Environmental

  • November 17, 2017

    Duke Awarded $68M In Spent Nuclear Fuel Suit Against DOE

    A federal judge Friday granted two Duke Energy units nearly $68.5 million in damages resulting from the federal government's partial breach of a contract to collect spent nuclear fuel and waste from four plants in the Carolinas and Florida, but found an additional $3.1 million not recoverable.

  • November 17, 2017

    Wash. Reps Float Bill To Speed Up DOI Water Project Reviews

    Two Republican lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday meant to speed up the environmental planning and review of water projects by two U.S. Department of the Interior agencies and to advance a specific water management project for the Yakima River in Washington state.

  • November 17, 2017

    Cert. Too Soon For Groundwater Pollution Suit, Judge Says

    An Indiana federal judge denied class certification Thursday to homeowners who claim automotive manufacturer United Technologies Corp. and a gas station contaminated the groundwater underneath their property for more than 20 years, saying the bid was premature.

  • November 17, 2017

    Alaska Tribal Health Org Sues For Land Cleanup, Transfer

    A tribe-run health care nonprofit in Alaska filed a complaint in federal court Thursday seeking to force the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Air Force to clean up and transfer oil-contaminated land the nonprofit says should have been in its hands more than two decades ago.

  • November 17, 2017

    Texas County Sues Arkema Over Plant Fire In Wake Of Harvey

    Harris County, Texas, asked a state judge on Thursday to order Arkema Inc., whose liquid organic peroxide manufacturing plant caught fire in the wake of historic flooding from Hurricane Harvey, to take steps to improve its disaster safety plans and reimburse the county for responding to the incident.

  • November 17, 2017

    10 Questions For The EPA's Bill Wehrum

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new air chief Bill Wehrum won't just be helping the Trump administration roll back Obama-era rules like the Clean Power Plan, he'll also be taking a close look at the agency's 2009 carbon dioxide endangerment finding and its New Source Review permitting program, he told Law360 in an exclusive interview.

  • November 17, 2017

    $200B San Diego Transpo Plan Still Inadequate On Appeal

    A split California appeals court ruled Thursday that a San Diego regional planning agency failed to properly analyze greenhouse gas reduction and assess public health risks in a 2011 review of a $200 billion long-term transportation plan.

  • November 17, 2017

    Forest Service Can Clear Trees In Wildfire Zone, Judge Says

    A California federal judge on Friday refused to stop the U.S. Forest Service’s plans to clear dead trees near a national park after a recent wildfire, telling environmental groups that the public interest in road safety outweighs their concerns over the project’s effect on several endemic species.

  • November 17, 2017

    Duane Morris Adds Ex-Drinker Biddle Enviro Partner In NJ

    Duane Morris LLP has welcomed a former Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP attorney as an environmental partner in the firm’s Cherry Hill, New Jersey, office, where she’ll tackle complex litigation and advise clients with respect to the environmental considerations in real estate and corporate transactions.

  • November 17, 2017

    9th Circ. Nixes Preliminary Block To Ore. Logging Project

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Thursday reversed a lower court’s order temporarily stopping Scott Timber Co. from clear-cutting a parcel of forest in the Oregon Coast Range, saying the district judge was wrong to require a “lesser showing” of irreparable harm than is needed.

  • November 16, 2017

    Keystone Leaks 210K Gallons With Permit Decision Pending

    With a key permitting decision scheduled to come from Nebraska utility regulators Monday, the Keystone pipeline spilled 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons, in northeastern South Dakota on Thursday, TransCanada Corp. said in a statement.

  • November 16, 2017

    DOI Watchdog Says Zinke Didn't Document Travel Expenses

    A government watchdog told U.S. Department of the Interior officials on Wednesday that Secretary Ryan Zinke has failed to keep complete records of his travel since taking office, finding that in some cases he never documented his travel at all.

  • November 16, 2017

    Pilgrim's Pride To Pay $1.4M In Water Pollution Settlement

    Poultry processing giant Pilgrim's Pride Corp. has agreed to pay $1.43 million — believed to be the largest amount ever in a citizen enforcement Clean Water Act suit in Florida — to resolve environmental groups' claims that its Live Oak, Florida, plant polluted the Suwannee River.

  • November 16, 2017

    EPA, Corps Seek To Delay Water Rule Until At Least 2020

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday proposed postponing by two years the effective date of an Obama-era rule defining the federal government’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

  • November 16, 2017

    States, Enviro Groups Slam EPA Emissions Rule At DC Circ.

    Conservation, industry and state groups told a D.C. Circuit panel Thursday that the Environmental Protection Agency acted unlawfully and arbitrarily when it decided to allow emissions trading to be used to meet regional haze reduction targets, rather than requiring pollution sources like power plants to install pollution reduction technologies.

  • November 16, 2017

    DOE Grants Cross-Border Permit For $1.6B Transmission Line

    The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday approved a presidential permit for a proposed $1.6 billion transmission line crossing the U.S.-Canada border that would move hydroelectric power from Quebec to New Hampshire, clearing a major federal regulatory hurdle for a project first proposed in 2010.

  • November 16, 2017

    Gov't Urges High Court To Pass Over La. Frog Habitat Row

    The U.S. solicitor general on Monday urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to review a Fifth Circuit ruling upholding the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to declare 1,500 acres of private property in Louisiana a critical habitat for the endangered dusky gopher frog, arguing that even though the frog isn’t currently found there, the unique ecosystem is one of few where it could prosper.

  • November 16, 2017

    EPA Still Blowing Money On Risky Contracts, Watchdog Says

    Eight years after a governmentwide initiative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency still needs better acquisition planning and internal controls to slash hundreds of millions of dollars unjustifiably committed to high-risk contracts, the agency's internal watchdog said in a report released Wednesday.

  • November 16, 2017

    Kasowitz Bows Out Of $28M Ampal Adversary Case

    Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP received permission Thursday to bow out of adversary litigation in the bankruptcy of energy investment holding company Ampal-American over a $28 million judgment linked to a project to make ethanol from sugarcane in Colombia.

  • November 16, 2017

    Fla. Nuke Plant Owner Says Pollution Suit Is Out Of Bounds

    Florida Power & Light Co. made a final push Thursday for a quick exit from environmental groups' lawsuit over alleged water pollution from its Turkey Point nuclear plant near Miami, arguing the groups are overreaching by asking the court to second-guess regulatory agencies' permits and orders.

Expert Analysis

  • From Snaps To Tweets: The Craft Of Social Media Discovery

    Matthew Hamilton

    Courts have consistently held that social media accounts are subject to established discovery principles but are reluctant to allow parties to rummage through private social media accounts. Recent case law confirms that narrowly tailored information requests get the best results, say Matthew Hamilton, Donna Fisher and Jessica Bae of Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  • The Battle Over 3rd-Party Releases Continues

    Matthew Kelsey

    Bankruptcy courts have taken divergent approaches to analyzing whether they have jurisdiction to approve nonconsensual third-party nondebtor releases. While the New York bankruptcy court's recent decision in SunEdison provides another data point for the debate, it leaves some questions unanswered, say attorneys with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • How FERC Is Streamlining Hydropower Licensing

    Mary Anne Sullivan

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently adopted a 40-year default license term for hydropower projects at nonfederal dams. While there is more that FERC could do to ease hydro licensing and relicensing, this move is a welcome effort to streamline and reduce uncertainty in the licensing process, say Mary Anne Sullivan and Zachary Launer of Hogan Lovells LLP.

  • Gauging NJ Insurance Brokers' Standard Of Care Since Sandy

    Gary Strong

    When a catastrophe strikes and insurance companies either deny coverage or limit the coverage provided, the insurance broker is in the crosshairs of what can turn out to be a litigious claim. Gary Strong of Seiger Gfeller & Laurie LLP explores the duty of insurance brokers in New Jersey and how these duties come into play, particularly after Superstorm Sandy.

  • Why White House Efforts To Dismantle Regs Face Roadblocks

    Steven Gordon

    When the White House changes hands from one political party to the other, the new administration often seeks to change or eliminate some of the regulations promulgated by prior administrations. But when regulatory provisions are based on scientific or economic analysis, it may be difficult to legally justify a change, says Steven Gordon of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • An Interview With Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson

    Randy Maniloff

    Jeh Johnson, the former secretary of homeland security, was kind enough to let me visit him to reflect on his diverse career. He told stories that left me speechless. And yes, the man who was responsible for the Transportation Security Administration removed his shoes when going through airport security. You bet I asked, says Randy Maniloff of White and Williams LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Gilstrap Reviews 'Alexander Hamilton'

    Judge Rodney Gilstrap

    While Alexander Hamilton is the subject of a hit Broadway musical and renewed biographical examinations, professor Kate Brown takes us down a road less traveled in her book "Alexander Hamilton and the Development of American Law" — showing Hamilton as first, last and foremost an American lawyer, says U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas.

  • The Case For Creating A Mediation Department At Your Firm

    Dennis Klein

    There are at least four reasons supporting the need for some form of a mediation group within a law firm, especially in firms with larger practices, according to Dennis Klein, owner of Critical Matter Mediation and former litigation partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.

  • Core Functions And Cooperative Federalism At The EPA

    Dan Jordanger

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recently released draft strategic plan for 2018-2022 starkly narrows the items on which the EPA will focus its resources and turns the agency’s back on many objectives contained in the previous plan — things that the Trump administration and Administrator Scott Pruitt believe should not be done at all, says Dan Jordanger of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Being There: Defending Depositions

    Alan Hoffman

    Defending depositions is challenging. The lawyer is the only shield and protector for the witness and the client. The rules of engagement are less than clear, and fraught with ethical perils. Difficult judgment calls often must be made in the heat of battle. This is where lawyers really earn their keep, says Alan Hoffman of Husch Blackwell LLP.