Environmental

  • February 22, 2018

    7th Circ. Wants US Input On Ill. Nuke Subsidies

    The Seventh Circuit on Wednesday asked the U.S. government to weigh in on whether Illinois' plan to subsidize nuclear power plants usurps federal authority over wholesale electricity markets, a sign that the appeals court is still struggling to decide the issue.

  • February 22, 2018

    Energy Transfer Wants Enviros' Sanctions Bid Quashed

    The Energy Transfer entities that operate the Dakota Access pipeline urged a North Dakota federal court Wednesday not to sanction them over allegations that they didn’t do their homework before suing an environmental group they're accusing of organizing violent protests against the pipeline.

  • February 22, 2018

    Commerce Finalizes Argentine, Indonesian Biodiesel Duties

    The U.S. Department of Commerce unveiled a final set of tariffs on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia late Wednesday, affirming its earlier finding that the merchandise had been sold in the U.S. at unfairly low prices.

  • February 21, 2018

    EPA's Pruitt Faces House Oversight Inquiry Into Flights

    The House oversight committee has joined the chorus of investigators seeking details from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt about his travel expenses, according to a letter Tuesday questioning the administrator’s use of first-class travel accommodations for government business.

  • February 21, 2018

    Uncertainty Abounds After DC Circ. Slices EPA Ozone Regs

    The D.C. Circuit’s recent decision scrapping parts of a 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that outlined how geographic areas could meet 2008 ozone standards not only creates uncertainty for cities, counties and businesses, but could force the EPA to overhaul a pending rule meant to aid compliance with newer ozone standards. Here, experts identify three key takeaways from the appellate court’s ruling.

  • February 21, 2018

    EPA Says Fuel Retailers Can't Fight Renewable Mandates

    A trade group representing small fuel retailers can't challenge U.S. Environmental Protection Agency benchmarks for renewable fuels blended into the nation's gas and diesel supply because its members aren’t subject to the rule, the agency told the D.C. Circuit Tuesday.

  • February 21, 2018

    Carbon-Related Tax Unlikely Under Int'l Rules, Prof Says

    A border-adjusted tax aimed at imports with large carbon footprints could theoretically comply with World Trade Organization rules, but mandates requiring consistent treatment of items from different countries could make the policy difficult to carry out in reality, a law professor said at a conference in Houston on Wednesday.

  • February 21, 2018

    Canadian Salmon Co. Threatens NAFTA Arbitration Over Ban

    A Canadian aquaculture company embroiled in controversy after it accidentally released as many as 263,000 Atlantic salmon into the waters off Washington state threatened Tuesday to file a claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement if a proposed Atlantic salmon farming ban is enacted.

  • February 21, 2018

    Enviros Say Pa. DEP Wrongly OK'd Brownfield Development

    A Pennsylvania environmental group on Wednesday challenged an agreement between the Department of Environmental Protection and a developer for a proposed townhouse project on a suburban Philadelphia brownfield site, telling the Environmental Hearing Board the state hid key details from the public.

  • February 21, 2018

    US, Others Caution High Court On Utility's Immunity Bid

    The U.S. government, public interest groups and others urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday not to let an Arizona utility immediately challenge a lower court's finding that it’s not immune from an antitrust suit brought by a subsidiary of Tesla Inc.

  • February 21, 2018

    FERC Wants DC Circ. To Put $3.5B Pipeline Fight On Hold

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asked the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday to put litigation fighting the approval of the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley gas pipeline on hold so that the agency can first consider activists' requests that it revisit the decision.

  • February 21, 2018

    Verizon Sues NY Town Over Nixed Wetlands Permit

    Verizon Wireless on Tuesday asked a Manhattan federal judge to overturn a Hudson Valley town’s decision denying its request for a wetlands permit to build a wireless facility, saying the decision amounts to an unlawful prohibition on the provision of personal wireless services.

  • February 20, 2018

    Ex-CEO Of Bankrupt NY Solar Co. Attacks Subpoena Request

    The former CEO of bankrupt solar panel installer Level Solar Inc. hit back on Tuesday against the debtor’s attempts to subpoena him for information, calling the probe a cynical ploy to “defame” and “harass” him “to distract from current management’s own wrongdoing.”

  • February 20, 2018

    GM, Bosch Can't Dodge Drivers' Emissions-Cheating Claims

    A Michigan federal judge on Tuesday denied bids by General Motors LLC and Robert Bosch LLC to escape a proposed class action claiming that so-called defeat devices similar to those used in Volkswagen’s diesel cars are installed in some GM vehicles, saying the drivers plausibly alleged a conspiracy.

  • February 20, 2018

    Tribal Involvement Doesn’t Nix Coal Plant Suit, Feds Say

    The federal government told the Ninth Circuit that environmental groups should be able to challenge the government’s approval of continued operations of a coal-fired plant and mine on Navajo land, arguing a lower court was wrong to say the mine owner’s sovereign immunity blocked judicial review.

  • February 20, 2018

    VW, Audi, Bosch Push To End Non-Diesel Emissions Suits

    Volkswagen AG, its subsidiary Audi and supplier Robert Bosch GmbH have asked a California federal judge to dismiss suits that accuse them of cheating on emissions tests for thousands of non-diesel vehicles, saying the suits are vague and unsupported by regulators’ findings.

  • February 20, 2018

    States Seeing Rash Of Bills To Tax Carbon Emissions

    Taxing carbon products and emissions is a long-cherished goal of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and he has proposals to do so again this year. This time, however, he is far from alone as 10 states have released bills to combat climate change and raise revenue by using the tax system.

  • February 20, 2018

    EPA Defends Superfund Listings' Logic At DC Circ.

    A D.C. Circuit panel pressed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in oral arguments Tuesday to justify the reasoning underlying its placement of sites in Indiana and Colorado on the federal Superfund list, with the judges expressing doubt about agency efforts to show connections between two aquifers.

  • February 20, 2018

    Monsanto PCB Suit Belongs In State Court, 9th Circ. Told

    Washington state told the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday that a federal district court judge was right to grant the state’s request to remand its lawsuit against Monsanto Co. over the alleged contamination of waterways with polychlorinated biphenyls to state court.

  • February 20, 2018

    2nd Circ. Ruling Ends Exxon Free Speech Claims, Judge Told

    The Second Circuit’s recent decision that the First Amendment does not shield social welfare organizations from disclosing their donors should also undermine Exxon Mobil Corp.’s free speech claims against state climate change probes, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office told a federal judge Friday.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    EPA In The Trump Era: Settling Mandatory Duty Lawsuits

    Avi Garbow

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2017 "sue and settle” directive embraces a nascent process to post online notices of intent to sue, complaints and petitions for review. For some this is sufficient for planning purposes and strategic undertakings, but for others it provides interesting opportunities, says Avi Garbow, former EPA general counsel and partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • How FERC's New Rule Paves The Way For Energy Storage

    Levi McAllister

    Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued its long-awaited final rule that aims to remove barriers to electric storage resource participation in regional transmission organization and independent system operator markets. Market participants with an interest in energy storage are advised to focus closely on the tariff provisions being developed by each RTO/ISO, say attorneys with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Series

    EPA In The Trump Era: The Superfund Enforcement Initiative

    Donald Elliott

    When it comes to climate change, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Administrator Scott Pruitt is undeniably less aggressive than under its immediate predecessor. However, for the current EPA, one area that sharply conflicts with this pattern is Superfund, says Donald Elliott, former EPA general counsel and chairman of the environmental practice group at Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Series

    EPA In The Trump Era: Making Sense Of Waters Of The US

    Larry Jensen

    In one of his first official acts, President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to rescind and replace the Obama administration's Clean Water Rule. Regardless of the outcome of Trump’s effort, the controversy over the meaning of the phrase “waters of the United States” is likely to continue for many years, says Larry Jensen, former EPA general counsel and shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • How Emerging Sources Of ESI Will Impact Discovery

    Charles McGee

    Late last year, the Sedona Conference released the third edition of its principles addressing electronic document production, updated to account for innovations like Snapchat and Twitter. It may be necessary for these principles to be updated more often in order to keep pace with technology, says Charles McGee III of Murphy & McGonigle LLP.

  • 3 Mass. Proposals Signal A New Wave Of Offshore Wind

    Tommy Beaudreau

    After the recent submission of three bids in response to Massachusetts electric distribution companies' request for proposals for offshore wind energy projects, the stage is set for 2018 to be a breakthrough year in U.S. offshore wind development, say attorneys with Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Put The Brakes On Acceleration Bay Litigation Funder Ruling

    David Gallagher

    Last week, the District of Delaware raised eyebrows by ruling that documents provided to a litigation funder and its counsel in connection with their due diligence are categorically not attorney work product. Acceleration Bay v. Activision Blizzard seems to be a case of bad facts making bad law, says David Gallagher, investment manager and legal counsel for Bentham IMF.

  • How Corporate Policyholders Can Prepare For Earthquakes

    Micah Skidmore

    With some predicting that 2018 will see a significant increase in the number and severity of earthquakes worldwide, corporate insureds may do well to accelerate their review and expansion of policy terms to address this important risk, says Micah Skidmore of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Considerations For Attorneys Using Artificial Intelligence

    Ben Allgrove

    Artificial intelligence tools can empower attorneys to work more efficiently, deepen and broaden their areas of expertise, and provide increased value to clients, which in turn can improve legal transparency, dispute resolution and access to justice. But there are some common pitfalls already apparent in the legal industry, say Ben Allgrove and Yoon Chae of Baker McKenzie.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Duncan Reviews 'Justice And Empathy'

    Judge Allyson Duncan

    In "Justice and Empathy: Toward a Constitutional Ideal," the late Yale Law School professor Robert Burt makes a compelling case for the undeniable role of the courts in protecting the vulnerable and oppressed​. But the question of how the judiciary might conform to Burt’s expectations raises practical problems​, says U.S. Circuit Judge Allyson Duncan of the Fourth Circuit. ​