Environmental

  • January 19, 2017

    Brazilian Mining Co. Has Plan To Settle $47.5B Dam Claim

    A Brazilian mining company and shareholders BHP Billiton Ltd. and Vale SA announced Thursday that they’ve agreed on a path for resolving a $47.5 billion civil claim by Brazilian federal prosecutors seeking social, environmental and economic compensation for a dam collapse that killed 19 people and devastated the countryside.

  • January 19, 2017

    EPA Stands Firm On 2016 Biofuel Volume Obligations

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday struck down a petition by petroleum refiners to have the agency lower their obligations to buy cellulosic biofuels under the agency’s Renewable Fuel Standards program, saying that waiving the 2016 obligations could undermine the program.

  • January 19, 2017

    Report On Trump's Planned DOE Cuts Takes Perry By Surprise

    U.S. Secretary of Energy nominee Rick Perry pledged to back the agency's energy technology research and development efforts at his confirmation hearing Thursday but appeared in the dark about a news report that President-elect Donald J. Trump plans to make massive cuts at the department.

  • January 19, 2017

    Calif. Leads In Executing Clean Car Tech, Study Says

    California is leading the U.S. in greenhouse gas reduction and in implementing zero-emissions vehicle technologies, even surpassing the national standards put in place by the federal government, according to a report released Wednesday by the California Air Resources Board.

  • January 19, 2017

    EPA Defends Mercury Cost Analysis At DC Circ.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has told the D.C. Circuit that the agency's U.S. Supreme Court-ordered analysis of the costs and benefits of a rule limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants reasonably interpreted ambiguous language in the Clean Air Act.

  • January 19, 2017

    BREAKING: 4th Circ. Backs Ex-Massey CEO's Conspiracy Conviction

    The Fourth Circuit on Thursday upheld former Massey Energy Co. CEO Don Blankenship's conviction for conspiring to violate mine safety laws before a 2010 coal mine explosion that claimed 29 lives, finding no mistakes by the lower court to warrant a reversal.

  • January 19, 2017

    Environmental Group Of The Year: Squire Patton Boggs

    Helping Murray Energy Co. secure a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan underscores Squire Patton Boggs LLP's ability to pursue precedent-setting environmental litigation, which helped earn the firm a spot among Law360's Practice Groups of the Year.

  • January 19, 2017

    Tribal Group Asks 9th Circ. To Undo Gov't Highway Win

    The Gila River Indian Community on Wednesday filed an opening brief with the Ninth Circuit asking the appeals court to overturn a ruling that federal and state agencies took no shortcuts on environmental reviews when approving a Phoenix-area highway project, alleging the agencies violated the National Environmental Policy Act.

  • January 18, 2017

    Exxon, Quanta Settle Long-Running NY Cleanup Suit

    Exxon Mobil Corp. and Quanta Resources Corp. told a New York federal judge Wednesday they had reached a settlement that would release dozens of companies from labyrinthine environmental cleanup litigation over Quanta's old waste transfer station in Queens.

  • January 18, 2017

    Trump EPA Pick Won't Vow To Recuse Himself In Agency Suits

    Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, declined to say Wednesday whether he’d recuse himself from several pending lawsuits he filed against the agency if he is confirmed, instead leaving the matter up to the EPA’s ethics counsel.

  • January 18, 2017

    NY Says Bid To Force Pipeline Decision Is Uncalled For

    The New York State Department of Environment Conservation asked the D.C. Circuit to dismiss a suit by a natural gas pipeline company alleging the state agency is moving too slowly on approving a 7.8-mile gas pipeline, arguing on Tuesday that the state is following the timeline set out by law.

  • January 18, 2017

    NCR, Feds Strike $200M Deal To End Wis. Superfund Claims

    NCR Corp. has agreed to spend $200 million to finish the environmental remediation work at a Wisconsin Superfund site contaminated by paper industry activity, reaching a settlement with state and federal agencies that ties up major loose ends in the sprawling, multitrack litigation over the site.

  • January 18, 2017

    Trenk DiPasquale Can't Escape Suit From NJ Water Agency

    Trenk DiPasquale Della Fera & Sodono PC fell short Wednesday in escaping a lawsuit from a defunct Newark, New Jersey, water agency when a New Jersey federal bankruptcy judge said an attorney was qualified to provide an affidavit stating that the firm deviated from professional standards in representing the organization.

  • January 18, 2017

    EPA Reaches $600M Mine Fix Deal With Freeport-McMoran

    Two subsidiaries of mining company Freeport-McMoRan Inc. agreed Tuesday in Arizona federal court to pay roughly half the cost of a $600 million settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the cleanup of 94 abandoned uranium mines on Navajo Nation land in the Southwest.

  • January 18, 2017

    Army Gets OK For Enviro Review Of Dakota Access Pipeline

    The U.S. Army said Wednesday it will prepare a new environmental impact statement to consider Dakota Access LLC’s bid to complete construction of its pipeline under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, as a D.C. federal judge rejected the company’s bid to block the publication of the Army’s plans in the Federal Register.

  • January 18, 2017

    Wood Chipper Co. Pays $3M To Satisfy EPA's Emissions Beef

    A Michigan-based wood chipper maker has agreed to pay a $3 million fine to resolve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s accusations that the company sold too many diesel-powered units that didn’t meet federal emissions standards, according to documents filed in Michigan federal court Wednesday.

  • January 18, 2017

    Gov. Haley Pushes For Stronger US Role, Reforms At UN

    South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to serve as United Nations ambassador, told a Senate panel Wednesday that the United States should be more assertive at the international body, and that she intends to drive action on the environment, refugees and sanctions enforcement.

  • January 18, 2017

    13 States Sue To Stop Coal Mining Stream Protection Rules

    Thirteen states sued the U.S. Department of the Interior in D.C. federal court on Tuesday, alleging that federal rules finalized in December aimed at minimizing harm to surface and groundwater from coal mining operations violated the states’ ability to regulate mining within their borders.

  • January 18, 2017

    Enviros Take Bid To Join BLM Auction Fight To 10th Circ.

    Environmental groups on Tuesday appealed to the Tenth Circuit a New Mexico federal judge's refusal to let them intervene in an oil and gas industry group's suit accusing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management of illegally failing to hold oil and gas lease auctions.

  • January 18, 2017

    Environmental Group Of The Year: Nossaman

    Nossaman LLP bolstered its reputation in 2016 as the firm to call about major developments on environmental issues, aiding Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Dakota Access Pipeline project, the biggest freeway project in Arizona history and a $20 billion water infrastructure overhaul in California, and earning it a spot among Law360’s Environmental Groups of the Year.

Expert Analysis

  • Attracting And Retaining The Millennial Lawyer

    Christopher Imperiale

    Instead of trying to change the new workforce to follow a law firm's existing processes and procedures, perhaps it's time for firms to start changing their processes and procedures to better accommodate the mentality of this next generation of lawyers, says Christopher Imperiale, a law firm adviser with Berdon LLP.

  • A Look At The Next 4 Years In Indian Affairs

    Matthew L.M. Fletcher

    The three previous Republican administrations can be characterized by negative views about federal public lands and federal trust responsibility to Indians and tribes. If more of the same can be expected from the new administration, Indian tribes will have to play defense against federal interventions in their affairs, says Matthew Fletcher of Michigan State University College of Law.

  • Trump's EPA: Be Careful What You Wish For

    Mitchell J. Klein

    Trying to prognosticate what President-elect Donald Trump will do is very difficult. But assuming he does seek to implement change at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if it's perceived as backing off of environmental enforcement, private parties will step in and cases will likely be even more expensive, more problematic and more unreasonable than those brought by the EPA and the states, says Mitchell Klein of Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • The Trump Administration And Nuclear Energy

    David Repka

    Nuclear energy has fallen on hard times in the United States. Operating costs are high, while natural gas is abundant and cheap. So what will the Trump administration mean for nuclear generation? The president-elect seems uninterested in carbon-free nuclear power as a means to fight climate change, but job creation could justify the construction of new nuclear plants, say David Repka and Tyson Smith of Winston & Strawn LLP.

  • It’s Time To Change The Law Firm Business Model

    Lucia Chiocchio

    Every year, statistics reveal very little change in the number of women and minorities in the ranks of partnership. So how do law firms change this painfully slow rate of progress? It takes more than adding a diversity policy or a women’s leadership program to the current law firm business model, says Lucia Chiocchio, co-chair of Cuddy & Feder LLP's telecommunications and land use, zoning & development groups.

  • Tribal Treaty Rights And Public Interest: Showdown In ND

    Lael Echo-Hawk

    Following the Obama administration's refusal to issue a required permit for the Dakota Access pipeline, the matter is far from resolved. However, regardless of the ultimate outcome, the world is now better educated about Native American issues, and the government has shown a willingness to fulfill its legal obligations, says Lael Echo-Hawk of Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker LLP.

  • 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 reveals 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 Soon Shift To FTC

    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.