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Environmental

  • December 18, 2018

    Where 5 Top MDLs Stand At The End Of 2018

    The past year was a lively one on the multidistrict litigation docket as major MDLs over the opiate crisis and the Equifax data breach got up and running, while cases concerning a Monsanto weedkiller and a common hospital technology revved for early bellwether trials.

  • December 18, 2018

    Gov't Agrees To Dam Water Release In Fish Protection Row

    Washington state and several federal agencies have reached a deal with Oregon and the Nez Perce Tribe to ensure that endangered salmon and steelhead can traverse the Columbia River basin while the government works on a new environmental analysis regarding dams in the waterway, according to a Tuesday announcement.

  • December 18, 2018

    Kinder Morgan Unit Faces $5M Suit Over Chemical Spill

    Fallout from a chemical spill near a Kinder Morgan unit-owned pipeline landed in Texas state court Monday as two landowners brought a proposed class action claiming the company negligently released the toxic chemicals causing more than $5 million in environmental damage over 3,000 to 5,000 acres of land.

  • December 18, 2018

    Enviros Fight To Sink NY Nuke Subsidies

    A coalition of environmental groups on Monday asked a New York state judge to strike down a state program offering subsidies to prop up struggling nuclear power plants, arguing that the state's Public Service Commission violated the requirements for public comment and review.

  • December 18, 2018

    German Auto Co. Agrees To $35M Fine In VW Emissions Case

    A German automotive engineering company entered into a plea agreement Tuesday to pay $35 million for its alleged role in a long-running scheme by Volkswagen AG to sell diesel vehicles in the United States that use a "defeat device" to cheat on vehicle emissions tests required by federal law.

  • December 18, 2018

    DC Circ. Probes EPA Rationale For Obama Ozone Rule

    A D.C. Circuit panel on Tuesday examined whether a 2015 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule aimed at reducing ozone emissions can realistically be complied with and what criteria the agency relied on when determining whether permitted emission levels are safe.

  • December 18, 2018

    French Protests Highlight Difficulty Of Taxing Carbon

    French President Emmanuel Macron’s reversal on a proposed fuel tax increase in the face of violent protests has cast doubt on the political viability of wide-ranging consumption taxes that may be necessary to combat climate change.

  • December 18, 2018

    States Plan Regional Pact To Slash Transportation Emissions

    Nine eastern U.S. states and the District of Columbia on Tuesday announced plans to develop a regional cap-and-invest system aimed at slashing carbon emissions from the transportation sector, echoing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that uses cap-and-trade to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.

  • December 18, 2018

    Keep Youth Climate Suit On Hold, Feds Tell Judge

    The U.S. government on Monday urged an Oregon federal judge to maintain her stay of a children's suit accusing the government of pushing policies that contribute to climate change while the Ninth Circuit mulls its latest bid to dismiss the case, saying the children haven't justified the need for a restart.

  • December 18, 2018

    Exxon Insists Bid To Halt NY AG Climate Probe Is Valid

    Exxon Mobil Corp. urged the Second Circuit to keep alive its bid to halt New York state's climate change probe, arguing the Empire State can't be shielded from judicial review of alleged constitutional violations just because it's now launched a civil enforcement case against the oil giant.

  • December 17, 2018

    Ala. High Court Won't Revive State's VW Emissions Suit

    The Supreme Court of Alabama has upheld Volkswagen AG’s win in quashing a state government case against the automaker that claimed its installing engine software that disguised excessive emission levels was primarily a violation of state rather than federal environmental laws.

  • December 17, 2018

    Calif. Regulator Says PG&E Faked Records For Years

    The California Public Utilities Commission on Friday said Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for years faked gas records and committed safety violations after a deadly 2010 gas explosion and fire, adding that it is starting a new investigation into the Golden State’s biggest utility.

  • December 17, 2018

    2nd Circ. Revives Enviro's CWA Suit Against Recycler

    The Second Circuit on Monday revived the Sierra Club's lawsuit seeking to stop a New York construction waste recycling company from discharging polluted stormwater, ruling that the company's activities could be subject to Clean Water Act permitting requirements.

  • December 17, 2018

    Spain Says €128M Award Over Subsidies Can't Be Enforced

    Spain has urged a D.C. federal court to toss a suit seeking to enforce a €128 million ($145.2 million) arbitral award issued to international investors following a dispute with the country over renewable energy subsidies, arguing the proceeding is barred because there is no valid arbitration agreement.

  • December 17, 2018

    NJ Assembly OKs Using $50M From Exxon Deal For Cleanup

    The New Jersey Assembly on Monday unanimously approved legislation earmarking $50 million for natural resource damage restoration projects out of the state’s $225 million settlement with Exxon Mobil Corp. over contamination from its refineries and gas stations.

  • December 17, 2018

    'Auer Someday Will Be Overruled,' Kavanaugh Said In 2016

    Justice Brett Kavanaugh predicted two years ago that the U.S. Supreme Court would "someday" overturn a legal doctrine in favor of government agencies known as Auer deference, and he could now be the one to decide whether that happens after the court agreed to review Auer last week.

  • December 17, 2018

    Feds Win Toss Of Enviros' Suit Over Army Corps' Mine Permit

    An Alabama federal court rejected every assertion made by a pair of environmental groups who opposed a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-issued Clean Water Act permit for a coal mine over its alleged potential to harm endangered species, deciding that the government properly considered the project’s risks.

  • December 17, 2018

    GE Says US Is No Place For Fukushima Meltdown Suit

    General Electric Co. told a federal judge Monday that a proposed class action brought by as many as 150,000 Japanese residents and businesses impacted by the 2011 nuclear plant meltdown in Fukushima can and should be handled in Japan, not on the other side of the world in Massachusetts.

  • December 17, 2018

    MVP: Sidley Austin's Justin Savage

    Justin Savage of Sidley Austin LLP was able to help reach a settlement with The Sierra Club on a case over standards for formaldehyde in wood products, making him one of Law360’s Environmental MVPs for 2018.

  • December 15, 2018

    Interior Head Zinke Exits Amid Ethics Investigations

    U.S. Department of the Interior head Ryan Zinke has resigned from the agency amid several ethics investigations, leaving a legacy of support for increased domestic energy production and greater access to federal lands for industry and hunters, along with big rollbacks of environmental and endangered species protections.

Expert Analysis

  • State Legislatures May Be Next Stop For Oil And Gas Regs

    Jeffrey Dintzer

    The recent failure of several oil- and gas-related ballot initiatives across the U.S. may ultimately result in environmental groups taking their fight directly to state lawmakers, say Jeffrey Dintzer and Gina Angiolillo of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • Spotlight On Produced Water Management Options Intensifies

    Lydia González Gromatzky

    With various areas of the country experiencing water scarcity concerns or limitations on injection capacity, stakeholders have expressed interest in not only expanding produced water management options, but also allowing produced water to be returned to the hydrologic cycle, says Lydia González Gromatzky of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Mills Reviews 'Mississippi's Federal Courts'

    Judge Michael Mills

    ​​David M. Hargrove's​ new book​,​ "Mississippi’s Federal Courts: A History," is a remarkably candid portrait of the characters and courts serving the state's federal judiciary from 1798 on, and contributes new scholarship on how judges were nominated during the civil rights era, says U.S. District Judge Michael Mills of the Northern District of Mississippi.

  • State Net

    New Year, New Opportunities For State Governments

    Lou Cannon

    While gridlock may prevail between the Democratic House and GOP Senate in Washington next year, it will be another story at the state level. For the first time since 1914, a single political party will control both chambers of every legislature except one, says Lou Cannon of State Net Capitol Journal.

  • Opinion

    WTO Members Must Adopt A Climate Waiver

    James Bacchus

    To further carbon pricing, and to facilitate the transition to a green global economy, members of the World Trade Organization should permit "climate waivers" by which countries can restrict trade based on the amount of greenhouse gases used or emitted in the making of a product, says James Bacchus of the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

  • The New Water Rule And Its Potential Ripple Effect

    Christopher Thomas

    If the Trump administration's proposal to dramatically reduce the number of U.S. waterways subject to Clean Water Act jurisdiction ultimately carries the day it will have a host of cascading consequences, say Christopher Thomas and Andrea Driggs of Perkins Coie LLP.

  • Guest Feature

    The Subtle Art Of Fred Fielding

    Fred Fielding

    He was White House counsel to two presidents. When Reagan was shot, he explained the chain of command to a four-star general. And until a few years ago, many people still thought he was Deep Throat during the Watergate scandal. Fred Fielding of Morgan Lewis & Bockius may be the quintessential Washington insider. White and Williams attorney Randy Maniloff learned more.

  • 10 Tips For Law Firms To Drive Revenue Via Sports Tickets

    Matthew Prinn

    Many law firms have tickets or luxury suites at sporting events to host clients and prospects. Matthew Prinn of RFP Advisory Group and Matt Ansis of TicketManager discuss some of the ways that firms can use those tickets effectively.

  • Inside Key ABA Guidance On Attorneys' Cybersecurity Duties

    Joshua Bevitz

    A recent opinion from the American Bar Association provides useful guidance on attorneys’ obligations to guard against cyberattacks, protect electronic client information and respond if an attack occurs, says Joshua Bevitz of Newmeyer & Dillion LLP.

  • Opening Comments: A Key Strategic Decision In Mediation

    Jann Johnson

    Opening comments by parties in mediation that are made with the proper content and tone can diffuse pent-up emotion and pave the way for a successful resolution. But an opening presentation can do more harm than good if delivered the wrong way, say Jann Johnson and William Haddad of ADR Systems LLC.