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Environmental

  • July 17, 2018

    FERC Chair Denies Reports Of LNG Project Review Delays

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Kevin McIntyre on Tuesday denied published reports that the agency has informed liquefied natural gas developers that they face year-plus delays in FERC's review of their project applications and said FERC is putting the finishing touches on ways to accelerate the LNG review process.

  • July 17, 2018

    Steel Producer Must Pay Fine, Upgrade Emissions Equipment

    The federal government on Tuesday filed a proposed consent decree in Michigan federal court that would require Gerdau Specialty Steel, North America to pay a $325,000 fine and upgrade its facilities in response to inspections that showed its steel mini mill violated Clean Air Act standards.

  • July 17, 2018

    Dems Fret Over Chevron, Enviro Rules If Kavanaugh Seated

    Senate Democrats said Tuesday they worry that the U.S. Supreme Court's Chevron deference to agency expertise and other bedrock environmental rule precedent could be swept away if the Senate confirms D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

  • July 17, 2018

    5th Circ. Nixes Enviros' Suit Over Texas Highway Projects

    The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday refused to revive a lawsuit in which a coalition of local residents and environmental groups alleged plans for three Austin-area highway projects were improperly treated separately when considering their environmental impact.

  • July 17, 2018

    Enviros Press DC Circ. To Halt EPA Truck Emissions Rollback

    A trio of environmental groups urged the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday to halt the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent decision to cease enforcing Obama-era greenhouse gas emissions standards for certain heavy-duty trucks outfitted with engines from older trucks, standards the agency plans to repeal.

  • July 17, 2018

    DC Circ. Backs Narrow FERC Review Of US-Mexico Pipeline

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday rejected an environmental group's challenge of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of a portion of a Texas gas pipeline leading to the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the agency correctly determined an expanded environmental review of the entire pipeline wasn't necessary.

  • July 17, 2018

    Buyers Slam German Auto Cos.' Bid To Dodge Antitrust MDL

    U.S. auto dealers and consumers told a California federal judge Monday that Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche cannot dodge multidistrict litigation alleging they engaged in an antitrust conspiracy on car technology, costs, suppliers and emissions equipment, saying there’s substantial evidence of the decadeslong scheme.

  • July 17, 2018

    Montgomery McCracken Wants Malpractice Row In Fed. Court

    Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP on Tuesday said a $620 million malpractice suit it recently removed from Pennsylvania state court should remain in a federal judge's hands thanks to its genesis in a bankruptcy proceeding that a group of Luzerne County residents say shortchanged their toxic tort claims against Tronox Inc.

  • July 16, 2018

    Chem Co. Liable For Pa. Site's Prior Pollution, 3rd Circ. Told

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection urged the Third Circuit Monday to order a chemical company to pay $900,000 in cleanup costs for a contaminated site it acquired southwest of Philadelphia, arguing that a district court’s refusal to hold the company liable under federal law posed severe consequences for both taxpayers and natural resources.

  • July 16, 2018

    FERC Rollback Of GHG Analysis Challenged At DC Circ.

    Opponents of a Dominion Energy Inc. pipeline in New York on Monday asked the D.C. Circuit to review the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision to grant the project a construction and operation certificate, alleging the agency shirked its duty to consider the pipeline’s greenhouse gas emissions.

  • July 16, 2018

    Enviros' Challenge Of NM Nuke Site Cleanup Deal Tossed

    A New Mexico federal judge has said a nuclear watchdog’s lawsuit over hazardous waste cleanup at Los Alamos National Laboratory is largely mooted by a 2016 cleanup deal brokered by state and federal regulators, but added the group could still pursue penalties over violations of a previous agreement.

  • July 16, 2018

    Democracy Forward Sues DOI For Parks Panel Selection Docs

    The Democracy Forward Foundation sued the U.S. Department of the Interior in D.C. federal court Monday in an effort to force the release of records concerning the selection process for members of a National Park Service outdoor recreation advisory committee that gives guidance about the operation of public lands.

  • July 16, 2018

    FCA, Bosch Want RICO Claims Axed In Emissions MDL

    Fiat Chrysler and Bosch asked a California federal court Friday to dismiss claims brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in multidistrict litigation over alleged evasion of emissions testing, saying the purported misconduct harmed regulators rather than the drivers making the claims.

  • July 16, 2018

    6th Circ. OKs Pollution Class Action, Paving Way For Others

    A group of Dayton, Ohio, residents suing four companies for groundwater pollution got the green light from the Sixth Circuit on Monday to continue their lawsuit as a class action, a ruling that generally opens the door for easier approval of class claims in the circuit.

  • July 16, 2018

    Pai Rejects Sen.'s Concern Tribes Lacked Input On 5G Rule

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has rebuffed a Democratic senator's concerns the agency didn’t adequately consult with Native American tribes before making a rule change allowing wireless carriers to sidestep historic preservation and environmental reviews for the small-cell fixtures used for next-generation 5G networks.

  • July 16, 2018

    OxyChem Sues Chevron Units Over Passaic River Cleanup

    Occidental Chemical Corp. has launched a federal lawsuit in New Jersey against two Chevron Corp. units and other parties, saying they must help shoulder the cleanup costs associated with a roughly 8.3-mile stretch of the heavily polluted Passaic River.

  • July 16, 2018

    Developer Bulldozed Native American Remains, Calif. DA Says

    Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig’s office in California announced on Friday a lawsuit accusing the owners and developers of a residential development in West Sacramento of bulldozing Native American human remains during construction.

  • July 16, 2018

    EPA Biofuel Regs Fight Is Baseless, DC Circ. Hears

    Refiners can't provide a valid reason why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should have shifted some of the burden for blending renewable fuels into the country's transportation fuel supply from refineries to fuel blenders, ethanol and petroleum industry groups told the D.C. Circuit on Friday.

  • July 16, 2018

    Sheriff’s Capt. Convicted In ‘Codfather’ Smuggling Scheme

    A Massachusetts federal jury convicted a sheriff’s captain Monday afternoon on charges of conspiracy and cash structuring for allegedly helping a notorious Bay State fishing magnate known as “the Codfather” smuggle cash out of the United States.

  • July 13, 2018

    EPA 'Amazingly Wrong' On Roundup Cancer Risk, Jury Hears

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was “amazingly wrong” when it found that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer, was not a likely carcinogen, a former National Institutes of Health scientist told a California jury Friday during a landmark trial over claims the herbicide caused a retired groundskeeper's lymphoma.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    3 Pros, 3 Cons Of Litigation Finance

    Ralph Sutton

    An educated guess puts the number of new litigation funders launched in the past 18 months at 30 — an astonishing number, with more to come. Is this a blessing to our legal system or something more akin to tulip mania? Maybe both, says Ralph Sutton, founder and CEO of litigation funding firm Validity Finance LLC.

  • A Lawyer's Guide To Genomics In Toxic Tort Cases: Part 1

    Kirk Hartley

    Genomic data and technologies can assist both plaintiffs and defendants in toxic tort and personal injury cases in uncovering the underlying causes of disease. In coming years, the influence of genomics in civil law will be even broader than its influence in criminal law, say attorney Kirk Hartley and scientific consultant David Schwartz of ToxicoGenomica.

  • Modern Communication Brings E-Discovery Challenges

    Thomas Bonk

    As new communications platforms displace email, the legal industry is awkwardly grappling with complex e-discovery questions. Fortunately, this environment provides a very fertile ground of incentives for innovation in both e-discovery technology and service offerings, says Thomas Bonk of Epiq.

  • Opinion

    It's Not All About The Benjamins, Baby (Lawyer)

    J.B. Heaton

    Notwithstanding the latest salary war among prominent law firms, I urge my middle-aged and older colleagues to help the recent graduates we know focus on the long term. Even if the salary is the same, there is a big difference between an institutional firm and the relatively younger firms matching BigLaw, says J.B. Heaton, a University of Chicago business law fellow and former partner at Bartlit Beck.

  • Investment Tax Credit Guidance Means Sunny Days For Solar

    Jon Nelsen

    Notice 2018-59, issued last month by the Internal Revenue Service, confirms that standards and safe harbors previously defined for wind energy projects can be used with solar energy projects. Project sponsors can now act with greater certainty in making solar investments, say Jon Nelsen, Michael Didriksen and Peter Farrell of Baker Botts LLP.

  • Asbestos Transparency Laws Can Stop Double Recovery

    Scott Hunsaker

    Some asbestos plaintiffs have obtained full recovery from viable defendants and simultaneously, or later, recovered more money for the same injury from asbestos bankruptcy trusts established by those same entities. Recognizing this problem, more and more states are turning to asbestos transparency laws as a solution, say Scott Hunsaker and Karl Borgsmiller of Tucker Ellis LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Hood Reviews 'Lawyering From The Inside Out'

    Judge Denise Hood

    Law professor Nathalie Martin's new book, "Lawyering From the Inside Out: Learning Professional Development Through Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence," can be of value to any lawyer aiming to achieve greater productivity, relieve the stress of the legal profession and focus on goals, says U.S. District Chief Judge Denise Page Hood of the Eastern District of Michigan.

  • A Path To New York's Energy Storage Goal

    Danielle Mettler-LaFeir

    New York state's recently issued Energy Storage Roadmap identifies the actions and initiatives that can help New York meet its energy storage goal of 1,500 megawatts by 2025. Danielle Mettler-LaFeir of Barclay Damon LLP looks at the road map’s recommendations and the opportunities they create.

  • 3 Top E-Discovery Case Law Lessons Of 2018 (So Far)

    Casey Sullivan

    The blockbuster e-discovery cases, with big sanctions and bigger controversies, have been few and far between this year. But that doesn’t mean the legal questions around e-discovery have been answered. Let’s take a closer look at three cases worthy of our attention, says Casey Sullivan, an attorney at discovery technology provider Logikcull.

  • Assessing Lucia's Impact Beyond The SEC

    Barry Hartman

    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Lucia v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission necessarily implicates a broad swath of recently decided or currently pending enforcement actions before hundreds of administrative law judges across federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.