Environmental

  • February 16, 2018

    FERC Energy Storage Rule Is A Grid Game-Changer

    The rule finalized Thursday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that makes a place for energy storage in the nation's wholesale electricity markets will shake up the power sector, from boosting renewable energy deployment to spelling doom for certain fossil fuel plants. Here are key takeaways from FERC's energy storage actions and key things to watch for as they're implemented.

  • February 16, 2018

    Can Courts Handle The Increased FOIA Strain Under Trump?

    U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton found himself in a difficult position last month, caught between the obligation for a speedy government response to a Freedom of Information Act request and the strain federal agencies and courts are under as FOIA litigation surges under the Trump administration.

  • February 16, 2018

    Don't Let PennEast Pipeline Proceed, NJ Tells FERC

    New Jersey’s environmental watchdog and a state park board on Friday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reverse its decision to issue a conditional certificate for the $1 billion PennEast gas pipeline, saying FERC relied on “woefully insufficient data.”

  • February 16, 2018

    DOE Says It Has $11.5M For Tribal Land Energy Projects

    The U.S. Department of Energy announced on Friday it was soliciting applications for $11.5 million to spur energy projects on tribal lands, saying the funding opportunity was the first time the process would be done on “an entirely fuel and technology-neutral basis.”

  • February 16, 2018

    DC Circ. Partially Vacates 2008 EPA Ozone Rule

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday partially vacated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2008 ozone standards implementation rule, finding the agency improperly relaxed compliance measures that are mandatory under the Clean Air Act.

  • February 16, 2018

    Japan Seeking WTO Relief From US Solar Safeguard Tariffs

    The Japanese government joined the throng of nations pushing back against recently enacted U.S. safeguard tariffs on solar panel components at the World Trade Organization Friday, asking to sit down with the Trump administration to discuss earning relief from the sweeping restrictions.

  • February 16, 2018

    FirstEnergy To Deactivate Coal Plant After FERC Rejection

    FirstEnergy unveiled a plan Friday for its merchant power unit to shutter a West Virginia coal-fired power plant, a move that came not long after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shot down the plant's proposed sale to a FirstEnergy utility.

  • February 16, 2018

    Feds Further Push For Bears Ears Challenge Move To Utah

    The United States on Thursday further pushed a D.C. federal judge to transfer to Utah federal court combined challenges to President Donald Trump’s decision to slash the size of Bears Ears National Monument, the same day the cases were consolidated.

  • February 15, 2018

    Amazon To Pay EPA $1.2M For Illegal Pesticide Sales

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced that Amazon Services LLC will pay a $1,215,700 penalty to settle allegations it facilitated the distribution of imported pesticide products by third-party vendors that were not licensed for sale in the United States.

  • February 15, 2018

    Environmentalist Hit With $4M Verdict For Hindering Project

    A Florida jury on Wednesday found a well-known environmentalist should pay nearly $4.4 million to a landowner for interfering with its efforts to work out deals with county and state entities on a mining and water treatment project.

  • February 15, 2018

    FERC Opens Power Markets To Energy Storage With New Rule

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday finalized a rule that aims to remove barriers for energy storage providers to participate in regional wholesale electricity markets, a potential game-changer as more renewable energy makes its way onto the grid.

  • February 15, 2018

    DOE Must Publish Energy-Saver Rules Adopted Under Obama

    The U.S. Department of Energy must publish in the Federal Register a set of energy conservation standards for household and industrial appliances that had been finalized during the last months of the Obama administration, a California federal judge said Friday, handing a win to various states and environmental groups in litigation against the federal agency.

  • February 15, 2018

    Stoel Rives Snags 3 RE Partners From Perkins Coie

    Stoel Rives LLP has announced the hiring of three attorneys with decades of experience handling real estate law from Perkins Coie LLP as partners in its Portland, Oregon, office, adding a range of expertise for clients needing assistance with anything from development to loan modifications.

  • February 15, 2018

    4th Circ. Won't Bar Pipeline Co. From Taking Va. Properties

    The Fourth Circuit on Thursday shot down a bid by Virginia landowners to bar Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC from taking properties for its project, a move they said was needed while they challenge the constitutionality of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's eminent domain authority.

  • February 15, 2018

    Mariner East Drilling To Resume At Site Of Damaged Aquifer

    Sunoco Pipeline LP has received the go-ahead to resume drilling on a segment of its Mariner East 2 pipeline where damage to an aquifer triggered a broader halt to the project, Pennsylvania regulators announced Thursday, a week after hitting the company with a $12 million fine.

  • February 15, 2018

    Mass. City Sues 3M, Tyco Over Water Contaminated By Foam

    A western Massachusetts city hit 3M, Chemguard Inc. and Tyco Fire Products LP with a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday, claiming a fire suppression foam manufactured by the chemical companies contaminated soil and groundwater, shutting down city wells and potentially exposing residents to a higher risk of cancer and other diseases.

  • February 15, 2018

    Enviros Blast Ebb In Enforcement At Trump's EPA

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has imposed far fewer civil penalties and remediation obligations on polluters in the first year of President Donald Trump's administration than it did in the first years of the three previous presidential administrations, an environmental group said Thursday.

  • February 15, 2018

    Cos. Denied Rehearing In $1B Lead Paint Cleanup Suit

    A California appeals court Wednesday rejected arguments by Sherwin-Williams Co. and other paint companies that a decision that trimmed a $1.15 billion lead contamination judgment didn't go far enough, saying there was ample evidence the companies had promoted the use of lead paint despite knowing the health dangers.

  • February 15, 2018

    11th Circ. OKs States' Bid To Quickly Remand Water Rule Suit

    The Eleventh Circuit granted a request from 10 states on Wednesday to move quickly and direct that a legal challenge to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Rule be transferred to federal court, setting the stage for a faster decision about whether to halt the rule’s implementation.

  • February 15, 2018

    Fiat Says Shares Were Unaffected By ‘Defeat Device’ Claims

    Fiat Chrysler has urged a New York federal court not to certify a class of investors accusing executives of falsely stating Chrysler vehicles didn’t contain “defeat devices” in an effort to inflate share prices, saying the alleged misrepresentations had no impact on the stock.

Expert Analysis

  • How Emerging Sources Of ESI Will Impact Discovery

    Charles McGee

    Late last year, the Sedona Conference released the third edition of its principles addressing electronic document production, updated to account for innovations like Snapchat and Twitter. It may be necessary for these principles to be updated more often in order to keep pace with technology, says Charles McGee III of Murphy & McGonigle LLP.

  • 3 Mass. Proposals Signal A New Wave Of Offshore Wind

    Tommy Beaudreau

    Three companies recently submitted bids in response to the request for proposal issued by Massachusetts electric distribution companies, in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, for offshore wind energy generation projects off the coast of Massachusetts. The stage is set for 2018 to be a breakthrough year in U.S. offshore wind development, say attorneys with Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Put The Brakes On Acceleration Bay Litigation Funder Ruling

    David Gallagher

    Last week, the District of Delaware raised eyebrows by ruling that documents provided to a litigation funder and its counsel in connection with their due diligence are categorically not attorney work product. Acceleration Bay v. Activision Blizzard seems to be a case of bad facts making bad law, says David Gallagher, investment manager and legal counsel for Bentham IMF.

  • How Corporate Policyholders Can Prepare For Earthquakes

    Micah Skidmore

    With some predicting that 2018 will see a significant increase in the number and severity of earthquakes worldwide, corporate insureds may do well to accelerate their review and expansion of policy terms to address this important risk, says Micah Skidmore of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Considerations For Attorneys Using Artificial Intelligence

    Ben Allgrove

    Artificial intelligence tools can empower attorneys to work more efficiently, deepen and broaden their areas of expertise, and provide increased value to clients, which in turn can improve legal transparency, dispute resolution and access to justice. But there are some common pitfalls already apparent in the legal industry, say Ben Allgrove and Yoon Chae of Baker McKenzie.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Duncan Reviews 'Justice And Empathy'

    Judge Allyson Duncan

    In "Justice and Empathy: Toward a Constitutional Ideal," the late Yale Law School professor Robert Burt makes a compelling case for the undeniable role of the courts in protecting the vulnerable and oppressed​. But the question of how the judiciary might conform to Burt’s expectations raises practical problems​, says U.S. Circuit Judge Allyson Duncan of the Fourth Circuit. ​

  • Eminent Domain In The Wake Of Natural Disasters

    Briggs Stahl

    When states and municipalities rebuild permanent infrastructure following disasters, they may be able to reduce the damages caused by eminent domain by planning carefully. In particular, examining preventative solutions allows more time for planning and designing projects to reduce future damages to owners, says Briggs Stahl of RGL Forensics.

  • Addressing Human Rights Issues In The Extractive Sector

    Viren Mascarenhas

    As extractive industries face increasing scrutiny over their human rights practices, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable and the Due Process of Law Foundation have issued guidance on how governments should address human rights issues related to the extractive sector. Extractive companies should also take note, say Viren Mascarenhas and Kayla Winarsky Green of King & Spalding LLP.

  • The Art Of The Litigation Funding Deal

    Julia Gewolb

    As litigation funding becomes more widespread, greater complexity and variability in funding deals are to be expected. All claimants should consider certain key questions on the economics of single-case funding when considering or comparing funding terms, says Julia Gewolb of Bentham IMF.

  • Smart Contracts Need Smart Corporate Lawyers

    Matthew O’Toole

    Given the operational and security risks involved, and the substantial digital asset values transacted, the rise of distributed ledger technology and smart contracts will create new opportunities and responsibilities for transactional lawyers, say attorneys with Potter Anderson Corroon LLP.