LLC.

  • How The Utility Of The Future Will Evolve: Part 3

    Bill Zarakas

    A new utility business model may be coming in the near future, as distributed energy resources play a larger role. But the evolution of DERs will be strongly path-dependent — that is, the way DERs are valued and incentivized today will affect how they are viewed and adopted in the future, say Bill Zarakas and Frank Graves of The Brattle Group.

  • How The Utility Of The Future Will Evolve: Part 2

    Bill Zarakas

    The growth and widespread use of distributed energy resources may ultimately contribute to the evolution of the electric grid into a more sophisticated “platform.” In this scenario, utilities will facilitate numerous transactions concerning energy and associated services among DERs, consumers and the utilities themselves, say Bill Zarakis and Frank Graves of The Brattle Group.

  • How The Utility Of The Future Will Evolve: Part 1

    Bill Zarakas

    Rapid deployment of distributed energy resources has led some to argue that the utility business model of the last 100 years will soon no longer suffice. Even moderate amounts of DERs change the landscape for utility planning, and require new methods of analysis and changes to status quo policies, say Bill Zarakas and Frank Graves of The Brattle Group.