Environmental

  • March 27, 2017

    Portland General Electric Can't Duck Enviro's CWA Claims

    An Oregon federal judge on Monday refused to let Portland General Electric Co. duck an environmental group's lawsuit accusing it of Clean Water Act violations at a hydroelectric facility along the Deschutes River.

  • March 27, 2017

    Trump Set To KO Obama's Signature Climate Change Regs

    President Donald Trump will issue an executive order Tuesday directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw the Clean Power Plan and reduce the role of climate change in federal environmental reviews, setting a process in motion that could undo much of Barack Obama's legacy on climate change.

  • March 27, 2017

    $28.6M Fees In VW Fraud Deal Hardly 'Excessive,' Firms Say

    Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and Bass Sox Mercer on Thursday blasted Volkswagen’s recent claim that a $28.56 million fee request was “excessive” for a $1.6 billion settlement benefiting auto dealers affected by the automaker’s emissions cheating scandal, saying that Volkswagen’s argument was “high on rhetoric and low on substance.”

  • March 27, 2017

    Homeowners Get Class Cert. In Flood Suit Against Paper Co.

    A Florida federal judge on Saturday certified a class of homeowners suing International Paper Co. for property damage after an abandoned dam at one of the company's paper mills burst during a rainstorm and purportedly caused the flooding of their homes.

  • March 27, 2017

    Faulty Info Let $3.5B Pipeline Proceed, Enviros Tell FERC

    Environmental groups urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Friday to block construction of a $3.5 billion natural gas pipeline that would run from Alabama to Florida, claiming the agency relied on faulty information over a coal-fired power plant's expected closure in determining the project was necessary.

  • March 27, 2017

    Norway's DNB Bank Selling Stake In Dakota Pipeline Loans

    Norway's DNB Bank ASA said Sunday that it had agreed to sell its share in the financing of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline in response to concerns raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others about the controversial Energy Transfer Partners project.

  • March 27, 2017

    Mich. Reaches $87M Deal To Replace Flint Water Lines

    The state of Michigan has agreed to pay $87 million to enable the city of Flint to replace water lines over the next three years for up to 18,000 households dealing with the city's lead contamination crisis, according to a proposed settlement agreement filed Monday in Michigan federal court.

  • March 27, 2017

    Orrick Pulls 2 Energy Partners From Norton Rose Fulbright

    Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP announced that it had brought onboard two energy lawyers with experience working on liquefied natural gas projects from Norton Rose Fulbright as partners in the firm’s offices in Washington, D.C., and New York, where they will be part of the firm's energy and infrastructure platform.

  • March 27, 2017

    Michael Best Adds Ex-DOJ Enviro Atty From Clark Hill

    Michael Best & Friedrich LLP has hired in its Washington, D.C., office a former U.S. Department of Justice environmental attorney who has most recently worked at Clark Hill PLC.

  • March 27, 2017

    Fisheries Service Must Redo ESA Analysis, Court Says

    A D.C. district court Saturday said the National Marine Fisheries Service made a series of logical mistakes when it determined that the blueback herring did not qualify to be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, deciding that the service must redo its analysis.

  • March 27, 2017

    Ponca Tribe Looks To Fight Keystone XL's Path Through Neb.

    The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska announced on Friday that it has asked to intervene in proceedings before the Nebraska Public Service Commission in which TransCanada seeks approval of a route through the state for a portion of its Keystone XL pipeline, citing its “serious concerns.”

  • March 27, 2017

    Southern Co. Investors Sue For Records On $7B Coal Plant

    Southern Co. investors asked a Delaware court on Friday for access to company books and records that they say could help elucidate whether pure mismanagement is responsible for staggering cost overruns and delays on a high-profile Mississippi coal plant build.

  • March 27, 2017

    NJ Justices Find No Retroactive Liability For State In Cleanup

    The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Monday that the state isn’t responsible for cleaning up lead pollution on land it owns that predated the state’s contamination contribution law because the statute’s retroactivity provision doesn’t expressly waive a public entity’s sovereign immunity.

  • March 27, 2017

    ‘Manure Nutrients’ Don’t Absolve Alleged Polluter, Court Says

    A California federal judge on Friday shot down Hollandia Dairy Inc.’s bid for a quick win in a suit brought by a resort owner related to an environmental cleanup dispute with San Diego County, rejecting the dairy company’s attempt to pass off alleged lake pollution as “nutrients” found in cow manure.

  • March 27, 2017

    CEO Gets 3 Years' Probation In Wastewater Sample Cover-Up

    The owner of a Pennsylvania environmental services company was sentenced to three years of probation and over $100,000 in fines Friday after pleading guilty to several counts stemming from accusations he and the company ordered workers to discard samples from wastewater treatment facilities that he believed would violate pollutant limits.

  • March 27, 2017

    EPA Wants To Consider New Standards In Calif. Water Suit

    The Environmental Protection Agency asked a California federal judge on Friday for time to go back and determine whether relaxed water standards initiated by state regulators during a drought were considered “revised” rules subject to EPA review before moving forward in a lawsuit accusing the agency of shirking its duty to monitor water quality regulations, saying the agency has more expertise on the matter than the court.

  • March 27, 2017

    VW Drivers, Feds Seek Approval For $1.2B Emissions Deal

    A settlement worth at least $1.2 billion that would both compensate owners of 3.0-liter Volkswagen cars and remediate environmental harms stemming from the auto maker’s emissions-cheating scandal warrants final approval, the U.S. government and attorneys for the drivers told a California federal judge on Friday.

  • March 27, 2017

    EPA Ducks Charles River Stormwater Pollution Permit Suit

    A Massachusetts federal judge on Friday tossed a lawsuit in which two conservation groups accused the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of flouting its Clean Water Act responsibility to require stormwater dischargers along the Charles River to apply for pollution permits.

  • March 27, 2017

    Developer Defends 'Hyper-Technical Flaws' In $26M Easement

    A developer trying to assert a $26.4 million tax deduction against IRS opposition urged an Arizona federal judge Friday to recognize a retroactive tweak to its environmental conservation easement already approved by a state court, arguing property rights are governed by state law, not federal.

  • March 27, 2017

    Utility Can't Use Ruling As Antitrust Shield, SolarCity Says

    SolarCity Corp. on Friday insisted that a recent Third Circuit decision does not support an Arizona utility's argument that it's immune from SolarCity's antitrust suit over state-mandated price setting, telling the Ninth Circuit that the state never intended for the utility to use its authority to stifle competition.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • How The Most Profitable Law Firms Structure Their C-Suites

    Anita Turner

    The most successful Am Law 200 law firms have evolved from being partner-run to being run by a group of highly skilled professionals reporting to firm shareholders. The data collected from our recent survey indicates this model is generally conducive to increased profitability, says Anita Turner, senior director at Colliers International.

  • Settlement Strategy: What Does The Client Really Want?

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    The best outside counsel think like the client. That includes understanding the client’s perspectives and goals with regard to reaching a settlement — because “good results” mean different things for different clients. Outside counsel must ask themselves the right questions, and know the answers, to shape a client-focused settlement strategy, say Kate Jackson of Cummins Inc. and Patrick Reilly of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • In The Associate Lateral Market, All Law Firms Are Not Equal

    Darin R. Morgan

    When associates contemplate a potential lateral move, there is a common misconception that all law firms are the same. It may seem that one law firm is just like the next, but if you dig deeper, you may discover unique attributes at some firms that may be more appealing and improve your professional satisfaction significantly, says Darin Morgan of Major Lindsey & Africa.

  • Reflections From A Mock Trial

    Lora Brzezynski

    Nerves were high on the day of the trial. While technically client interests were not at stake, our reputations were still on the line. We were not only presenting our case in front of our newly acquainted colleagues, but also for partners at our firm, expert witnesses, federal judges and in-house counsel — potential employers and clients, say attorneys with Dentons, sharing their recent mock trial experience.

  • Public Utility, Private Investor As Solar Power Partners

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    For the first time, a regulated electric utility has obtained regulatory approval to partner with a tax equity investor to acquire and operate a utility-scale solar project. This arrangement could serve as a blueprint for other electric utilities across the country to transition to utility-owned solar generation at lower costs for their customers, say Patrick Ferguson and Carlos Gutierrez of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

  • Courts Should Act Broadly In Favor Of Claim Assignability

    Leonard R. Powell

    The Supreme Courts of Nebraska and New Jersey have recently joined the majority of U.S. jurisdictions in holding that the proper balancing of public policy concerns weighs against enforcement of nonassignment clauses, but these two decisions also reveal a schism in the majority position that should be addressed, say Leonard Powell and Brian Scarbrough of Jenner & Block LLP.