Environmental

  • April 25, 2018

    8th Circ. Backs Army Corps' Win Over Tribe's Permit Claims

    An Eighth Circuit panel on Wednesday refused to revive the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation’s claims that accused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of improperly allowing development near a South Dakota lake that it considers sacred.

  • April 25, 2018

    Okla. High Court Nixes Utility's Coal Plant Revamp

    The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday vacated an Oklahoma Corporation Commission decision allowing Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. to retrofit a coal power plant with $500 million in pollution controls, saying the regulator didn't have the authority to do so.

  • April 25, 2018

    Wash. Tribe Says Army Corps Permit Threatens Aquatic Life

    The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community hit the Army Corps of Engineers with a suit in Washington federal court Tuesday, alleging the agency violated U.S. environmental law by not providing protections for habitats critical to a threatened salmon species in a nationwide permit for shellfish aquaculture.

  • April 25, 2018

    Enviro Group To Sue Newark Over Water's Lead Levels

    The National Resources Defense Council put the city of Newark on notice Tuesday that it plans to sue over the lead contamination levels in the city's drinking water, which it claims are dangerously high as a result of the city's failure to address the problem.

  • April 25, 2018

    Enviros Take FERC Pa. Pipeline Approval Fight To DC Circ.

    The Delaware Riverkeeper Network on Tuesday urged the D.C. Circuit to review the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of a Kinder Morgan unit's $144 million pipeline project in Pennsylvania, which the green group claims was based on a flawed environmental analysis.

  • April 24, 2018

    US Energy Firm Targets Poland Over Nixed Wind Farm Deals

    Invenergy LLC made good Tuesday on its threat to mount an arbitration claim against Poland for allegedly orchestrating the unlawful termination of the American energy company's long-term wind farm contracts with several state-owned utilities, saying efforts to amicably resolve the dispute have failed.

  • April 24, 2018

    MarkWest Strikes Deal With EPA, Pa. Over Alleged Emissions

    MarkWest Liberty Midstream Resources LLC will pay a $610,000 civil penalty, spend $2.6 million on minimizing emissions from its facilities and take on environmentally beneficial projects worth $2.4 million to settle claims it flouted air pollution laws, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday.

  • April 24, 2018

    Pruitt Floats Overhaul To EPA Scientific Review Process

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Tuesday proposed a rule that would prevent the agency from promulgating regulations using research that isn't publicly available, mirroring legislation that's advanced in the GOP-controlled Congress but hasn't yet made it into law.

  • April 24, 2018

    EPA Tells DC Circ. New Renewable Fuel Mandates Are Proper

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told the D.C. Circuit on Monday that refiners and a biodiesel trade group were wrong to attack a rule that set the levels of renewable fuel that must be blended into the fuel supply, defending its discretion to calculate mandates.

  • April 24, 2018

    In Turnabout, Judge Erases Challenge To NM Drilling Permits

    A New Mexico federal judge on Monday rejected all challenges by environmental groups and a Navajo tribal group seeking to block the Bureau of Land Management from allowing further drilling in New Mexico’s Mancos Shale, after originally saying the groups' National Historic Preservation Act allegations had merit.

  • April 24, 2018

    Low Bidder Won't Get Contract For NJ Enviro Cleanup

    The disqualified low bidder on a contract with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for emergency response services should have already had a subcontractor in place that had a valid license in asbestos removal, a state appellate panel ruled Tuesday in upholding the state’s rejection of the bid.

  • April 23, 2018

    Timber Co. Asks High Court To Reverse Frog Habitat Ruling

    Weyerhaeuser Co. and other forest land owners on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Fifth Circuit ruling upholding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to declare 1,500 acres of private property in Louisiana as protected habitat for the endangered dusky gopher frog.

  • April 23, 2018

    EU, Mexico Agree To Broader Trade Deal Nixing Tariffs

    Trade officials with the European Union and Mexico announced that they have struck a bilateral free trade agreement that would eliminate virtually all duty payments between the two economies and further open government contracts by the North American nation to European companies.

  • April 23, 2018

    GM Slams Consumers' Bid To Expand Diesel Emissions Suit

    General Motors LLC on Friday slammed an attempt by consumers to expand their putative class action accusing the Detroit auto giant of installing so-called defeat devices on Chevrolet Cruze diesel cars to cheat emissions tests, saying their eleventh-hour bid comes too late.

  • April 23, 2018

    Activists Can Make Case For Pipeline Shutoff, Panel Says

    Four climate change activists charged with tampering with an Enbridge Inc. tar sands pipeline can present evidence at their trial that their actions were necessary to prevent environmental harm caused by fossil fuel use, a Minnesota appeals court said Monday in upholding a lower court ruling.

  • April 23, 2018

    New GM, Mich. Residents Dispute Provisions Of 2009 Sale

    General Motors told a New York bankruptcy court on Friday that a group of Michigan residents cannot pursue the carmaker for groundwater contamination, saying GM's 2009 bankruptcy sale agreement did not assign the so-called New GM liabilities related to common law environmental claims.

  • April 23, 2018

    EPA Says Forest Biomass Energy Is 'Carbon Neutral'

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday said it will treat as "carbon neutral" the burning of wood and wood byproducts at power plants and other facilities, a policy declaration that pleased the forestry industry and dismayed environmental groups.

  • April 23, 2018

    DC Circ. Asked To Rethink Decision On 2008 Ozone Rule

    The Los Angeles-area air quality regulator on Friday asked a D.C. Circuit panel to reconsider its decision partially vacating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2008 ozone standards implementation rule.

  • April 23, 2018

    NY Pollution Permit Could Violate CWA, Enviros Say

    The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation flouted federal and state environmental law by issuing a statewide general water pollution permit that authorizes the discharge of industrial stormwater into waters already designated as “impaired,” two environmental organizations alleged Friday in New York state court.

  • April 23, 2018

    5th Circ. Rejects Citgo's Bid For Redo On $81M Spill Penalty

    The Fifth Circuit said Friday it would not rethink its recent confirmation of an $81 million Clean Water Act penalty against Citgo Petroleum Corp. stemming from a 2006 oil spill, despite the company’s protests.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Finance-Savvy Millennials Are Shifting Business Of Law

    Michael Perlich

    The impact of millennials has already been felt within the legal community by our eagerness to embrace new technologies. One way that we will have potentially even more impact lies in our willingness to embrace new ways of developing business and financing law, says Michael Perich of Burford Capital LLC.

  • Opinion

    Attorney-Client Privilege Is Alive And Well

    Genie Harrison

    The FBI raid of the office of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer set off a firestorm of controversy about the sanctity of the attorney-client privilege, epitomized by Trump's tweet that the "privilege is dead." But attorney-client privilege is never taken lightly — I have battle scars from the times I have sought crime-fraud exceptions, says Genie Harrison of the Genie Harrison Law Firm.

  • Roundup

    Dissolving Practice

    Dissolving Practice

    In this series, experts discuss the unique aspects of closing a law firm, and some common symptoms of dysfunctionality in a firm that can be repaired before it's too late.

  • Calif. Case Shows Propriety Of Telecom CEQA Exemptions

    Michael Shonafelt

    A California appellate court's recent decision in Aptos v. Santa Cruz clarifies that "small cell" telecommunications networks in public streets and highways are exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review. This case comes at a time when the telecom industry and local governments both need certainty on the applicability of CEQA exemptions, says Michael Shonafelt of Newmeyer & Dillion LLP.