Environmental

  • April 20, 2018

    11th Circ. Affirms Sewage Not Pollution In Insurance Row

    The Eleventh Circuit upheld an Alabama federal court's ruling that a pollution exclusion in an insurance policy doesn’t apply to property damage and injuries from a sewage leak, saying Friday the lower court rightly drew comparisons to a past case that reached the same conclusion.

  • April 20, 2018

    Monsanto Appeal Can't Keep Herbicide Off Calif. Cancer List

    A California appeals court on Thursday refused to revive Monsanto Co.’s lawsuit challenging a state agency’s inclusion of the herbicide glyphosate on a list of carcinogens, which could require the company to put warning labels on its popular Roundup weed killing products because glyphosate is an active ingredient.

  • April 20, 2018

    Wyo. City, County Urge Justices To Snub Tribes' Land Suits

    A Wyoming county and city urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to reject bids by two Native American tribes to overturn a Tenth Circuit decision that shrank their shared Wyoming reservation, saying the ruling didn't create a circuit split and that the language of a 1905 law at issue in the case is like that in other laws that diminished the size of reservations.

  • April 20, 2018

    NY Beefs Up Energy Efficiency Targets To Drive GHG Cuts

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday unveiled a new energy efficiency target that aims to significantly slash buildings' energy use by 2025, saying the reductions will help the Empire State reach the goal of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030.

  • April 20, 2018

    Jamaican Investor Hits Dominican Republic With $300M Claim

    A Jamaican national has hit the Dominican Republic with a more than $300 million arbitration claim after the landfill he invested in was improperly seized by the government for alleged environmental misdeeds, his law firm confirmed on Friday.

  • April 20, 2018

    Mining Co. Asks DC Circ. To Revisit EPA Superfund Ruling

    Sunnyside Gold Corp. urged the D.C. Circuit on Thursday to rethink a panel decision backing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s addition of the entire Bonita Peak Mining District in Colorado to the federal Superfund list, saying the opinion conflicts with the court’s precedent and is “inviting agency abuse and overreach in listing decisions.”

  • April 20, 2018

    NJ Gov. Signs Law Banning Offshore Drilling

    Newly minted New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a bipartisan bill on Friday that bans offshore oil and gas drilling in the state’s waters and beyond, a move that comes as a rebuke to the Trump administration’s efforts to undo Obama-era restrictions on the activity in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

  • April 20, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Says Taking Claim Fails In Katrina Flooding Fight

    The federal government can’t be held liable for damage caused by Hurricane Katrina-related flooding under the Fifth Amendment based on lackluster maintenance of a navigation channel, the Federal Circuit ruled Friday, reversing a U.S. Court of Federal Claims decision.

  • April 20, 2018

    Senate Dems Press For Info On Koch Ties To Trump Policies

    Senate Democrats have demanded information from President Donald Trump and several federal agencies including the EPA and the U.S. Department of Labor concerning the alleged “sweeping infiltration” of the current administration by the Koch brothers and their affiliates, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., announced Friday.

  • April 20, 2018

    GOP State AGs Back Big Oil In Calif. Climate Suits

    Republican attorneys general from 15 states urged a California federal judge Thursday to dump Oakland's and San Francisco's suits seeking to hold oil giants liable for climate change-related infrastructure damage, accusing the Golden State municipalities of unlawfully trying to regulate national fossil fuel use through the courts.

  • April 20, 2018

    Exxon Takes AG Climate Probe Fight To 2nd Circ.

    Oil giant ExxonMobil said Friday it will appeal to the Second Circuit a New York federal judge's dismissal of its suit claiming the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts conspired to violate its free speech rights on climate change issues by investigating the company.

  • April 20, 2018

    Dems Look To Shield Offshore Rules From Trump Rollback

    Eight years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 and sent plumes of oil spraying into the Gulf of Mexico for months, a group of Democratic senators Thursday proposed codifying two Obama-era rules aimed at tightening regulations for offshore drilling after the Trump administration moved to reconsider them.

  • April 20, 2018

    HSBC Halts Coal Power Plant Funding To Honor Paris Accord

    HSBC Holdings PLC said Friday it is turning its back on funding high-carbon energy projects as the bank looks to ease pressure from activists and regulators who want financial services firms to step up their response to climate change.

  • April 19, 2018

    Justices May Add Muscle To Wash. Tribes' Treaty Rights

    The U.S. Supreme Court seemed to be leaning toward requiring the state of Washington to protect several tribes’ treaty fishing rights during oral arguments Wednesday, and experts say the question of whether the court limits its decision to culverts blocking the tribes’ salmon or makes a broad rule for projects with environmental impacts on tribal rights could have major implications for Indian Country.

  • April 19, 2018

    Workmanship Exclusion Gets Insurer Off Hook In Fishery Row

    Rockhill Insurance Co. does not have to pay an arbitration award of nearly $900,000 with which an insured was hit for designing a shoddy river modification, after a Colorado federal court found that a faulty-workmanship exclusion in the insured's professional liability policy applies.

  • April 19, 2018

    Ill. Panel Finds $10M Chemical Settlement Was Rushed

    A copper factory owner accused, along with other companies, of dumping hazardous chemicals into a landfill and nearby manufacturing site got part of a $10 million settlement with local residents vacated on Wednesday, with an Illinois appeals court finding that the lawyers for the residents and co-defendants had rushed certain parts of the settlement process.

  • April 19, 2018

    BLM Takes Steps To Open Arctic Refuge For Oil, Gas Drilling

    The Bureau of Land Management began the administrative process Thursday to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas drilling, angering environmental groups that have long battled to keep the wild landscape development-free.

  • April 19, 2018

    'Close Enough Is Good Enough' For Air Standards: EPA Head

    The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s air office said Thursday that too much energy has been spent trying to achieve perfection in air quality standards for pollutants that are subject to review every five years, when “good enough” will do.

  • April 19, 2018

    11th Circ. Says Hydroelectric Co. Deserved To Lose License

    A hydroelectric company's license to generate power at a Georgia dam was lawfully revoked by a federal agency in response to the company's failure to construct a fishway it promised in exchange for receiving permission to increase its generating capacity, the Eleventh Circuit ruled on Wednesday.

  • April 19, 2018

    Northrop Wins Final Toss Of Water Pollution Row At 2nd Circ.

    The full Second Circuit won’t reconsider a panel’s finding that a water district brought its water contamination claims against Northrop Grumman too late, the court said Thursday, rejecting the district’s contentions that the court’s ruling flouted precedent and would harm New York water providers.

Expert Analysis

  • Rule 23 Changes: Avoid Delays In Class Settlement Approval

    Shandarese Garr

    Among the proposed amendments to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which are scheduled to take effect Dec. 1, are specific requirements related to “front-loading.” They outline the process for seeking preliminary court approval of class action settlements and related notice plans, say Shandarese Garr and Niki Mendoza of Garden City Group LLC.

  • Battery Supply Chain: A Unique Growth Opportunity

    Rebecca Campbell

    Battery materials and electric vehicles offer something unique to today’s commodity producers and investors: a sustainable growth story that is not just China-dependent. The exponential growth in demand is creating a scramble for resources not seen since the last great commodity supercycle, say attorneys with White & Case LLP.

  • Earth Day Review Of 'Green Guide' False Advertising: Round 2

    David Kluft

    Earth Day is almost here, and companies may be looking to capture some environmentally minded consumers with nifty green-themed advertising campaigns. To help sort through the Federal Trade Commission requirements for environmental marketing, David Kluft of Foley Hoag LLP assesses recent disputes involving the agency's “Green Guides” in his second annual review.

  • Must FERC Weigh GHG Emissions In Pipeline Reviews?

    Jay Costan

    The additional analysis on downstream greenhouse gas emissions required by the D.C. Circuit's recent ruling in Sierra Club v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has the potential to further delay an already burdened FERC pipeline approval process, says James Costan of Dentons.

  • Best Practices For Building A Better Meeting

    Nicholas Cheolas

    How can we improve meetings in the legal industry, which tends to evolve with the speed of a tranquilized water buffalo mired in quicksand? Breaking it down to three phases can yield significant benefits, says Nicholas Cheolas of Zelle LLP.

  • Spending Bill Includes Unique Path To Conservation Goals

    John Andrews

    Buried deep inside the recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act, legislation reviving the formerly expired Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act offers opportunities for potential purchasers of federal public lands, while also creating a source of funding for important conservation transactions, says John Andrews of Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • Status Update On 'One Federal Decision' Project Reviews

    Raya Treiser

    Last week, a dozen federal agencies signed a memorandum of understanding committing to a more coordinated and streamlined federal review process. But because there have been no changes to underlying statutory requirements, each agency will still have to determine that a project review meets its respective legal obligations, say Raya Treiser and Nathaniel Custer of WilmerHale.

  • 5 Ways Law Firms Are Becoming More Like Hotels

    Bella Schiro

    One way law firms differentiate themselves from the competition to attract and retain top talent is through their real estate and workplace strategies. Taking a lead from the hospitality industry can help create a more inviting, welcoming and collaborative workspace environment, says Bella Schiro of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

  • Opinion

    Gorsuch's 1st Year Shows He Is A Conservative Activist

    Elliot Mincberg

    In his first year on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch has proven to be a narrow-minded elitist who consistently votes in favor of corporations and the powerful, acting to roll back protections for workers, consumers, LGBTQ individuals and other marginalized communities, says Elliot Mincberg of People for the American Way.

  • How Is EPA's New Source Review Guidance Helpful?

    Richard Alonso

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a memo reinterpreting regulations that determine when a project could trigger new source review. In this new policy directive, the EPA is now reinterpreting its existing regulations to allow sources to use this type of project analysis to assess whether an NSR permit is required, say attorneys with Sidley Austin LLP.