Environmental

  • May 26, 2017

    Energy Dept. Asks Public For Help In Cutting Regulations

    The U.S. Department of Energy is asking the public for comments on which of the agency's rules can be modified or repealed, taking a step toward fulfilling President Donald Trump's executive orders aimed at reducing regulations.

  • May 26, 2017

    NJ Judge Tosses Spectra Energy Oil Contamination Suit

    A New Jersey federal judge again has tossed an $8 million lawsuit against Spectra Energy Operating Co. LLC units and another business over alleged environmental contamination at properties in Bayonne, New Jersey, during Superstorm Sandy, saying the property owners have not backed up their racketeering claims.

  • May 26, 2017

    6th Circ. Puts Nucor Steel Plant Contamination Suit To Bed

    The Sixth Circuit on Thursday affirmed an Ohio district court’s pre-trial decision favoring Nucor Steel Marion, Inc. in a trespass and nuisance lawsuit that alleges the steel company emitted the hazardous chemical manganese onto several properties, saying the landowners don’t have enough evidence to bring a case to the courtroom.

  • May 26, 2017

    Md. Urges DC Circ. To Force Ruling In Purple Line Review

    The state of Maryland on Thursday further pushed the D.C. Circuit to require a lower court to quickly resolve a lawsuit challenging a proposed $5.6 billion Purple Line rail extension, saying the project is currently in limbo.

  • May 26, 2017

    NY Property Owners Urge 2nd Circ. To Rethink Cleanup Suit

    Long Island, New York, property owners asked the Second Circuit on Thursday to rethink its decision not to revive their suit against a Nassau County Superfund site's former lessees and occupants for cleanup costs related to groundwater contamination.

  • May 26, 2017

    Oil Groups Change Mind On Intervening In Kids' Climate Suit

    Two more industry groups have asked an Oregon district court to remove them from the federal government’s bid to certify questions for appellate review in a youth-driven climate change suit, a move that comes after a magistrate judge recommended the Ninth Circuit not take the case.

  • May 26, 2017

    2 Reps. Question DOJ's Going After Landowner In CWA Case

    Two House Republican committee chairmen wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday asking why the Department of Justice is continuing to prosecute a California landowner for Clean Water Act violations, arguing that the case was improperly pushed under former President Barack Obama.

  • May 26, 2017

    FERC Stands By Limit Of ETP Pipeline Drilling Work

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday refused to alter its prohibition of certain drilling activities as part of Energy Transfer Partners LP's construction of its $4.2 billion Rover Pipeline in Ohio until the company addresses recent spills of drilling fluids, rejecting ETP's bid to reopen two areas to construction.

  • May 26, 2017

    Enviros Press Pruitt Not To Revise EPA Methane Leak Regs

    A coalition of environmental, health, faith and labor groups on Friday urged U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to abandon plans to put on hold and revise methane regulations for new and modified oil and gas infrastructure, saying that any delay would be both environmentally harmful and economically wasteful.

  • May 25, 2017

    Navajo Council Weighs Legislation To Keep Coal Plant Open

    The Navajo Nation Council on Wednesday introduced legislation that would approve an agreement to allow the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station on the tribe’s reservation in Arizona to keep its doors open through the end of 2019, as the tribe faces a July 1 deadline to make a decision on the deal.

  • May 25, 2017

    Judge Won't Allow Deepwater Claims Due To Missing Form

    A Louisiana federal judge Wednesday declined to force a claims administrator for the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill disaster to consider applications from a group of nine individuals and businesses who submitted documentation to the settlement program without a claim form, deciding the filings were untimely.

  • May 25, 2017

    Sioux Say They Belong In Dakota Access Pipeline Suit

    A group of Sioux tribe members on Wednesday pressed a D.C. federal judge to let them take part in a challenge to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ approvals for the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota, saying that they may be needed in the suit to preserve claims that the pipeline violates their religious rights.

  • May 25, 2017

    DOE Halts Energy Efficiency Rule Delay For Ceiling Fans

    The U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday ended its delay of energy efficiency rules for ceiling fans, bowing to lawsuits brought by several states and environmental and consumer groups over the Trump administration's postponement of the Obama-era standards.

  • May 25, 2017

    House Dems Tell Zinke Trump Can't Touch Monuments

    A group of 86 Democratic U.S. representatives told Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday that Congress, not the president, has the authority to revoke or shrink national monuments, meaning that his ongoing review of certain monuments at President Donald Trump’s direction is a waste of time and money.

  • May 25, 2017

    GM Hit With Emissions-Cheating Claims

    General Motors on Thursday became the latest automaker to be caught up in allegations of emissions cheating, as a proposed class action filed in Michigan federal court claims that defeat devices — similar to those used in Volkswagen’s diesel cars — are installed in certain models of its diesel trucks.

  • May 25, 2017

    Costa Rica Fights Investors' Bid To Block ICSID Rulings

    Costa Rica's government urged a D.C. federal court Wednesday to reject a bid by several U.S. real estate investors to block an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes tribunal from correcting an award in a dispute over property it took for a national park, saying the American federal court has no power to rule on the issue.

  • May 25, 2017

    Sewage Not Pollution Under Insurance Policy, 11th Circ. Told

    An Alabama federal court followed clear state law precedent when it ruled that a “total pollution” exclusion in an insurance policy issued to a construction company did not bar coverage for a sewage leak, and the Eleventh Circuit should do the same, the Dixie Electric Cooperative told the appeals court Thursday.

  • May 25, 2017

    Enviros Add Endangered Species Claim To Keystone Suit

    Environmental organizations on Wednesday added new claims against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in their suit against the U.S. Department of State and other agencies over the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, telling a Montana federal court the service hasn’t seriously considered the project’s threat to whooping cranes and other endangered species.

  • May 25, 2017

    Lawmakers Seek Answers After Toxic Storage Tunnel Collapse

    A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Wednesday asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office to take a look into cleanup work being done at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, which recently had one of its tunnels that stored mixed radioactive waste partially collapse.

  • May 25, 2017

    Crucial Ally Joins Suniva's Quest For Solar Cell Tariffs

    Bankrupt U.S. solar panel maker Suniva Inc. earned support from a key ally in its bid for a safeguard tariff on competing imports Thursday as SolarWorld Americas Inc. — a veteran of the solar panel trade wars — joined the case as a co-petitioner.

Expert Analysis

  • Texas Opens The Door To More Oilfield Contamination Suits

    Stakelum Andrew 112864.jpg

    The Texas Supreme Court affirmed last month that the state agency overseeing oil and gas matters does not possess exclusive jurisdiction over oilfield contamination claims. The result is that a landowner could obtain both an order from the agency compelling an oil company to clean up the contamination and court-ordered damages for the same contamination, says Andrew Stakelum of King & Spalding LLP.

  • My Milkshake Is Better Than Yours: Part 2

    Jill Dessalines

    In the second installment of this two-part series on disruptive innovation among mid-size law firms, Jill Dessalines, founder of Strategic Advice for Successful Lawyers and former senior vice president at McKesson Corp., explores a number of ideas for keeping clients and maintaining market position.

  • My Milkshake Is Better Than Yours: Part 1

    Jill Dessalines

    As I sat there listening, incredulous to learn that "Milkshake" was not only a real song but also a chart-topper, it reminded me of Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen’s work on disruptive innovation — and how it pertains to mid-size law firms, says Jill Dessalines, founder of Strategic Advice for Successful Lawyers and former assistant general counsel of McKesson Corp.

  • Attorneys, Your Input Is Needed On Deposition Rule

    Frank Silvestri, Jr.

    Every lawyer who’s handled a civil case in federal court knows about Rule 30(b)(6), governing deposition procedures. But for many real-world deposition dilemmas, the rule offers little guidance. Last year, an Advisory Committee on Civil Rules subcommittee began considering whether the rule should be amended. Now attorneys must advise the subcommittee how to proceed, says Frank Silvestri Jr. of Verrill Dana LLP.

  • Does FERC Delegation Authority Survive Loss Of Quorum?

    Harvey Reiter

    In Allegheny Defense Project v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the petitioner has raised three different arguments why its appeal is not premature — all of which go to the legal status of FERC's tolling orders. Therefore, it seems likely that the D.C. Circuit will have to address at least some aspect of the scope and lawfulness of FERC's delegation authority, say attorneys with Stinson Leonard Street LLP.

  • In Congress: Budget, Health Care, Comey

    Richard Hertling

    As we approach the Memorial Day recess, President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey and allegations that the president sought to stop the FBI from investigating former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s potential ties to Russia remain at the top of the news cycle and threaten to derail Republican efforts to pursue health care and tax reform, among other priorities, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covingt... (continued)

  • EPA Signals Shift In Superfund Decision-Making

    Jeremy Karpatkin

    Not only does U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s recent delegation memo signal a potentially significant shift within the agency to centralize decision-making on major Superfund remedies, but it's also an important development in the broader context of recent controversies related to large Superfund sites, says Jeremy Karpatkin of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • How Client Feedback Programs Benefit Law Firms And Clients

    Elizabeth Duffy

    Despite an increase in engagement with client feedback programs over the last 15 years, law firms — and their clients — have a way to go before realizing the maximum benefits such programs can deliver, says Elizabeth Duffy of Acritas US Inc.

  • Solving The Legal Industry's Data Protection Breakdown

    Jeff Ton

    Most law firms today aren't using common security and data protection measures that other industries employ to protect sensitive data. Options like continuous data replication and backups have various pros and cons, but most importantly, law practices must understand the need for a two-tiered approach to data protection, says Jeff Ton of Bluelock LLC.

  • 5 Things To Know About Justice Gorsuch’s First 30 Days

    Charles Webber

    Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the U.S. Supreme Court a little more than 30 days ago, on April 7, 2017. And while it is too early for him to have written any opinions, Gorsuch participated in the final 13 oral arguments of the 2016 term. Charles Webber of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP offers five takeaways from his first month on the job.