Environmental

  • February 17, 2017

    Enviros Ask 9th Circ. To Revive PG&E Water Pollution Suit

    An environmental group asked the Ninth Circuit Friday to revive its suit alleging Pacific Gas & Electric Co. storage facilities contaminate stormwater that discharges into California waterways, saying a lower court erred in finding the suit’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act claims were barred because the pollution was regulated by the Clean Water Act.

  • February 17, 2017

    Forest Service Failed Spotted Owl In Timber Plan, Judge Says

    A California federal judge on Thursday ruled the U.S. Forest Service didn’t take a hard enough look at the environmental effects a timber project in the state’s coastal mountain range would have on the northern spotted owl, saying the government arbitrarily and capriciously failed to consider more conservation-friendly options.

  • February 17, 2017

    4 Cos. Agree To $14.8M Deal To Clean Up Ill. Superfund Site

    Pharmacia LLC, Solutia Inc., ExxonMobil Oil Corp. and Cerro Flow Products will pay $14.8 million to clean up six former waste disposal sites at an Illinois Superfund site, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday.

  • February 17, 2017

    Army Corps Says Pipeline Camp Cleanup Needs To Speed Up

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a statement Thursday that the cleanup of North Dakota camps used by opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline isn’t on track to be finished before the agency fully closes the camps on Feb. 22.

  • February 17, 2017

    Oakland's Justified In Banning Coal Shipments, Enviros Say

    A pair of environmental organizations filed motions in California federal court on Thursday, asking to intervene to defend the city of Oakland against a suit alleging it violated the commerce clause when it passed an ordinance aimed at preventing the export of coal, and pushing for the dismissal of claims.

  • February 17, 2017

    Union Pacific Can't Dodge Asarco's $482M Cleanup Cost Suit

    An Idaho federal judge on Thursday trimmed copper mining company Asarco LLC’s lawsuit seeking to establish Union Pacific Railroad’s liability for part of a $482 million environmental cleanup, but declined to toss the entire matter as the rail company had wanted.

  • February 17, 2017

    Energy Co. To Pay $3.9M To End Suit Over CEO's Disclosures

    Clean energy company Energy Recovery Inc. agreed Thursday to pay almost $3.9 million in cash to end a putative shareholder class action alleging its former CEO inflated stock prices with misleading statements, including allegations that he marketed engineering prototypes as ready for sale.

  • February 17, 2017

    Penobscot, Feds, Maine Spar Over River Rights At 1st Circ.

    The Penobscot Nation and federal government urged the First Circuit Thursday to undo a lower court’s conclusion that the tribe’s reservation includes the islands — but not the water — in part of the Penobscot River, while the state of Maine pressed the appellate court to let the decision stand.

  • February 17, 2017

    Pa. DEP Links Fracking To Earthquakes Near Hilcorp Well

    Pennsylvania environmental regulators made a first-of-its-kind announcement for the state on Friday when they correlated a string of small earthquakes in Lawrence County to nearby hydraulic fracturing operations being carried out by Hilcorp Energy Co.

  • February 17, 2017

    Mass., NY AGs Subpoenaed Again Over Exxon Climate Probes

    The chairman of the House Science Committee on Thursday reissued subpoenas to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over their climate change probes of Exxon Mobil Corp., orders that the prosecutors vowed to defy.

  • February 17, 2017

    FERC Can't Defend Shorter Hydro Project License, Duke Says

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hasn't given any plausible reason why it relicensed a Duke Energy Corp. unit’s hydroelectric project in the Carolinas for 40 years instead of 50 and relies on an unsupportable "we know it when we see it" rationale, Duke told the D.C. Circuit on Friday.

  • February 17, 2017

    Gov't OK Of Sheep Grazing Endangers Rare Animals: Enviros

    Conservation groups want the Ninth Circuit to stop domestic sheep herding in an area of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in Montana, arguing that the methodology the U.S. Forest Service used to allow it didn’t properly consider the harm the grazing would cause the viability of rare, bighorn sheep.

  • February 17, 2017

    Enviros Get $1.5M Attys' Fees In Suit Over Mont. Coal Units

    Two environmental groups who dropped their Clean Air Act suit against the owners of a 2,094-megawatt coal-fired plant in Montana when a Talen Energy subsidiary and Puget Sound Energy agreed to close two units of the facility have been awarded just over $1.5 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.

  • February 17, 2017

    Senate Confirms Pruitt As EPA Chief

    Scott Pruitt, a frequent critic and legal opponent of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama administration, was narrowly confirmed Friday by the Senate as the EPA’s administrator, a development that heralds a rollback of several of Obama’s regulatory initiatives.

  • February 17, 2017

    Enviros Denied Halt To Newly Approved Sunoco Pa. Pipepline

    The Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board on Friday denied a bid by environmental groups to immediately halt Sunoco Logistics' work on its Mariner East 2 pipeline, which received the go-ahead from state regulators earlier this week.

  • February 16, 2017

    EPA Nominee Ordered To Hand Over Docs To Watchdog

    An Oklahoma judge on Thursday ordered Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to turn over to a watchdog group nearly 3,000 emails that purportedly reveal his ties to the fossil fuel industry, the group said.

  • February 16, 2017

    Fisker Fight Over Karma Share Issue Retained By Del. Court

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge declined Friday to dismiss a suit challenging an equity sale by the company spun off from defunct electric carmaker Fisker Automotive’s Delaware bankruptcy, and rejected a related call to abstain from hearing the case.

  • February 16, 2017

    Sioux Official, Dakota Access Exec Trade Blows Over Pipeline

    A Standing Rock Sioux Tribe official and an executive for the Energy Transfer Partners unit behind the Dakota Access pipeline gave dueling accounts of the history of the project to a House subcommittee on Wednesday, as the tribe battles a recent federal decision that paves the way for its completion.

  • February 16, 2017

    More Ex-EPA Employees Pile On Anti-Pruitt Bandwagon

    The number of former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employees opposed to the confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator has risen to more than 700, the Environmental Integrity Project said Thursday.

  • February 16, 2017

    DOI Urges Supreme Court To Refuse Noble's Well-Plug Row

    The U.S. Department of the Interior has pressed the U.S. Supreme Court to reject Noble Energy Inc.’s request to review a D.C. Circuit decision upholding the department’s order to plug and abandon an oil well off the coast of California.

Expert Analysis

  • Trump’s Enviro Law Impact May Not Be What Many Anticipate

    Lester Sotsky

    Many posit a material decline in environmental enforcement and a retrenchment or reversal of environmental regulatory initiatives in the new Trump administration. We expect three concrete areas where activism and activity will be on the rise during this time, targeting a variety of environmental, public health and liability issues of considerable potential consequences, say Lester Sotsky and Andy Wang of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • In Retrospect

    Relearning The Lessons Of Korematsu's Case

    Randy Maniloff

    Fred Korematsu’s U.S. Supreme Court case challenging President Franklin Roosevelt’s executive order that led to the incarceration of approximately 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry may sound like ancient history. However, Feb. 19 marks the 75th anniversary of the order's signing, and that it’s celebrating its diamond anniversary now is breathtaking timing, says Randy Maniloff of White and Williams LLP.

  • Individual Defense In The Shadow Of Corporate Guilty Pleas

    Jessica K. Nall

    Corporate guilty pleas can be expected to have serious implications for the individual executives and employees alleged to have been involved in the conduct under scrutiny. But whether their corporate employer pleads guilty or pursues an alternative resolution, there are other factors at play that can make a bigger difference to the eventual outcome for individuals, say Jessica Nall and Janice Reicher of Farella Braun & Martel LLP.

  • How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 2

    Bruce J. Heiman

    General counsels face the challenging task of understanding how companies can navigate the rules surrounding uses of artificial intelligence. To get smart on AI, general counsels must ask the right questions about areas such as human resources, intellectual property, liability and insurance, say Bruce Heiman and Elana Reman of K&L Gates LLP.

  • How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 1

    Bruce J. Heiman

    Though the Trump administration has yet to make an official statement regarding artificial intelligence, support for AI is consistent with its expressed desire to promote American business. As such, general counsel will inevitably have to navigate what big data and AI mean for compliance with current and future laws and regulations, say Bruce Heiman and Elana Reman of K&L Gates LLP.

  • A New Element In Awarding Calif. Public Works Contracts

    Anthony J. Samson

    Legislation recently proposed in California would require the disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the manufacture of certain “eligible materials” for public works projects. If passed, it could have the biggest effect on companies that manufacture construction materials, especially cement, flat glass, manufactured wool, steel and asphalt, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Gorsuch May Further Tip Balance Against Deference To EPA

    Kathryn M. Schroeder

    From an environmental law perspective, Judge Neil Gorsuch has shown a willingness to reassess Chevron deference to an agency’s interpretation of the statutes it implements. If confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, he could fan further interest in revisiting Chevron deference at a time when the court is actively considering what deference is due an agency when it interprets its own regulations, say attorneys with Bracewell LLP.

  • 4 Fla. Water Law Issues To Watch In 2017

    Kathryn B. Rossmell

    While political changes in 2017 will impact issues across the board, one matter is of special interest to Floridians: water. Legislation and case law both indicate this year will see significant discussions on this vital resource, accompanied by updates to the policies and infrastructure that form the basis of our legal interactions with it, says Kathryn Rossmell of Lewis Longman & Walker PA.

  • Saving Lawyers 1 Less Drink At A Time

    Jennifer Gibbs

    Lawyers are likely turning to alcohol to lessen stress and anxiety, to socialize, and even to sleep better. Unfortunately, many are unaware that their nightly pour could be causing or exacerbating the anxiety that is plaguing the legal profession, says Jennifer Gibbs of Zelle LLP.

  • Antitrust: A New Line Of Attack Against Pipelines

    David L. Wochner

    The Sierra Club’s recent filings with federal regulatory agencies asserting that two natural gas pipeline projects violate antitrust law are novel, and we believe they face substantial obstacles under established antitrust law, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.