Environmental

  • June 22, 2017

    Enel Snaps Up Demand Response Firm In $250M Deal

    The U.S. green power unit of Italian utility giant Enel Group said Thursday that it has agreed to buy demand response provider EnerNOC in a deal that values at $250 million the company that develops technology allowing consumers to be paid for using less power during high-demand periods.

  • June 22, 2017

    5th Circ. Panel Won’t Revisit BP Formula On Deepwater Claims

    A Fifth Circuit panel on Wednesday denied a request by BP PLC to revisit the decision rejecting most of the formula the oil giant used to determine the settlement it will pay a class of Gulf Coast businesses harmed by 2010’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, saying the company’s argument was wrong.

  • June 22, 2017

    9th Circ. Allows Sailors' $1B Fukushima Suit To Proceed

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday upheld a lower court’s decision to allow sailors to pursue their $1 billion lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co. over radiation injuries they allegedly suffered during their response to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

  • June 22, 2017

    Calif. Appeals Court Orders Damages Redo In Water Rate Row

    A California appellate court on Wednesday said the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California can’t tack a rate designed to fund water conservation programs onto the rate it charges the San Diego County Water Authority for transporting water, saying a lower court has to recalculate damages awarded to the water authority.

  • June 22, 2017

    Enviros Press FERC For Full Probe Of ETP $4.2B Pipeline

    Environmentalists on Wednesday urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to launch a full enforcement investigation into Energy Transfer Partners LP over drilling fluid leaks from its $4.2 billion Rover pipeline project in Ohio and stop all construction until the investigation is complete.

  • June 22, 2017

    DC Circ. Pipeline Ruling Undercuts States' CWA Role: Enviros

    Environmentalists challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of Constitution Pipeline Co.’s proposed $683 million natural gas pipeline told the Second Circuit Wednesday that a recent D.C. Circuit ruling that FERC could conditionally approve a pipeline's construction without triggering the Clean Water Act undermines states' authority over CWA permitting.

  • June 21, 2017

    Fla. Gov. Given 5 Days To Answer Petition Over Tree Cuts

    The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday gave Gov. Rick Scott until Monday to respond to a challenge to his line-item vetoes of $37.4 million that lawmakers budgeted to pay out judgments to more than 70,000 households whose healthy residential trees were cut down by the state in an effort to eradicate the plant disease citrus canker.

  • June 21, 2017

    Justice Sotomayor On The Power Of Dissent

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor discusses her views on writing dissents and the change she hopes they inspire in the law, in the second of two articles based on an exclusive interview with the 111th justice.

  • June 21, 2017

    Pa. Justices Create Uncertain New Era For Enviro Reviews

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling on Tuesday reaffirming constitutional guarantees on the right to clean air and pure water is being hailed as the biggest environmental decision in the state in decades and a harbinger of a new and uncertain era of scrutiny for projects with potential impacts on natural resources.

  • June 21, 2017

    Whistleblowers, MDL Plaintiffs Object To $32M SunEd Deal

    Two former SunEdison Inc. officers with pending whistleblower suits against the bankrupt solar energy giant and the lead plaintiffs in a Securities Act multidistrict litigation have asked the New York bankruptcy court overseeing the case for assurances that their suits won’t be affected by a recent $32 million settlement with unsecured creditors.

  • June 21, 2017

    EPA Hasn’t Rid State Permit Boards Of Conflicts, Enviros Say

    The Center for Biological Diversity and others said Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency isn't guarding against conflicts of interests on Alabama and Mississippi state boards that approve and enforce air pollution permits, as required under the Clean Air Act, telling the agency they intend to sue if it doesn't take action.

  • June 21, 2017

    Enviro Group Suit Calls Duke Energy Coal Ash Plan Improper

    An environmental group on Tuesday filed suit in North Carolina federal court against Duke Energy Progress LLC, alleging that the company released a plan that calls for improperly keeping coal ash in an unlined area at the Mayo Steam Electric coal-fired plant, arguing that the move could harm the region’s waters.

  • June 21, 2017

    NextEra Gets ESA Suit Over Bird-Killing Turbines Tossed

    A Kansas federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a citizen suit alleging that NextEra Energy Resources LLC and its subsidiaries own and operate wind farms that threaten the whooping crane in violation of the Endangered Species Act, deciding that the plaintiff did not provide proper notice prior to suing.

  • June 21, 2017

    Girardi Keese Sued For Accounting Of $120M In Settlements

    Thomas Girardi and his firm, Girardi Keese, are facing a California lawsuit asking for an accounting of what was done with about $120 million in settlement funds from a pair of deals in an oil contamination case against Shell Oil and a Dole Food unit. 

  • June 21, 2017

    House OKs Faster Energy Co. Tree Clearing On Federal Land

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to expedite tree and brush clearing around power lines on federal land Wednesday, despite concerns that provisions aimed at preventing wildfires would exempt power companies from liability for damages.

  • June 21, 2017

    2nd Circ. Says 1st Circ.'s Materiality Test Is Unsound

    The Second Circuit on Wednesday declined to adopt the First Circuit’s standard for assessing the materiality of companies’ alleged omissions in their interim financial information, saying its sister court’s test can be “analytically counterproductive” and unsound.

  • June 21, 2017

    Utility Plots High Court Appeal In SolarCity Monopoly Suit

    Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement on Tuesday urged the Ninth Circuit to delay issuing its mandate that a lower court's determination that the Arizona utility wasn't immune from an antitrust suit by SolarCity Corp. so Salt River can appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • June 21, 2017

    Pa. Justices Won't Revive Drilling Rule Challenge

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the authority of state environmental regulators to demand that drillers outline potential environmental impacts of proposed oil and gas wells, finding the requirement was not void even though it was part of a controversial law deemed unconstitutional three years ago in a landmark ruling.

  • June 21, 2017

    EPA Appeals Board Rejects Power Plant Permit Challenge

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's appeals board cited a lack of jurisdiction Tuesday when it denied an administrative challenge to an amendment of a license that a California nonprofit said modified a permit issued under the Clean Air Act to the operator of a power plant.

  • June 21, 2017

    Enviros, Tribe Challenge Permit For Wis. Frack Sand Project

    An environmental group and a tribe each mounted challenges Monday to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ permit allowing Meteor Timber LLC to fill in wetlands so it can build a facility to process sand used for hydraulic fracturing and an associated rail corridor.

Expert Analysis

  • Due Diligence From The Lateral Partner’s Perspective

    Howard Flack

    Lateral candidates looking to make the last — or perhaps only — move of their career cannot afford to just stand by and let a law firm’s vetting process unfold on its own, says Howard Flack, a partner at Volta Talent Strategies who previously led lateral partner recruiting and integration at Hogan Lovells.

  • Lateral Partner Due Diligence: Where Should A Firm Begin?

    Howard Flack

    One frequently hears from leading malpractice insurers that one of the highest risk categories for law firms is that of lateral partners not sufficiently vetted during the recruitment process, says Howard Flack, a partner at Volta Talent Strategies Inc. who previously led lateral partner recruiting and integration at Hogan Lovells.

  • A Closer Look At OSHA's Broken Regulatory Process

    Jordan Barab

    Based on the political orientation of the current administration, President Donald Trump’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is unlikely to move any significant regulatory initiatives forward. But if a major catastrophe were to spur bipartisan demands for regulatory action, there are three problem areas to consider, says Jordan Barab, former deputy assistant secretary of labor for OSHA.

  • When 'I Pick, You Pick, They Pick' Goes Wrong

    Angela Zambrano Headshot.jpg

    In the “I pick, you pick, they pick” arbitration system, each party selects its own arbitrator, and those two arbitrators select a third. But the Texas Supreme Court's recent decision in Forest Oil v. El Rucio Land and Cattle demonstrates how this method can heighten rather than minimize the chance of an arbitral mistake, say Angela Zambrano and Robert Velevis of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Takeaways From 3 NJ Environmental Insurance Decisions

    Robert Chesler

    In 2017, New Jersey has already witnessed three important decisions in the law of insurance coverage for hazardous waste site cleanup, each of which enhances policyholders' ability to obtain coverage for long-tail claims, say Robert Chesler of Anderson Kill PC and Robin Keliher of Willis Towers Watson PC.

  • Disposal Of Contamination: Be Careful What You Throw Away

    Mitchell Klein

    While the Superior Court of New Jersey's decision in Pollitt Drive LLC v. Engel does not establish any precedent, it is in keeping with a line of cases holding, somewhat surprisingly, that plaintiffs must retain the physical evidence from environmental remediations, says Mitchell Klein of Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • Suffering Withdrawal: The Post-Paris Energy Outlook

    James Hoecker

    The Trump administration's withdrawal from the Paris climate accord has not deterred a number of U.S. states, municipalities and technology companies from their clean energy plans. But in a competitive world, weak government support for new technologies and industries may have substantial commercial consequences, says James Hoecker of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • Debating The Value Of Distributed Rooftop Solar

    Brad Thompson

    How much is solar power really worth? Although a seemingly simple question, it has a myriad of complex and sometimes conflicting responses that many regulators across the U.S. are trying to resolve, say Brad Thompson and Jessica Sabbath of King & Spalding LLP.

  • Weekly Column

    Innovating For Wise Juries: Setting Trial Time Limits

    Stephen Susman

    This is the second in a series of articles discussing ideas proposed by the NYU School of Law Civil Jury Project to resuscitate the American jury trial. In this article, Stephen Susman, Richard Lorren Jolly and Dr. Roy Futterman argue for setting early and strict time limits in civil jury trials.

  • Trump's Monuments Order Won't Benefit Tribal Economies

    Hillary Hoffmann

    President Donald Trump's executive order mandating the review of national monuments with the goal of opening public lands to mineral development could provide some economic benefits, but history has shown that most mineral development booms are followed by inevitable busts, says professor Hillary Hoffmann of Vermont Law School.