Environmental

  • March 23, 2017

    Reps. Again Float Bill To Boost Funding For Mine Cleanups

    U.S. Reps. Jody Hice, R-Ga., and Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., again floated a bill Wednesday to form a foundation that raises private funding to help the federal government more quickly and effectively clean up mines, citing the Gold King Mine spill as an example of the need for boosted financial aid.

  • March 23, 2017

    Dominion Violated CWA With Coal Ash Arsenic, Judge Says

    A Virginia federal judge said Thursday that Dominion Virginia Power violated the Clean Water Act by letting arsenic from coal ash waste seep into groundwater, but declined to impose a civil penalty, opting instead to order the company to conduct monitoring in affected areas.

  • March 23, 2017

    EPA Sued Over Employees' Use Of Encrypted Messaging App

    The government oversight nonprofit Cause of Action Institute has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in D.C. federal court over the alleged use of an encryption messaging service by some agency employees to discuss President Donald Trump’s intended policy changes.

  • March 23, 2017

    Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Bill

    A bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Wednesday announced the introduction of a new piece of legislation to provide increased flexibility to local communities when they are complying with federal requirements for updates to water infrastructure projects.

  • March 23, 2017

    German Prosecutors Probe Daimler Diesel Emissions

    A German prosecutor’s office has launched a probe into whether Daimler AG employees committed fraud over the sales of its diesel cars by faking emissions documents, according to media reports on Wednesday.

  • March 23, 2017

    EPA Ordered To Review 13 Sources Of Air Pollution By 2020

    A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to update national emission standards for 13 sources of hazardous air pollutants — which the agency had failed to do as required by the Clean Air Act — by 2019 or 2020.

  • March 23, 2017

    NJ Water Agency Settles Claims Against Ex-Board Members

    A judge on Wednesday approved a roughly $1.1 million settlement between a defunct Newark, New Jersey, water agency and an insurer over the coverage of mismanagement claims against former agency board members, including U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr., D-N.J., and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., whose dismissal victory over the claims was being challenged.

  • March 23, 2017

    Ga. Updating Coal Plant Permits To End Enviros' Suit

    Environmental groups on Wednesday temporarily dropped their suit accusing Georgia environmental regulators of dragging their feet in updating long-expired wastewater discharge pollution permits for five coal-fired power plants owned by utility giant Southern Co., citing the regulators' moves toward issuing new permits.

  • March 22, 2017

    Jury Awards Calif. Mining Families $100M For County's Plot

    A California federal jury on Tuesday awarded two gravel mining families over $100 million on their claims that Sacramento County officials violated their constitutional rights by maliciously forcing them out of business to aid mining rival Teichert Construction.

  • March 22, 2017

    Exxon Ordered To Turn Over Execs' Climate Change Docs

    The New York judge overseeing a climate change-related probe of Exxon Mobil Corp. on Wednesday ordered the oil giant to produce documents from top executives to the New York attorney general by the end of the month, and directed further talks about recovering missing emails from an alias account of its recently departed CEO, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

  • March 22, 2017

    ING Bank Inks Deal To Sell Its Share Of Dakota Pipeline Loan

    ING Bank said Tuesday it has signed an agreement to sell its $120 million stake in the loan financing Dakota Access LLC’s controversial crude oil pipeline to an undisclosed buyer, after the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe urged the bank to do so as a message.

  • March 22, 2017

    Enviros Ask For Pa. Pipeline Project Stay During Appeal

    The Delaware Riverkeeper Network on Wednesday shot back at efforts by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a Kinder Morgan Inc. unit to deny the environmental group’s bid to halt construction of the company’s Pennsylvania pipeline project until the appeals court weighs in, saying it would be irreparably harmed without such a stay.

  • March 22, 2017

    VW, Ex-Exec Seek To Scrap Investor Claims In Emissions MDL

    Volkswagen AG and the former head of its U.S. unit urged a California federal judge to dismiss partially amended claims brought by a proposed class of investors as part of the sprawling multidistrict litigation over the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal, according to separate motions filed Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • March 22, 2017

    Dem Senators' Letter Says Trump EPA Budget A Disaster

    A group of almost 40 Senate Democrats on Wednesday published a letter they sent to the heads of the Senate Appropriations Committee expressing concerns over President Donald Trump’s budget proposal to slash almost a third of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s funding, saying that such drastic cuts would harm the agency’s ability to execute its core mission.

  • March 22, 2017

    5th Circ. Sides With EPA In Battle Over Texas Haze Rule

    The Fifth Circuit on Wednesday rejected Texas’ bid to strike down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regional haze plan for the Lone Star State, instead granting the EPA’s motion to send the existing regulations back to the agency for revision.

  • March 22, 2017

    Senate Dems Slam Trump's Skinny DOI Budget

    Senate Democrats on Tuesday slammed President Donald Trump’s proposal to slash the Department of Interior’s budget by $1.5 billion, saying planned cuts to programs that address climate change contradict the president's commitments to infrastructure spending made on the campaign trail.

  • March 22, 2017

    GAO Says It Can Judge Intergovernmental Contracts

    The Government Accountability Office asserted Tuesday that it has the authority to consider protests to intergovernmental support agreements, awarded to local governments by federal agencies seeking contractors, even as it rejected the specific challenge to a U.S. Army garbage collection project award.

  • March 22, 2017

    GAO Blasts Pace Of Offshore Drilling Oversight Improvements

    Poor leadership is hamstringing the efforts of U.S. offshore drilling regulators to improve their oversight of the industry following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said on Tuesday.

  • March 22, 2017

    New York Launches $70M Electric Car Rebate Initiative

    New York is launching a $70 million electric car rebate program intended to get more electric cars on the road and slash carbon emissions in the transportation sector, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced.

  • March 22, 2017

    Suit Accusing FERC Of Pro-Energy Industry Bias Thrown Out

    A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday dismissed an environmental group's suit claiming the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's pipeline approval process unconstitutionally favors the energy industry, saying there is no evidence that FERC is biased.

Expert Analysis

  • Regulatory Pathways Emerge For Gene-Edited Products

    Emily Marden

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency have finally indicated how they plan to regulate emerging genetic technologies. Their respective proposals differ in scope and approach, but each one has the potential to significantly influence how gene editing is integrated into product development, say Emily Marden and Deepti Kulkarni of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Killing Class Actions Means Everybody Loses

    Daniel Karon

    Congress is trying to kill class actions again. H.R. 985 would impose a host of impossible requirements on the certification of class members, and close the courtroom doors to countless victims of serious fraud, negligence and other abuses. But it would also cause well-behaving companies to lose market share, profits and sales to cheaters who aren’t policed, says Daniel Karon of Karon LLC.

  • Not From Around Here? Trying A Case As An Out-Of-Towner

    William Oxley

    The importance of authenticity is magnified when trying a case outside your home jurisdiction. While using references to local landmarks or history can help make arguments relatable, adopting local expressions or style in an attempt to ingratiate oneself with the judge and jury almost always backfires, say William Oxley and Meghan Rohling Kelly of Dechert LLP.

  • NJ Spill Act May Now Include Right To Compel Sampling

    Edward McTiernan

    Confronted with the strict liability scheme under New Jersey's Spill Act, courts in the state have universally required that a contribution plaintiff establish that the defendants are "dischargers" or "in any way responsible" before recognizing contribution claims. But that changed when the Appellate Division announced its decision in Matejek v. Watson earlier this month, say Edward McTiernan and Kerry Dziubek of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Avoiding Pitfalls Of Corp. Social Responsibility Statements

    Andrew Tulumello

    Over the past few years, a significant number of consumer and investor lawsuits have been filed challenging companies' corporate social responsibility statements. These increasingly popular cases highlight the importance of taking steps to minimize the risk that such statements will result in a lawsuit, say attorneys with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Renewable Energy And Tax Reform

    Michael Andrews

    In the coming months, the debate over reforming the nation’s tax code will intensify, and the renewable energy tax provisions — the production tax credit and the investment tax credit — will be at risk of being either scaled back or eliminated altogether. But regardless of Washington politics, renewable energy deployment will likely continue to rise, say Michael Andrews and Brad Thompson of King & Spalding LLP.

  • Outdated Rules Are Holding Back Energy Storage

    Daniel Hagan

    Energy storage — which can act both like a generator, injecting electricity onto the grid, and like a transmitter or distributor, providing frequency response and load management — has massive growth potential in today’s energy markets. But current U.S. market rules and industry practices make it difficult to take full advantage of energy storage, say Daniel Hagan and Jane Rueger of White & Case LLP.

  • Upholding Assignment Of Post-Loss Claims

    Rachel A. Mongiello

    The New Jersey Supreme Court's recent decision in Givaudan Fragrances Corporation v. Aetna Casualty and Surety Company represents a big win for insureds, as it confirms that post-loss claims have value and may be transferred, says Rachel Mongiello of Cole Schotz PC.

  • The 'Marriage Before Injury' Rule And Wrongful Death

    Rebecca Kibbe

    In a 2-1 ruling, Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal recently found that the common law "marriage before injury" rule means a widow may not collect loss of consortium damages after her husband's death, allegedly due to to premarital asbestos exposure. But the strong dissent and notable public policy concerns suggest the Florida Supreme Court will take up the issue, says Rebecca Kibbe of Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP.

  • What To Know About New RCRA Post-Closure Care Guidance

    Megan E. McLean

    New guidelines from the EPA provide insight into when post-closure care periods under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act may be adjusted, allowing owners and operators to better evaluate long-term waste management strategies and understand the associated costs, say Megan McLean and Megan Galey of Husch Blackwell LLP.