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Environmental

  • June 22, 2018

    Calif. Regulators Reject $639M Natural Gas Pipeline

    The California Public Utilities Commission refused a bid by San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Gas Co. to build a $639 million natural gas pipeline, saying that the effort was “not needed for safety or reliability.”

  • June 22, 2018

    Enviros Push Feds To Review Drilling Impacts On Gulf Species

    Green groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service in Florida federal court, claiming the agencies have dragged their feet on a post-Deepwater Horizon assessment of the harms that oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico cause threatened and endangered species.

  • June 22, 2018

    EPA Floats TSCA Guidance On Confidentiality, Animal Testing

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday issued new Toxic Substances Control Act policies on animal testing, confidential business information and mercury reporting requirements, meeting deadlines set by Congress in 2016.

  • June 22, 2018

    Investors Snap Back At Sunrun’s Exit Bid In Stock-Drop Suit

    Sunrun Inc. shareholders urged a California federal judge Thursday not to cast off their proposed class action alleging the company and two of its executives fudged customer cancellation numbers to keep stock trading high, saying the latest iteration of their complaint passes muster.

  • June 22, 2018

    Biggest Enviro Law Rulings Of 2018: Midyear Report

    Federal courts in the first half of 2018 issued several rulings that will have major repercussions in the environmental law arena, from a U.S. Supreme Court decision clarifying which courts should hear litigation over Clean Water Act jurisdictional issues to two circuit court opinions clarifying that groundwater can be subject to Clean Water Act permitting requirements. Here, Law360 looks at some of the biggest environmental law rulings thus far in 2018.

  • June 22, 2018

    Native American Cases To Watch In The 2nd Half Of 2018

    Native American law practitioners will be closely tracking a U.S. Supreme Court case that could shake the foundations of tribal, federal and state jurisdiction in Oklahoma, as well as watching a Federal Circuit decision on a New York tribe’s ability to assert sovereign immunity to block a challenge to several patents' validity and keeping an eye on tribes' role in multidistrict opioid litigation in the second half of 2018.

  • June 22, 2018

    1 Year On, Pa. Judges Grapple With Revamped Enviro Rights

    It's been one year since the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed that the public's right to clean air and pure water was on equal footing with more fundamental concepts like the right to free speech, and experts say that judges are still grappling with how to apply the idea in high-stakes environmental litigation.

  • June 22, 2018

    Texas High Court Strikes Down City's Plastic Bag Ban

    In a ruling likely to doom similar local mandates across the state, Texas’ highest court on Friday held that the city of Laredo’s ordinance preventing retail stores from providing customers with single-use plastic and paper bags is preempted by a state solid waste disposal law.

  • June 22, 2018

    NJ Utility Regulator Rejects $111M Transmission Project

    The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on Friday unanimously rejected a FirstEnergy Corp. unit’s petition to construct a $111 million, 10-mile electric transmission line in Monmouth County, siding with a state administrative law judge’s determination that the company hasn’t proven the project is necessary to the public.

  • June 21, 2018

    4th Circ. Stays Corps' $3.5B Gas Pipeline Permit

    The Fourth Circuit on Thursday stayed a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit for the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley gas pipeline pending a petition for review following environmentalists’ argument that the developers have admitted they cannot satisfy the permit's conditions,

  • June 21, 2018

    DOE Revamp, Grid Privatization Eyed In Trump Reorg Plan

    The federal government overhaul plan floated by the Trump administration Thursday proposes putting all of the U.S. Department of Energy's research and development programs under one roof and takes another swing at selling off federally owned transmission assets, a move that is likely dead on arrival in Congress.

  • June 21, 2018

    Tribe Hits Feds With Suit Over Drilling Permit Decision

    The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation has hit the U.S. Department of the Interior with a lawsuit challenging a decision from the agency's Office of Hearing and Appeals that the tribe said approved bids to drill near a lake within the boundaries of the nation's Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

  • June 21, 2018

    Real Estate Rumors: Florida Power, EQ Office, Scott McNealy

    Florida Power has reportedly dropped $10 million on 400 acres of land in the state, Blackstone subsidiary EQ Office is reportedly looking to get $300 million for a New York office tower, and former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy is reportedly seeking $96.8 million for his Palo Alto, California, mansion.

  • June 21, 2018

    EPA Says No Need For CWA Hazardous Spill Regulations

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that it does not intend to propose Clean Water Act regulations meant to prevent spills of hazardous substances because doing so is unnecessary and would duplicate already existing requirements, drawing fire from environmental groups.

  • June 21, 2018

    Feds Sued For Reinstating Expired Mining Leases In Minn.

    The U.S. Department of the Interior and its Bureau of Land Management were hit with a lawsuit on Thursday challenging the reinstatement of two expired mining leases in the Superior National Forest near a popular Minnesota wilderness area.

  • June 21, 2018

    GM Presses Bid To Shave Claims In Drivers' Emissions Suit

    General Motors filed a brief Wednesday furthering an attempt to fend off allegations it used emissions-cheating devices in its diesel pickup trucks, telling a Michigan federal judge that a group of drivers behind the suit can’t save a collection of state law claims plagued by fatal shortcomings.

  • June 21, 2018

    Trump’s Overhaul Plan Targets Animal, Superfund Programs

    The White House on Thursday floated a sweeping government restructuring proposal that would consolidate several environmental programs that are now divided among different agencies, including those dealing with animal protection and environmental cleanup.

  • June 21, 2018

    Groups Urge Judge Not To Toss EPA Adviser Policy Challenge

    A coalition of scientific advocacy groups on Wednesday urged a D.C. federal judge not to toss their lawsuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s policy barring members of its scientific advisory committees from receiving EPA grants while serving in the role.

  • June 21, 2018

    First Nations To Be Involved In BC Fish Farm Tenure Process

    Negotiating with First Nations will be required by 2022 for fish farms on the Canadian west coast before they will be able to get a fishing tenure from British Columbia, the province recently said.

  • June 21, 2018

    FERC Says 4th Circ. $3.5B Pipeline Fight In Wrong Venue

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asked the Fourth Circuit to throw out a challenge to its decision to allow construction on the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline, saying now that authorization for the pipeline is finalized, all appeals belong before the D.C. Circuit.

Expert Analysis

  • Energy Storage: Are We There Yet?

    Paul Kraske

    2018 has proven to be a turning point for energy storage in the U.S. Affordable, reliable batteries, ambitious state capacity goals and a major policy shift from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have created an ideal environment for energy storage to grow at a fast rate, say Paul Kraske and Zahir Rahman of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • Culverts Win May Indicate A New Era For Tribal Treaty Rights

    watson.nate025.jpg

    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Washington v. United States this month could have broad implications for a variety of development, construction and farming practices throughout the Northwest. The door has clearly been opened for the state of Washington, and other parties, to pursue negotiation and settlement whenever existing structures impact tribal treaty rights, says J. Nathanael Watson of Stoel Rives LLP.

  • What New FWS Take Guidance Means For Permit Applicants

    Wayne Whitlock

    New guidance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service clarifies when habitat modification triggers an incidental take permit, who decides whether a permit is needed and who takes the risk, creating significant implications for private project proponents considering whether to seek an incidental take permit and prepare a habitat conservation plan, say attorneys with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Opinion

    BigLaw's Associate Salary Model Is A Relic Of A Bygone Era

    William Brewer

    Legal industry compensation practices are once again in the news as BigLaw firms continue to match the new high watermark of $190,000 for first-year associate salaries. The typical model of increasing associate salaries uniformly fails star associates, the firms they work for and, ultimately, the clients they serve, says William Brewer, managing partner of Brewer Attorneys & Counselors.

  • Growing Opportunities In NY’s Energy Storage Industry

    Danielle Mettler-LaFeir

    To meet the ambitious energy and environmental goals of New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision program, the state is putting in place policies to increase the use of energy storage — sending out a strong signal to the growing energy storage industry to invest in New York, says Danielle Mettler-LaFeir of Barclay Damon LLP.

  • #MeToo At Law Firms And What We Can Do About It

    Beth Schroeder.JPG

    While some may say it’s ironic, it’s also embarrassing and enraging that the very industry that offers anti-harassment training, policies and counsel now finds itself the subject of #MeToo headlines. The American Bar Association recommendation that will bring about the greatest change is the call to provide alternative methods for reporting violations, says Beth Schroeder, chair of Raines Feldman LLP's labor and employment group.

  • Knowledge Lawyers Can Help Firms Stay Ahead Of The Curve

    Vanessa Pinto Villa

    In a profession notoriously averse to change, it should come as no surprise that there is skepticism about the value of having attorneys perform nonbillable tasks. But U.S. law firms have slowly begun to incorporate knowledge lawyers into their operations — and the trend is likely to continue, says Vanessa Pinto Villa of Hogan Lovells.

  • Congressional Forecast: June

    Layth Elhassani

    In advance of their weeklong July 4 recess, members of Congress are pursuing a busy legislative schedule, focused on the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act and other appropriations bills, reform of export controls, immigration and border security, and the farm bill authorization, says Layth Elhassani of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Wash. Tribes' High Court Win Raises Treaty Rights Concerns

    Lee Redeye

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a major win for Washington tribes in Washington v. United States. However, the nature of the Supreme Court's affirmation — a 4-4 split without a written decision — means that its precedential value is questionable, says Lee Redeye of Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP.

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb: 1 Year Later

    Adam Pollet

    In the year since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California — limiting where plaintiffs can bring claims and curbing forum-shopping in mass tort litigation — courts have grappled with questions that the ruling did not address, and defendants have pursued jurisdictional defenses in class actions and federal cases that were not previously available, say attorneys with Eversheds Sutherland LLP.