Environmental

  • February 22, 2018

    Commerce Finalizes Argentine, Indonesian Biodiesel Duties

    The U.S. Department of Commerce unveiled a final set of tariffs on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia late Wednesday, affirming its earlier finding that the merchandise had been sold in the U.S. at unfairly low prices.

  • February 21, 2018

    EPA's Pruitt Faces House Oversight Inquiry Into Flights

    The House oversight committee has joined the chorus of investigators seeking details from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt about his travel expenses, according to a letter Tuesday questioning the administrator’s use of first-class travel accommodations for government business.

  • February 21, 2018

    Uncertainty Abounds After DC Circ. Slices EPA Ozone Regs

    The D.C. Circuit’s recent decision scrapping parts of a 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that outlined how geographic areas could meet 2008 ozone standards not only creates uncertainty for cities, counties and businesses, but could force the EPA to overhaul a pending rule meant to aid compliance with newer ozone standards. Here, experts identify three key takeaways from the appellate court’s ruling.

  • February 21, 2018

    EPA Says Fuel Retailers Can't Fight Renewable Mandates

    A trade group representing small fuel retailers can't challenge U.S. Environmental Protection Agency benchmarks for renewable fuels blended into the nation's gas and diesel supply because its members aren’t subject to the rule, the agency told the D.C. Circuit Tuesday.

  • February 21, 2018

    Carbon-Related Tax Unlikely Under Int'l Rules, Prof Says

    A border-adjusted tax aimed at imports with large carbon footprints could theoretically comply with World Trade Organization rules, but mandates requiring consistent treatment of items from different countries could make the policy difficult to carry out in reality, a law professor said at a conference in Houston on Wednesday.

  • February 21, 2018

    Canadian Salmon Co. Threatens NAFTA Arbitration Over Ban

    A Canadian aquaculture company embroiled in controversy after it accidentally released as many as 263,000 Atlantic salmon into the waters off Washington state threatened Tuesday to file a claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement if a proposed Atlantic salmon farming ban is enacted.

  • February 21, 2018

    Enviros Say Pa. DEP Wrongly OK'd Brownfield Development

    A Pennsylvania environmental group on Wednesday challenged an agreement between the Department of Environmental Protection and a developer for a proposed townhouse project on a suburban Philadelphia brownfield site, telling the Environmental Hearing Board the state hid key details from the public.

  • February 21, 2018

    US, Others Caution High Court On Utility's Immunity Bid

    The U.S. government, public interest groups and others urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday not to let an Arizona utility immediately challenge a lower court's finding that it’s not immune from an antitrust suit brought by a subsidiary of Tesla Inc.

  • February 21, 2018

    FERC Wants DC Circ. To Put $3.5B Pipeline Fight On Hold

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asked the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday to put litigation fighting the approval of the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley gas pipeline on hold so that the agency can first consider activists' requests that it revisit the decision.

  • February 21, 2018

    Verizon Sues NY Town Over Nixed Wetlands Permit

    Verizon Wireless on Tuesday asked a Manhattan federal judge to overturn a Hudson Valley town’s decision denying its request for a wetlands permit to build a wireless facility, saying the decision amounts to an unlawful prohibition on the provision of personal wireless services.

  • February 20, 2018

    Ex-CEO Of Bankrupt NY Solar Co. Attacks Subpoena Request

    The former CEO of bankrupt solar panel installer Level Solar Inc. hit back on Tuesday against the debtor’s attempts to subpoena him for information, calling the probe a cynical ploy to “defame” and “harass” him “to distract from current management’s own wrongdoing.”

  • February 20, 2018

    GM, Bosch Can't Dodge Drivers' Emissions-Cheating Claims

    A Michigan federal judge on Tuesday denied bids by General Motors LLC and Robert Bosch LLC to escape a proposed class action claiming that so-called defeat devices similar to those used in Volkswagen’s diesel cars are installed in some GM vehicles, saying the drivers plausibly alleged a conspiracy.

  • February 20, 2018

    Tribal Involvement Doesn’t Nix Coal Plant Suit, Feds Say

    The federal government told the Ninth Circuit that environmental groups should be able to challenge the government’s approval of continued operations of a coal-fired plant and mine on Navajo land, arguing a lower court was wrong to say the mine owner’s sovereign immunity blocked judicial review.

  • February 20, 2018

    VW, Audi, Bosch Push To End Non-Diesel Emissions Suits

    Volkswagen AG, its subsidiary Audi and supplier Robert Bosch GmbH have asked a California federal judge to dismiss suits that accuse them of cheating on emissions tests for thousands of non-diesel vehicles, saying the suits are vague and unsupported by regulators’ findings.

  • February 20, 2018

    States Seeing Rash Of Bills To Tax Carbon Emissions

    Taxing carbon products and emissions is a long-cherished goal of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and he has proposals to do so again this year. This time, however, he is far from alone as 10 states have released bills to combat climate change and raise revenue by using the tax system.

  • February 20, 2018

    EPA Defends Superfund Listings' Logic At DC Circ.

    A D.C. Circuit panel pressed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in oral arguments Tuesday to justify the reasoning underlying its placement of sites in Indiana and Colorado on the federal Superfund list, with the judges expressing doubt about agency efforts to show connections between two aquifers.

  • February 20, 2018

    Monsanto PCB Suit Belongs In State Court, 9th Circ. Told

    Washington state told the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday that a federal district court judge was right to grant the state’s request to remand its lawsuit against Monsanto Co. over the alleged contamination of waterways with polychlorinated biphenyls to state court.

  • February 20, 2018

    2nd Circ. Ruling Ends Exxon Free Speech Claims, Judge Told

    The Second Circuit’s recent decision that the First Amendment does not shield social welfare organizations from disclosing their donors should also undermine Exxon Mobil Corp.’s free speech claims against state climate change probes, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office told a federal judge Friday.

  • February 20, 2018

    3M Inks $850M Dumping Deal With Minn. On Eve Of Trial

    3M Company cut an $850 million deal with the state of Minnesota to resolve allegations it knowingly dumped chemicals into groundwater, impacting local wildlife and posing health risks to nearby communities, just as the dispute was set to go to trial, the parties announced Tuesday.

  • February 20, 2018

    EPA Can't Delay Deadline On New Formaldehyde Standards

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cannot push back the deadline for the industry to comply with new formaldehyde emissions standards, a California federal judge found on Friday, handing environmental groups a victory after they argued the delay effectively "eviscerates" the statute.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Duncan Reviews 'Justice And Empathy'

    Judge Allyson Duncan

    In "Justice and Empathy: Toward a Constitutional Ideal," the late Yale Law School professor Robert Burt makes a compelling case for the undeniable role of the courts in protecting the vulnerable and oppressed​. But the question of how the judiciary might conform to Burt’s expectations raises practical problems​, says U.S. Circuit Judge Allyson Duncan of the Fourth Circuit. ​

  • Eminent Domain In The Wake Of Natural Disasters

    Briggs Stahl

    When states and municipalities rebuild permanent infrastructure following disasters, they may be able to reduce the damages caused by eminent domain by planning carefully. In particular, examining preventative solutions allows more time for planning and designing projects to reduce future damages to owners, says Briggs Stahl of RGL Forensics.

  • Addressing Human Rights Issues In The Extractive Sector

    Viren Mascarenhas

    As extractive industries face increasing scrutiny over their human rights practices, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable and the Due Process of Law Foundation have issued guidance on how governments should address human rights issues related to the extractive sector. Extractive companies should also take note, say Viren Mascarenhas and Kayla Winarsky Green of King & Spalding LLP.

  • The Art Of The Litigation Funding Deal

    Julia Gewolb

    As litigation funding becomes more widespread, greater complexity and variability in funding deals are to be expected. All claimants should consider certain key questions on the economics of single-case funding when considering or comparing funding terms, says Julia Gewolb of Bentham IMF.

  • Smart Contracts Need Smart Corporate Lawyers

    Matthew O’Toole

    Given the operational and security risks involved, and the substantial digital asset values transacted, the rise of distributed ledger technology and smart contracts will create new opportunities and responsibilities for transactional lawyers, say attorneys with Potter Anderson Corroon LLP.

  • How California Energy Laws Changed In 2017: Part 2

    Ella Foley Gannon

    The laws relating to energy that were enacted during the 2017 California state legislative session will bring a host of changes to existing state programs and policies. Interested stakeholders must familiarize themselves with the state's new policies on solar consumer protection, emerging technologies, zero-emission vehicles and retail utilities, say attorneys with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Witness Preparation Also Requires Witness Training

    Ric Dexter

    A witness who has been told what to do and what not to do will be ineffective at best. Instead, witnesses must be taught how to handle the process, and how to approach the answer to every question that they encounter. These are new skills, and they must be practiced in order to be learned, says Ric Dexter, an independent litigation consultant.

  • How To Fix Your Broken Client Teams

    Mike O'Horo

    Law firms claim they create client teams to improve service. Clients aren’t fooled, describing these initiatives as “thinly veiled sales campaigns.” Until firms and client teams begin to apply a number of principles consistently, they will continue to fail and further erode clients’ trust, says legal industry coach Mike O’Horo.

  • How California Energy Laws Changed In 2017: Part 1

    Ella Foley Gannon

    For energy industry observers, the 2017 California state legislative session produced a few significant bills along with a host of more minor bills. While protecting the environment, the Legislature also sought environmental justice, with new legislation relating to the state's cap-and-trade program, air quality and distributed energy resources, say attorneys with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Understanding FERC's Natural Gas Certificate Policy Review

    Cynthia Taub

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced in December that it will review its 1999 certificate policy statement for deciding when a proposed natural gas project is required by the public convenience and necessity. Based on comments from the commissioners, this review may include potential changes to the commission’s environmental review process, say Cynthia Taub and Monique Watson of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.