Environmental

  • May 22, 2017

    Sen. Demands Info From Pruitt On Recent EPA Enforcement

    Democratic Senator Tom Carper on Saturday asked EPA chief Scott Pruitt to hand over information related to the agency’s enforcement record, sparked by a recent New York Times report that Devon Energy backtracked on its willingness to remedy air pollution violations less than a week after Pruitt took over the agency.

  • May 22, 2017

    US Stopped From Giving Forest Land To Colorado Developers

    A Colorado federal judge on Friday blocked a public-private land swap that would have let a developer with the U.S. Forest Service’s help build a large, year-round hotel, condo and commercial complex near the remote Wolf Creek Ski Area, ruling the government failed to adequately consider the environmental impact and local opposition.

  • May 22, 2017

    Enviro Group Asks To Intervene In $45B Alaska LNG Project

    The Center for Biological Diversity on Monday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to intervene in an application for a $45 billion liquefied natural gas pipeline project in Alaska, arguing that its concerns over the potential environmental impact were relevant to the case.

  • May 22, 2017

    Maxus Ch. 11 Plan Confirmed With Support From Creditors

    Bankrupt oil and gas firm Maxus Energy Corp. received court approval Monday in Delaware for its Chapter 11 plan of liquidation after reaching consensus with its creditors to create three post-bankruptcy trusts to administer its assets.

  • May 22, 2017

    ND Judge Nixes Suit Against Dakota Access Protesters

    A North Dakota federal judge has tossed a suit by Dakota Access LLC that sought to block protest activity against the Dakota Access pipeline by the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others, saying the dollar value of the case wasn’t large enough to justify federal jurisdiction.

  • May 22, 2017

    Texas Appeals Court Revives New Braunfels River Can Ban

    A Texas appeals court has revived a New Braunfels law that bars those who go tubing along the popular Comal and Guadalupe rivers from using cans and other disposable food and beverage containers, saying a district court doesn’t have jurisdiction to force the city to stop enforcing its ban.

  • May 22, 2017

    DC Judge Orders FTA To Redo Purple Line Enviro Review

    A D.C. federal judge on Monday ordered the Federal Transit Administration to more properly weigh how declining ridership on Washington's problem-plagued Metrorail would impact Maryland’s proposed $5.6 billion Purple Line rail extension.

  • May 22, 2017

    California Tribe Wants Stay Lifted In Water Rights Suit

    The Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Indians on Friday pressed a California federal court to lift a stay in the tribe’s suit over groundwater rights against two water agencies, saying that the agencies stand little chance of having a recent Ninth Circuit ruling in the tribe’s favor reconsidered and reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • May 22, 2017

    8th Circ. Revives Underground Fracking Pollution Case

    The Eighth Circuit on Monday revived a fracking pollution lawsuit against Southwestern Energy Co. brought by property owners who allege that the company’s waste migrated onto their land from a nearby well.

  • May 22, 2017

    EPA Settles Suit Over Sierra Club Objection To Coal Plant

    The Sierra Club and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday entered into a consent decree in Washington, D.C., district court that awarded the environmental group $6,500 and promised an answer to its petition asking the agency to object to an operating permit issued for a coal-fired plant in Utah.

  • May 22, 2017

    UK, Luxembourg Cos. Seek OK Of €128M Award Against Spain

    Two companies hailing from the U.K. and Luxembourg on Friday brought a more than €128 million arbitral award they won following a dispute with Spain over renewable energy subsidies to a New York federal court, seeking the court's blessing of the award in a petition for recognition and enforcement.

  • May 22, 2017

    Trump Picks La. Energy Official For Offshore Drilling Post

    The Trump administration on Monday tapped a Louisiana utility official and former Republican gubernatorial candidate to be the top U.S. offshore drilling regulator, adding another fossil fuel development backer to the Department of the Interior.

  • May 22, 2017

    Cravath Can’t Dodge Shell Docs Subpoena, 2nd Circ. Told

    A Nigerian environmental and human rights advocate has urged the Second Circuit to uphold an order requiring Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP to turn over documents related to her planned litigation against Royal Dutch Shell in the Netherlands, saying the request is narrow and covers information already disclosed in a prior case. 

  • May 22, 2017

    5th Circ. Lets Nevada Join Texas Suit Over Yucca Mountain

    The Fifth Circuit on Friday said the state of Nevada could intervene in Texas' suit over the federal government's failure to complete the licensing process for a nuclear waste storage repository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain, which Nevada vehemently opposes.

  • May 22, 2017

    Pa. Tells 3rd Circ. It Properly Permitted Pipeline Project

    Pennsylvania environmental regulators on Friday defended their decision to issue a water quality permit for a Kinder Morgan unit's Pennsylvania pipeline project, while an opposing environmental group said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can't support its decision approving the project in concurrent appeals before the Third Circuit.

  • May 22, 2017

    No Need For Direct Appeal In Kids' Climate Suit, Enviros Say

    There's no valid reason to ignore a magistrate's recommendation to deny the federal government's bid to certify questions for appellate review in a youth-driven climate change suit, an Oregon federal judge heard Friday.

  • May 19, 2017

    How They Won It: Berger & Montague Persists For 27 Years

    By continuing to press their case against two industrial giants and the federal government in a dispute marked by “scorched earth” tactics, Berger & Montague PC attorneys showed the value of persistence, finally securing a $375 million settlement related to allegations of contamination from the former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant after 27 years of litigation.

  • May 19, 2017

    Fiat Plans To Modify Emissions Software In 100K Vehicles

    Fiat Chrysler plans to modify the software used in more than 100,000 diesel vehicles, a move the company believes will help quickly end government investigations into possible excess emissions, the automaker announced Friday.

  • May 19, 2017

    Honeywell Again Dodges Claims It Botched NY Lake Cleanup

    A New York federal judge on Friday tossed for the second time a suit accusing Honeywell International Inc. of exposing upstate residents to dangerous chemicals after botching a government-mandated water pollution cleanup, saying the suit merely tries to hold Honeywell liable for cleanup activities it was instructed to carry out by federal and state environmental regulators.

  • May 19, 2017

    9th Circ. Won't Rehear Wash. Tribal Fishing Rights Appeal

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday said it will not review a panel’s decision ordering the state of Washington to replace 1,000 culverts in order to protect tribal salmon fishing rights, although several judges warned that the decision would have far-reaching impacts.

Expert Analysis

  • A Tale Of 2 States, And 2 Asbestos Verdicts

    Meghan Senter

    Two verdicts were handed down recently in mesothelioma lawsuits related to asbestos exposure. Both cases were heard in state courts, both involved a deceased plaintiff, and both were brought by the same firm. But the verdicts were very different, and illustrate how state-specific laws can be as damaging to a case as a bad set of facts, says Meghan Senter of Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP.

  • Time For FERC To Re-Examine Its Hydropower License Policy

    David Poe

    The term length of a federal hydroelectric license is a major factor in inducing a licensee to invest money in a hydroelectric project. But the relicensing process for such projects has grown unwieldy and expensive. Respondents to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's recent notice of inquiry on hydropower licensing terms agree on the misalignment of incentives in FERC’s current policies, say attorneys with Bracewell LLP.

  • The Current State Of Renewable Energy Disputes: Part 4

    Justin Tschoepe

    In addition to disputes with governmental entities, or over the use of sovereign land, renewable energy companies frequently face disputes involving purely private parties. The final part of this series summarizes three common examples of such litigation, including shareholder litigation, consumer disputes and nuisance lawsuits, say Justin Tschoepe and William Wood of Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • What Lawyers Should Know To Avoid Online Scams

    J. S. Christie Jr.

    Scams resulting in access to confidential information are probably a lawyer’s greatest technology and cybersecurity risk. But hackers are more likely to gain access to a lawyer’s computer systems through human error, usually responding to a scam, than a brute force attack, says J. S. Christie Jr. of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

  • New Divisions In Indian Country Over Energy Justice

    Matthew L.M. Fletcher

    If energy tribes become greater players in resource extraction, it will only be a matter of time before environmentally oriented tribes begin to challenge them in court and in politics. If so, we will see a terrible battle over competing claims to tribal sovereignty as congressional rhetoric turns more to action, and tribal communities line up against each other, says Matthew Fletcher of Michigan State University College of Law.

  • The Current State Of Renewable Energy Disputes: Part 3

    Justin Tschoepe

    In part 3 of this series, Justin Tschoepe and William Wood of Norton Rose Fulbright discuss disputes brought on behalf of the U.S. government under the federal False Claims Act and suits against foreign sovereigns related to the scaling back of state benefits for renewable energy companies.

  • Herding Cats: Making The Most Out Of A Joint Defense Group

    Audra Dial

    Audra Dial, managing partner for Kilpatrick Townsend LLP’s Atlanta office, shares four strategies that she believes make multidefendant litigation more efficient — and ensure the joint defense group does not devolve into a leaderless group.

  • The Current State Of Renewable Energy Disputes: Part 2

    Justin Tschoepe

    A wide variety of disputes has arisen relating to state laws and local municipal ordinances as they apply to the building and operation of renewable energy projects and the provision of renewable energy. Part 2 of this series summarizes some of the most common types of disputes in the renewable energy industry involving these state and local issues, say Justin Tschoepe and William Wood of Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • Web Servers: An Overlooked Cybersecurity Risk At Law Firms

    Jeff Schilling

    Many law firms use public-facing websites for business development and to streamline operational processes. While these sites are great for maximizing information-sharing, they could unknowingly be an unlocked gateway into a firm’s most confidential data, says Jeff Schilling of Armor Defense Inc.

  • Considering The Site Of Insured Locations In Delaware

    Jonathan MacBride

    Courts can struggle when applying a choice of law analysis in cases where there is no governing law provision in an insurance policy covering a company with insured locations around the globe. For now, at least, Delaware law seems to favor application of a single state's law to coverage disputes under insurance policies covering locations in multiple states, says Jonathan MacBride of Zelle LLP.