Environmental

  • September 25, 2017

    BP, ARCO Seek Out Of Tribal Contamination Suit

    BP America Inc. and Atlantic Richfield Co. urged a Nevada federal judge on Friday to bar the Yerington Paiute Tribe from suing them in tribal court over environmental damage allegedly caused by ARCO's predecessor at an abandoned copper mine, saying they aren’t members of the tribe.

  • September 25, 2017

    EPA Permit Reviews Could Weaken Under Reorganization

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said its recent decision to pull a key permitting oversight team into Administrator Scott Pruitt’s office is intended to help the Trump administration meet its goal of expediting federal infrastructure projects, but experts say that conflicts with the team’s traditional priorities and could weaken permit reviews.

  • September 25, 2017

    DC Judge Refuses To Stop Purple Line Construction

    A D.C. district judge refused to grant a conservation group’s request to halt construction on the $5.6 billion Purple Line rail project planned for the D.C. region, providing a win for the Federal Transit Administration that argued the request overlapped with an appeals court case.

  • September 22, 2017

    Syngenta Looks To Speed Appeal Of $218M GMO Corn Verdict

    Syngenta urged a Kansas federal judge Thursday to certify as a final judgment the $218 million jury verdict won by a class of Kansas farmers in multidistrict litigation over the agricultural company’s promotion of genetically modified corn, arguing it’s necessary to prevent needless delay of its appeal.

  • September 22, 2017

    9th Circ. Affirms Narrowed Fishing Area For Wash. Tribe

    A Ninth Circuit panel Friday said that the Suquamish tribe does not have the right to fish in an area on the eastern side of Washington's Puget Sound, upholding a ruling that there was no evidence presented in a key 1975 hearing that the tribe ever fished or traveled through the area.

  • September 22, 2017

    Judge OKs $151M Elk River Spill Class Settlement

    A West Virginia federal judge granted preliminary approval Thursday to a class settlement worth up to $151 million with American Water Works Co. and Eastman Chemical Co. to end claims from a 2014 coal-processing spill in the Elk River.

  • September 22, 2017

    Exide, Tort Trustee Clash Over Post-Bankruptcy Relief

    The trustee responsible for pursuing more than $1 billion worth of environmental negligence claims against recently reorganized Exide Technologies Inc. has hit back against the battery recycler’s bid to undo those claims in Delaware bankruptcy court, saying the court has no jurisdiction now that Exide has emerged from bankruptcy.

  • September 22, 2017

    SunEdison Slams 'Disgruntled' Investors' Appeal Over Ch. 11

    Aiming to shoot down an appeal stemming from its now-confirmed Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan, renewable energy giant SunEdison Inc. told a New York federal court this week that investors accusing the company of using an exit financing agreement to buy creditor support are improperly seeking to advance a “self-interested agenda.”

  • September 22, 2017

    ITC Says Imports Hurt Solar-Makers; Trump Will Pick Remedy

    The International Trade Commission unanimously agreed with solar equipment manufacturers Suniva and SolarWorld on Friday that imports of foreign solar energy components had injured the U.S. industry, a finding that will allow President Donald Trump to decide whether to implement the first industrywide Global Safeguard tariff in 15 years.

  • September 22, 2017

    La. Intervenes In Case Over Red Snapper Overfishing

    The state of Louisiana asked a D.C. federal court Thursday to allow it to intervene on the federal government’s behalf in a conservation group’s suit over authorities’ decision to temporarily allow "overfishing" of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico this summer, saying the suit impairs the state’s interest in fishing-related tourism and tax revenues.

  • September 22, 2017

    Honeywell, NRDC Urge DC Circ. To Revisit HFC Decision

    Honeywell International Inc., Chemours Co. FC LLC and the Natural Resources Defense Council on Friday urged the D.C. Circuit to reconsider an August decision to undo a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule to prohibit manufacturers from using hydrofluorocarbons, saying the decision guts a crucial tool for dealing with climate change.

  • September 22, 2017

    Enviros Sue To Stop Montana Gold Mine Near Yellowstone

    Environmental groups filed suit in Montana state court on Friday attempting to halt the first phase of a mining project being developed by Lucky Minerals LLC that involves exploratory drilling on private property 30 miles north of Yellowstone National Park, arguing that the state didn’t conduct a proper environmental assessment.

  • September 22, 2017

    Ontario To Join California And Quebec's Carbon Market

    Ontario has entered an agreement to join California and Quebec in their cap-and-trade market run by nonprofit Western Climate Initiative Inc., with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Ontario government announced Friday.

  • September 22, 2017

    Elephants Treated Poorly In Mass. Zoo, Suit Says

    The Massachusetts city of New Bedford’s poor treatment of two Asian elephants at a zoo it owns flouts the Endangered Species Act and the animals should be allowed to live out their days at a sanctuary, a nonprofit group alleged in a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court.

  • September 22, 2017

    Shareholder Drops Renewable Energy Co. Stock Slip Suit

    The lead shareholder in a proposed stock drop class action against the renewable energy company Amyris Inc. voluntarily dropped the claims in California federal court Thursday ahead of Friday’s due date for submitting an amended complaint.

  • September 22, 2017

    Ex-Water Agency Head Gets 8 Years In Kickback Scheme

    The former executive director of a defunct Newark, New Jersey, water agency was slapped Friday with a more-than-eight-year prison term for her role in a roughly $1 million kickback scheme, with a New Jersey federal judge finding that her conduct was driven by more than a gambling addiction cited by defense counsel.

  • September 22, 2017

    Fiat Investors Want Emissions Claims Kept In Stock Drop Suit

    A proposed class of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV investors told a New York federal court Thursday that there’s no reason to trash their emissions-related allegations because they’ve shown the automaker’s executives knew about possible “defeat devices” in Fiat’s vehicles and thus intended to deceive investors about potential emissions problems.

  • September 22, 2017

    3rd Circ. Declines To Rehear Pa. Radiation Suits

    The Third Circuit on Thursday said it would not hold a rehearing following its decision last month barring a group of Pennsylvania residents from moving forward with claims that they developed cancer after being exposed to emissions from a former Babcock & Wilcox Co. and Atlantic Richfield Co. nuclear facility.

  • September 22, 2017

    Amtrak Pollution Could Be 'Accidental,' Judge Says

    A New York federal judge hearing a dispute between Amtrak and a group of London market insurers over environmental cleanup coverage Thursday agreed with the rail company that the pollution could have been “accidental,” but he rejected Amtrak's definition of “sudden.”

  • September 22, 2017

    What Enviro Lawyers Should Be Watching At The High Court

    A new U.S. Supreme Court term kicks off next month, when the justices will hear a closely watched battle over where challenges to the Obama administration's Clean Water Rule should be filed, and decide whether to review a slew of other environmental cases involving questions such as tribal groundwater rights and endangered species protections. Here are cases environmental attorneys will be watching during the upcoming term.

Expert Analysis

  • How Plaintiffs And Defense Counsel Misperceive Each Other

    Daniel Karon

    What makes the practice of law so stressful? Our thesis is that it comes from being terrible to each other. As a plaintiffs lawyer and a defense lawyer, we asked what we believed our opposition thought about us and how our opposition judged us — and then we compared notes, say Daniel Karon of Karon LLC and Philip Calabrese of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP.

  • Storm-Damaged Businesses Need Environmental 'Baselines'

    Kevin Daehnke

    What if, after a storm like Hurricane Harvey or Irma, a small business finds itself liable for hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of dollars of environmental contamination that spilled out during the storm? This is a very real concern for businesses that store and use chemicals, but there are ways to establish protections, says Kevin Daehnke of Daehnke Cruz Law Group LLC.

  • The Role Legal Finance Can Play In Firm Year-End Collections

    Travis Lenkner

    Payment collection delays have caused law firms to seek new options, one of which is litigation finance. In this context, litigation finance can offer alternative avenues to firms as they approach the end of a fiscal year or partnership distribution dates, says Travis Lenkner of Burford Capital LLC.

  • GAO Report May Impact PHMSA Pipeline Safety Inspections

    Laura LaValle

    The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration uses its Risk Ranking Index Model to determine the frequency with which pipelines must be inspected. But a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, questioning the assumptions behind the model, seems likely to lead to changes in pipeline inspection procedures, say Laura LaValle and Hana Vizcarra of Beveridge & Diamond PC.

  • 'Per-Doc' Pricing Can Improve Document Review

    file folder

    Imagine going to a restaurant and ordering your steak medium-rare. The steak arrives burned. You expect the kitchen to bring you another one properly done, right? And you don’t expect to pay for two steaks, do you? Paying a vendor for document review should be no different, says Lisa Prowse, an attorney and vice president at e-discovery firm BIA Inc.

  • Extreme Weather Fuels New Climate Change Litigation Trend

    Michael McDonough

    As federal efforts to roll back environmental regulations from the Obama era continue, environmental groups have been increasingly filing lawsuits against industry alleging damages related to climate change impacts. The most recent lawsuits show that extreme weather events such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma likely will intensify this trend, say Michael McDonough and Stephanie Amaru of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Mass. Clean Energy Standard Reshapes Energy Landscape

    Eric Runge

    With the regulations it issued last month, Massachusetts maintains its leadership position among states seeking to achieve ambitious clean and renewable energy goals. The Clean Energy Standard will create major new investment opportunities and impact the wholesale power markets in significant ways, says Eric Runge of Day Pitney LLP.

  • Opinion

    Time Limit On Asbestos Depositions Threatens Due Process

    Freddy Fonseca

    California’s Senate Bill 632 seeks to impose a seven-hour limit on depositions in asbestos cases at the expense of defendants’ due process rights. All defendants maintain an interest in properly and fairly preparing their defense, and no party should be required to jeopardize that right, says Freddy Fonseca of Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP.

  • A Guide To The Executive Branch Official Nomination Process

    Adam Raviv

    Although the Trump administration has completed the vetting and confirmation of a cabinet and White House staff, thousands of senior positions remain unfilled throughout the executive branch. More than ever, people selected for those posts find themselves under close scrutiny, say Adam Raviv and Reginald Brown of WilmerHale.

  • Navigating Hurdles To Bring Pheromone Pesticides To Market

    Johnny Johnson

    For a given pesticide, registration can involve a vast amount of data and many years of testing and product development. However, many of these precautions should not apply to pheromones used for pest management, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized this and adjusted its review of pheromone-based products, say Johnny Johnson and Christian Kerr of Lightfoot Franklin & White LLC.