Environmental

  • October 19, 2017

    Officer Who Aided 'The Codfather' Gets 1-Year Prison Term

    A Boston federal judge on Thursday handed a one-year prison sentence to a former sheriff’s deputy convicted of smuggling money through airport security for disgraced fishing titan “The Codfather,” and then lectured him for having known better than to commit the crime.

  • October 19, 2017

    Tribe Slams Rival's Claim To Fishing Rights In 9th Circ.

    The Nisqually Indian Tribe told the Ninth Circuit Wednesday that a former Washington federal judge did not intend to include contested waters in part of the southern Puget Sound in another tribe’s ancestral fishing area in a long-running dispute over fishing rights in the region.

  • October 19, 2017

    Sierra Club Sues EPA For Missing Renewable Fuel Deadlines

    The Sierra Club on Thursday sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, saying it has failed to update Congress on the environmental impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard program, and failed to study whether increased ethanol use has adversely impacted air quality.

  • October 19, 2017

    PG&E Liable For $8M Landslide Damage, San Francisco Says

    The San Francisco city attorney hit Pacific Gas & Electric Co. with a negligence suit in superior court Wednesday, claiming the energy giant should be on the hook for damages — nearly $8 million and rising, the suit says — caused by a landslide resulting from the company’s shoddy work.

  • October 19, 2017

    US Blocks Timber Imports From Peruvian Logger

    U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday directed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to block future timber imports from a Peruvian logger suspected of illegal harvesting, the first time the country has halted the entry of lumber products from the South American nation under the terms of a trade deal.

  • October 19, 2017

    Feds Sue Barge Operator Over New England Oil Spill

    The operator of a tank barge that ran aground nearly 15 years ago and spilled thousands of gallons of oil off the New England coast was sued Thursday by the federal government for pollution damages.

  • October 19, 2017

    Snowmobilers Lose Bid To Kill Forest Plans Banning Vehicles

    A Montana federal judge on Wednesday shot down an effort by snowmobile groups to undo two Obama-era forest protection plans that prohibited use of the vehicles, saying the government had adequately studied the issue before taking action.

  • October 19, 2017

    FERC Sets Default 40-Year License For Hydro Projects

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday unveiled changes to its policy establishing licensing terms for hydroelectricity projects, the centerpiece being a 40-year default license for nonfederal projects after federal and state environmental regulators balked at a proposed 50-year default license.

  • October 19, 2017

    Former FERC Commissioners Slam Perry's Grid Pricing Plan

    Eight former commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, including five ex-chairs, on Thursday panned Secretary of Energy Rick Perry's proposal to pay coal and nuclear plants for providing base load power and grid reliability services, saying it would reverse the development of wholesale electricity markets and soak consumers.

  • October 19, 2017

    Investors Lose Bid For 20M Pages Of Docs In Volkswagen MDL

    A California magistrate judge on Wednesday denied investors’ request for more than 20 million pages of documents in multidistrict litigation over Volkswagen AG’s diesel emissions scandal, saying the investors haven’t proven all the documents are relevant to their claims.

  • October 19, 2017

    Mayor Acts For Boston In FERC Pipeline Row, DC Circ. Hears

    The city of Boston does not have to be among the parties challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of a $971 million natural gas pipeline, as the mayor effectively “is the city for all purposes,” counsel for the mayor and other Boston politicians told a D.C. Circuit panel Thursday.

  • October 19, 2017

    Enviros Say NRG Can't Stall Rejection Of Calif. Gas Plant

    Environmentalists have urged the California Energy Commission to reject NRG Energy Inc.'s bid to suspend review of a proposed gas-fired power plant, claiming the company is trying to stall after two of the agency's commissioners indicated earlier this month that they would vote against the project.

  • October 19, 2017

    Military Bases Didn't Report Water Systems Issues, GAO Finds

    At least 16 military installations failed to report water quality violations at the U.S. Department of Defense's public water systems between 2013 and 2015, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday that urged the Pentagon to improve its internal reporting practices.

  • October 18, 2017

    Pa. Reps. Pass Natural Gas Severance Tax Through Committee

    The Pennsylvania House Finance Committee on Wednesday cleared a bill that imposes an incremental severance tax on natural gas production in a bipartisan, 16-9 vote.

  • October 18, 2017

    Monsanto Discovery Row In $40M Suit Goes To Texas Justices

    Helena Chemical Co. has asked the Texas Supreme Court to weigh in on a discovery dispute in a $40 million lawsuit brought by farmers alleging Helena's herbicide damaged their cotton crops, arguing that Monsanto Co. should be forced to hand over information that could show a different source of the damage.

  • October 18, 2017

    Fla. Court Revives Challenges To New Water Standards

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday revived challenges by Miami and the Seminole Tribe of Florida to proposed changes to the state's water-quality standards, ruling that their petitions to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection were not filed too late.

  • October 18, 2017

    Neighbors Sue EPA, Corps To Be Heard In Development Row

    A neighborhood group sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in federal court Tuesday over the proposed development of property in the town of Lynnfield, claiming they haven’t given the group a fair chance to voice environmental concerns.

  • October 18, 2017

    Pa. Panel Mulls If Towns Can Regulate Pipeline Locations

    An en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on Wednesday expressed skepticism at Sunoco Pipeline LP’s arguments that two municipalities were preempted from imposing any restrictions on the path of natural gas pipelines, in the latest battle over the company’s controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline.

  • October 18, 2017

    PE-Backed Water Treatment Co. Launches $500M IPO

    Private equity-backed water treatment systems and services company Evoqua Water Technologies launched an estimated $500 million initial public offering on Wednesday, advised by Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

  • October 18, 2017

    Bayer, Others Sued Over Radioactive Waste Near Niagara Falls

    Bayer CropScience Inc., Occidental Chemical Corp. and Union Carbide Corp. put residents near Niagara Falls in danger by negligently leaving behind radioactive waste from their operations, local businesses and residents have alleged in New York federal court.

Expert Analysis

  • Enviro Rights: What's The Public Trust Role In Pa.?

    Philip Hinerman

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's recent decision in Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has changed the discussion about the state’s so-called environmental rights amendment. Philip Hinerman and Adam Cutler of Fox Rothschild LLP examine issues raised in the case, such as what it means to be a public trustee, and the positions various groups are taking.

  • The Legal Theory Behind The Clean Power Plan's Repeal

    Jane Montgomery

    News media reports about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's move to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan have focused on President Donald Trump’s attacks on his predecessor's environmental legacy. However, repeal proponents can make a strong argument that the CPP was always on shaky legal ground, say Jane Montgomery and Amy Antoniolli of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • Financial Crisis Anniversary

    New Post-Recession Metrics For BigLaw Partner Success

    Peter Zeughauser

    After nearly a decade of recession-accelerated change in the legal industry, “merit-based” compensation has largely come to mean measuring attorney success using some combination of origination and working attorney hours metrics. However, there are signs that the real impact of the recession is still around the corner, and that building a book isn’t enough, says Peter Zeughauser of Zeughauser Group.

  • Opinion

    Time To Lift Student Loan Counseling Restrictions

    Christopher Chapman

    While it lends more than $100 million each year to our nation’s college students — including law students — the U.S. Department of Education surprisingly limits loan counseling to one-time entrance counseling for first-time student borrowers. Is this rational? asks Christopher Chapman, president of AccessLex Institute, a nonprofit focused on access to legal education.

  • Deciding The Forum For 'Waters Of The US' Suits

    Joel Beauvais

    Last week the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in National Association of Manufacturers v. U.S. Department of Defense. During argument, the balance of questions seemed to favor the industry and state petitioners arguing in favor of district court jurisdiction for suits challenging the Clean Water Rule, says Joel Beauvais of Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Why You Should Consider Hyperlinking Your Next Brief

    Christine Falcicchio

    The shift to electronic filing has somewhat eased the task of reviewing briefs and their supporting files. An e-brief takes e-filing to the next level, says Christine Falcicchio, a principal at Strut Legal Inc.

  • Viability Of 'Act Of God' Defense In A Superstorm World

    Sarah Quiter

    The stakes are high for anyone facing environmental liability in the wake of storms like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. If you are among the parties potentially liable for the costs to clean up a release of oil or hazardous substances caused by a major storm event, you may be thinking about a possible “act of God” defense, but you may want to think again, says Sarah Quiter of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Asian-Americans Facing Challenges In The Legal Industry

    Goodwin Liu

    Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing minority in the legal profession, but recent studies confirm their underrepresentation among partners, prosecutors, judges and law school administrators. We must take action, say Goodwin Liu, associate justice of the California Supreme Court, and Ajay Mehrotra of the American Bar Foundation.

  • A BigLaw Ladies’ Guide To Becoming A 1st-Chair Trial Lawyer

    Sarah Rathke

    Judge Shira Scheindlin recently published an op-ed in The New York Times discussing the statistical truth that law firms have poor representation of female attorneys as first-chair trial lawyers. Backed by data collected by the New York State Bar Association, Judge Scheindlin’s observation is not merely anecdotal. But it doesn’t have to be inevitable, says Sarah Rathke, a partner and trial lawyer at Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

  • Calif. Real Property Transactions May Need CEQA Review

    Stephanie Smith

    Private parties who plan to jump into a real property transaction with a public agency should be aware that their deal could be impacted or held up by the California Environmental Quality Act unless they are fully informed of the recent legal developments pertaining to CEQA compliance and real property, says Stephanie Smith of Grid Legal.