Environmental

  • April 27, 2017

    Trump To Sign Order To Review Offshore Drilling Limits

    President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Friday directing the U.S. Department of the Interior to review his predecessor’s ban on offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, the aim being to open up those protected waters to such activity.

  • April 27, 2017

    Group Sues For Trump Transition's Climate Questionnaires

    A group formed by former White House attorneys filed two suits in D.C. federal court Thursday accusing the U.S. Departments of Energy and Health and Human Services of ignoring requests for records concerning Trump transition team questionnaires given to agency employees about their climate change and Affordable Care Act work.

  • April 27, 2017

    NJ Says PennEast Pipeline Permit Application 'Incomplete'

    The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has deemed an application for a permit for the $1 billion PennEast natural gas pipeline project, which would run from Pennsylvania to central New Jersey, "administratively incomplete," according to a letter the DEP sent to the pipeline company on Wednesday.

  • April 27, 2017

    Ky. Supreme Court Reinstates Power Plant Water Permit

    The Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday reversed a lower court and ruled that a coal power plant’s wastewater permit should be reinstated, deciding that the federal guidelines the permit was issued under did not require the company to make additional assumptions about its responsibilities.

  • April 27, 2017

    Fla. Town Sues Neighbor Over Sand Traps, Beach Erosion

    The town of Hillsboro Beach, Florida, has filed a suit alleging its neighbor to the north, Deerfield Beach, is depriving Hillsboro of the natural flow of sand southward by placing barriers to trap its sand and costing Hillsboro millions for beach replenishment.

  • April 27, 2017

    FirstEnergy Settles BNSF, CSX Coal Delivery Row For $109M

    A FirstEnergy Corp. unit said on Thursday that it will pay $109 million to two railway companies to settle claims that it failed to fulfill the terms of a coal transportation contract, a situation that the company had tried to blame on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency power plant emissions rule.

  • April 27, 2017

    Tribes Say Coast Guard Ship Routes Endanger Killer Whales

    The Tulalip Tribes and the Suquamish Tribe have hit the federal government with a lawsuit accusing the U.S. Coast Guard of imperiling endangered killer whales off the coast of Washington by adopting a traffic separation scheme for oil tankers without consulting the National Marine Fisheries Service.

  • April 27, 2017

    Pruitt To Skip GOP Fundraiser After Senator's Complaint

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt reportedly will not headline an Oklahoma Republican Party fundraiser because invitations didn’t comply with federal ethics laws.

  • April 27, 2017

    9th Circ. Tosses Calif. Truck-Filter Rule Challenge

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday rejected a group of independent truckers’ lawsuit alleging the California Air Resources Board unconstitutionally requires all commercial trucks rolling through the Golden State to install engine particulate filters, saying the district court properly dismissed the suit for being filed in the wrong forum.

  • April 27, 2017

    Enviro Groups Sue Army Corps Over Water Plan For Fla., Ga.

    Three environmental groups filed suit Thursday in D.C. federal court challenging the environmental impact statements used to recently update the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plan to manage the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin, which would cut water to Florida's already-parched and struggling Apalachicola Bay even further.

  • April 27, 2017

    Exxon Must Pay Nearly $20M For Texas Refinery Pollution

    A Texas federal judge ruled Wednesday that Exxon Mobil Corp. must pay nearly $20 million in civil penalties for millions of pounds of air pollution from a refining and chemical complex in a Houston suburb, a win for environmental groups that saw their suit revived by the Fifth Circuit last year.

  • April 27, 2017

    Trudeau Urged To Ban US Coal Shipping Over Lumber Tariff

    British Columbia Premier Christy Clark on Wednesday asked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ban shipments of U.S. thermal coal from entering ports in her province in response to a tariff placed on softwood lumber by President Donald Trump earlier this week.

  • April 27, 2017

    New Mexico And Calif. Sue DOI Over Oil And Gas Royalties

    The states of New Mexico and California on Wednesday sued the federal government for alleged unpaid royalties that should have been paid to the states for producing oil, gas and coal, saying the U.S. Department of the Interior has blocked millions of owed royalties.

  • April 27, 2017

    Quorumless FERC Sits Out Ill. Nuke Plant Subsidy Fight

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told an Illinois federal judge Wednesday it would not weigh in on whether the state's plan to subsidize struggling nuclear power plants intrudes on the agency's authority to oversee wholesale electricity rates, as a coalition of power producers claims.

  • April 27, 2017

    DC Circ. Suspends Litigation Over EPA Mercury Rule

    The D.C. Circuit on Thursday granted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s request to delay a legal battle over the costs of the agency's rule limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants, canceling oral arguments that had been slated for May.

  • April 27, 2017

    Loss Easy To Figure In Canadian Quarry Row, Mining Co. Says

    A Delaware mining company pressed the Permanent Court of Arbitration for costs and damages including lost profits from a Nova Scotia quarry project that was quashed by the Canadian government, in a redacted document obtained Thursday by Law360.

  • April 27, 2017

    Gas Co., Enviro Group Attack Pa. Frack Water Well Permit

    A Pennsylvania community group and a gas producer have filed competing appeals in the state’s Environmental Hearing Board over permits issued by the Department of Environmental Protection allowing a controversial frack water disposal well.

  • April 27, 2017

    Crowell & Moring Adds 2 Dentons Environmental Lawyers

    Crowell & Moring LLP has expanded its environment and natural resources group with the addition two attorneys from Dentons who have more than 70 years of combined experience with chemicals and pesticides law.

  • April 27, 2017

    KiOR Investors Seek OK For $4.5M Stock-Drop Deal

    A group of investors in biofuel developer KiOR Inc. asked a Texas federal court Wednesday to approve a $4.5 million settlement of class claims that the company’s CEO hid technical difficulties at the company’s first production facility.

  • April 26, 2017

    Bankrupt Coal Co., Forest Service Resolve Mine Cleanup Row

    Bankrupt coal producer James River Coal Co. said Wednesday that it has struck a deal with the U.S. Forest Service to trim the agency's claim for cleanup costs at several mine sites in Kentucky from $12.4 million to $5.5 million.

Expert Analysis

  • More EPA Financial Responsibility Rules On The Way

    Wray Blattner

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed a rule regarding financial responsibility requirements for the hardrock mining industry. The particulars on how it determined this formula may be a precursor for methods used in other upcoming industry regulations, say attorneys with Thompson Hine LLP.

  • Monthly Column

    Gray Matters: The Attorney-Client Team

    Robert Creo

    A 1979 study of attorney-client interactions revealed startling information: Despite years of education and training to hone their legal expertise, attorneys were not acting as independent counselors but rather allowing their clients to control them. Our experience is that this trend has accelerated, say dispute resolution experts Robert Creo and Selina Shultz.

  • Walking The Lone Pine Trail

    Alan Hoffman

    Lone Pine orders require plaintiffs to provide some prima facie evidence to support causation or other claims based on expert opinion. Such orders do not require plaintiffs to prove their case — only to demonstrate that they have one. Some examples from recent litigation illustrate how Lone Pine orders can benefit both sides, says Alan Hoffman of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • Litigation Finance, Big Data And The Limits Of AI

    Christopher Bogart

    Theoretically, both better data and its better use should be able to improve results in litigation, and thus help litigation financiers allocate more capital to meritorious matters. However, while big data and artificial intelligence are intriguing additions to the litigation toolkit, they are far from turning litigation finance on its head, says Christopher Bogart, CEO of Burford Capital LLC.

  • Series

    Counsel To Counsel: Mama Said There'll Be Days Like This

    Peter J. Engstrom

    It's no longer enough for law firms simply to provide expert legal advice — we are expected to mirror clients' legal, ethics and social commitments and promises. For law firm GCs, the resulting job demands seem to grow exponentially, says Peter Engstrom, general counsel of Baker McKenzie.

  • An Earth Day Review Of 'Green Guide' False Advertising

    David Kluft

    To help prepare for the Earth Day barrage of environmental advertising claims, David Kluft of Foley Hoag LLP highlights several "Green Guide"-related matters before the Federal Trade Commission and National Advertising Division that can help marketers ensure their advertising is not deceptive.

  • Series

    Counsel To Counsel: A Law Firm GC's Data Protection Duties

    Thomas W. White

    Increasingly, we see companies in all industries seeking to perform various levels of due diligence on our information security defenses. We received three times as many diligence requests from clients and prospective clients in 2016 as we did in 2015. Some clients even conduct their own penetration tests, says Thomas White, general counsel of WilmerHale.

  • 5th Circ. ESA Decision Highlights Deference Discord

    Shawn Welch

    The Fifth Circuit's recent decision in Markle Interests v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the dissent from denial of en banc review, involve a recurring conflict between the extent of judicial review and the proper deference to be given to agency action, says Shawn Welch of Holland & Hart LLP.

  • Series

    Counsel To Counsel: Evaluating Positional Conflicts

    Nicholas A. Gravante Jr.

    What happens when attorneys come to their general counsel’s office with knowledge of a potential positional conflict? While the inquiry will depend on the rules governing the particular jurisdiction, there are a few general questions to consider from both business and legal ethics perspectives, say general counsel Nicholas A. Gravante Jr. and deputy general counsel Ilana R. Miller of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.

  • Series

    Counsel To Counsel: 5 Challenges For A Law Firm GC

    John Koski

    Regardless of where we live and practice, regardless of whether trade deals succeed or fail, and regardless of whether the movement of people or capital is easy or difficult, our clients will still have needs or problems far away from home, says John Koski, global chief legal officer at Dentons.