Environmental

  • November 13, 2017

    Ex-EPA Attys Blast Pruitt's Sue-and-Settle Directive

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt's recent directive that the agency curb so-called sue-and-settle agreements is based on unfounded claims of EPA collusion with environmental groups, is biased in favor of industry and will likely lead to lengthier and costlier litigation, dozens of former EPA attorneys said Monday.

  • November 9, 2017

    How The Trump Administration Is Putting Its Stamp On TSCA

    The Trump administration has pleased industry players and frustrated environmental groups with its approach to implementing amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act, weighing in on key issues ranging from how the government handles applications for new chemicals to enter the marketplace, to how it evaluates the risk posed by substances already in use.

  • November 9, 2017

    La Paloma Ch. 11 Buyer Ruled Not Liable For Enviro Costs

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge said Thursday that La Paloma Generating Co. LLC’s buyer, senior creditor LNV Corp., does not have successor liability for what was estimated at $63 million in environmental costs under California’s “cap-and-trade” program, ruling that the regulation itself doesn’t permit it.

  • November 9, 2017

    Sens. Ask GAO To Eye EPA's 'Double Standard' On Advisers

    Ten senators decried the "double-standard" of a new Environmental Protection Agency directive that bars EPA grant recipients from advisory committees to reduce conflicts of interest — yet lets industry-funded scientists replace them — in a letter to the Government Accountability Office on Thursday.

  • November 9, 2017

    New NJ Gov. Poised To Pit State's Legal Muscle Against Trump

    With the election of a new, Democratic governor, New Jersey will likely join California, New York and other states where attorneys general are actively challenging Trump administration policies on the environment, immigration and health care, experts say.

  • November 9, 2017

    VW Seeks Dismissal Of Fla., Utah Counties' Emissions Suits

    Volkswagen AG asked a California federal judge Wednesday to toss suits brought by counties in Florida and Utah seeking billions of dollars over defeat devices, saying that, like Wyoming’s dismissed suit, the counties are trying to enforce federal emissions standards.

  • November 9, 2017

    EPA Floats Repeal Of Heavy-Duty Truck Emissions Standards

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed to repeal Obama-era greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks outfitted with engines from older trucks, claiming that the agency doesn't have the Clean Air Act authority to regulate them.

  • November 9, 2017

    Commerce Inks Final Duties To Offset Biodiesel Subsidies

    The U.S. Department of Commerce set the stage for new tariffs ranging upward of 72 percent on imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia on Thursday after determining that producers in those countries have benefited from unfair government subsidies.

  • November 9, 2017

    Senate To Consider Bill Opening Alaska Oil Drilling

    The head of a key Senate committee on Wednesday unveiled a bill that would open up oil exploration in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as part of the broader tax reform effort.

  • November 9, 2017

    Alaska, W.Va. Ink Energy Development Deals With China

    A trio of Chinese energy and finance companies on Thursday breathed life into a $45 billion liquefied natural gas project in Alaska that several major oil companies had soured on while a Chinese energy firm agreed in principle to invest nearly $84 billion in West Virginia gas and chemical manufacturing projects.

  • November 9, 2017

    Enviro's La. Plant Suit Barred By State Deal, Exxon Says

    A Louisiana state agency is actively enforcing a Clean Air Act settlement with Exxon Mobil Corp. over illegal discharges at a chemical plant, so an environmental group can’t bring a civil suit with the same allegations, the company told a Louisiana federal judge on Wednesday.

  • November 9, 2017

    SunEdison Judge Says Creditor Seems Bitter Over Equity Deal

    Two linked investors alleging SunEdison Inc. favored certain creditors when putting together a Chapter 11 exit financing agreement received a blunt rebuke Thursday when a New York bankruptcy judge said their complaints sounded like bitterness over their own offer's rejection, not like legal impropriety.

  • November 9, 2017

    Senate Confirms Hunton's Wehrum To Lead EPA's Air Office

    The U.S. Senate on Thursday narrowly confirmed Hunton & Williams LLP administrative law practice head Bill Wehrum to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's air and radiation office in a party-line vote, filling arguably the agency's most influential post behind that of Administrator Scott Pruitt.

  • November 8, 2017

    SunEdison Judge Limits Reach Of 3rd-Party Releases

    The judge presiding over SunEdison Inc.'s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case ruled Wednesday that creditors who did not vote on the renewable giant's restructuring plan cannot be bound to included third-party litigation releases, saying their silence does not amount to consent.

  • November 8, 2017

    Men Who Freed 2K Minks Can't Escape Charges: 7th Circ.

    The Seventh Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a federal judge’s decision to keep alive charges against two men that were brought under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act over allegedly freeing 2,000 minks and vandalizing a mink farm, rejecting arguments that the statute improperly labels nonviolent actors as terrorists.

  • November 8, 2017

    House OKs Bill For Expedited Hydropower Licenses

    The House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would expedite some Federal Energy Regulatory Commission consideration for hydropower projects, over Democrats’ concerns that it would circumvent environmental rules.

  • November 8, 2017

    DC Circ. Refuses To Block $2.65B Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

    The D.C. Circuit on Wednesday denied a request by environmental groups to pause a Williams Partners unit from constructing the $2.65 billion Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, which had been given the go-ahead by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to transport natural gas from Pennsylvania to destinations further south.

  • November 8, 2017

    Watchdog Says EPA Takes Too Long On Bias Complaints

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may have grossly mismanaged internal complaints of discrimination by resolving them far more slowly than the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires, the U.S. Office of the Special Counsel said Wednesday in a letter to the White House.

  • November 8, 2017

    Icahn Subpoenaed Over Biofuel Efforts As Trump Adviser

    New York federal prosecutors have subpoenaed Carl Icahn over his efforts to influence U.S. biofuel policy, potentially impacting a large refiner he owns, while serving as a regulatory adviser to President Donald Trump, an investment vehicle owned by the billionaire recently disclosed in a securities filing.

  • November 8, 2017

    Citgo Oil Spill Liability Should Be Trimmed, 3rd Circ. Told

    Three Citgo units on Wednesday urged the Third Circuit to scale back the refiner's liability for a $100 million-plus oil spill judgment, saying the owner of the ill-fated tanker flouted federal safety provisions and should therefore shoulder more of the payout.

Expert Analysis

  • DOE Proposal Offers Blatant Subsidies For Coal Industry

    Emma Hand

    The U.S. Department of Energy recently proposed that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission effectively allow coal-fired power plants to charge higher prices based on their contribution to grid "resilience." It is remarkable to see oil and gas associations, utilities, consumer groups and renewable energy associations united in opposition to the proposal's accelerated timeline, say Emma Hand and Adam Brown of Dentons.

  • Make Way For The 'Unicorns'

    Lucy Endel Bassli

    By "unicorn" I don’t mean the next great tech startup with a valuation of $1 billion. I mean the new breed of lawyers realizing that there are better ways to get their day jobs done, says Lucy Endel Bassli, assistant general counsel leading the legal operations and contracting functions at Microsoft Corp.

  • It's Up To EPA, Congress To Act On Commerce Reg Reforms

    Charles Merrill

    The U.S. Commerce Department recently recommended major environmental regulatory revisions. But only Congress and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can make these changes. The outcome could be a few easy fixes, or an overhaul of existing programs, says Charles Merrill of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: McConnell Reviews 'Unequal'

    Judge John McConnell

    As widespread claims of sexual misconduct continue to surface in the entertainment industry and beyond, a discussion of how judges treat workplace discrimination cases may be particularly timely. Here, U.S. District Judge John McConnell reviews the book "Unequal: How America’s Courts Undermine Discrimination Law," by professors Sandra Sperino and Suja Thomas.

  • Roundup

    Making Pro Bono Work

    Pro Bono Thumbnail

    In this series, attorneys explore the challenges and rewards of pro bono volunteering in the legal profession.

  • Massachusetts Emerges As An Energy Storage Leader

    Eric Runge

    The energy storage market is developing rapidly, thanks to both federal efforts and state policies like Massachusetts' Energy Storage Initiative. The state recently set an “aspirational” goal for the procurement of 200 megawatt-hours of energy storage capacity by 2020, putting Massachusetts in the energy storage vanguard, says Eric Runge of Day Pitney LLP.

  • Being There: Preparing Witnesses For Depositions

    Alan Hoffman

    Preparing witnesses to be deposed is a critical element of discovery. It is important to remember that each witness is an individual with unique personal qualities, strengths and weaknesses. Getting to know the witness helps establish rapport and trust, says Alan Hoffman of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • Series

    Making Pro Bono Work: The Sidley-Exelon Partnership

    Kelly Huggins

    Exelon Corp. and Sidley Austin LLP have been working together on both short- and long-term pro bono matters for the past 10 years. We offer a glimpse of how we got started and what we have done in the hope that other corporate legal departments and law firms might find ways to work together to meet the legal needs of the poor, say Kelly Huggins, pro bono counsel at Sidley Austin, and Margaret Balsley-Cross, assistant general counsel at Exelon.

  • What Companies Should Know About TSCA Consent Orders

    Martha Marrapese

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's use of consent orders under the Toxic Substances Control Act and the significant new use rules that follow are catching companies off guard as they cascade through the supply chain. Martha Marrapese of Wiley Rein LLP explains considerations that go into negotiating consent orders for new chemicals and the requirements that flow from them.

  • Recipe For Legal Project Management: Look To BBQ Champs

    Anthony Rospert

    As a master certified barbecue judge with the Kansas City Barbeque Society, I have noticed that the top pitmasters follow a consistent process in approaching each and every competition. Their "secret sauce" — employing project management principles — can also help lawyers achieve success, says Anthony Rospert of Thompson Hine LLP.