Environmental

  • September 20, 2017

    Aluminum Co. To Pay $230K For Alleged Emissions Violations

    An aluminum product manufacturer agreed Tuesday to pay a $230,000 civil penalty and create new chemical testing and compliance plans to end allegations by the Environmental Protection Agency that its South Carolina facility didn’t meet federal hazardous chemical guidelines.

  • September 20, 2017

    Insurer Can't Claim Policy Error To Deny Pollution Coverage

    A Georgia federal court Wednesday refused to find that Ace American Insurance Co. need not cover any of a $2.3 million judgment against Exide Technologies Inc. over acid damage at a former battery factory, rejecting the insurer's contention that a pollution exclusion was mistakenly left off Exide's policy.

  • September 20, 2017

    California Sues Over Border Wall Project Waivers

    The Trump administration's attempt to waive environmental laws so it can move forward with its border wall project violates the U.S. Constitution and numerous federal and state regulations and should be stopped by a federal court, California argued Wednesday.

  • September 20, 2017

    Nonpolluting Co. Prevails On Appeal For Cleanup Grant

    The New Jersey Appellate Division on Wednesday reversed the state environmental regulator’s determination that a company didn’t qualify for "innocent party" cleanup funds earmarked for longtime property owners who did not cause the pollution, finding that the company’s family ties to the original owner qualified it under the state’s remediation laws.

  • September 20, 2017

    Feds Must Face Enviro Suit Over Wash. Coastal Runoff

    A federal district judge Tuesday allowed a suit from an environmental group that claimed the federal government failed to force Washington state to control pollution runoff in coastal watersheds to move forward, refusing to dismiss most of the claims in the case.

  • September 19, 2017

    Trump EPA Nominee Set To Argue Against Silica Rules

    President Trump’s nominee to serve as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s assistant administrator of air and radiation, currently a Hunton & Williams partner, is scheduled to argue before the D.C. Circuit against new rules reducing silica exposure in the construction industry, a Tuesday docket entry revealed.

  • September 19, 2017

    Sierra Club Sues EPA Over 'Unprecedented' FOIA Delays

    The Sierra Club is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in D.C. federal court for stonewalling multiple Freedom of Information Act requests, in what the environmental group calls an “unprecedented” pattern of obstruction and unresponsiveness at the agency.

  • September 19, 2017

    Permits For Washington Methanol Refinery Nixed

    Environmentalists claimed a win on Monday after a Washington state board that hears appeals of various permits voided two permits for a proposed methanol refinery in Kalama, saying there is a need for more clean energy instead of fossil fuels.

  • September 19, 2017

    Northrop Water Pollution Suit Came Too Late, 2nd Circ. Told

    Northrop Grumman Corp. on Monday shot back at a brief from Long Island water districts and a village association in support of a local water authority’s bid to revive its groundwater contamination suit, telling the Second Circuit the lower court found the claims are barred by a statute of limitations. 

  • September 19, 2017

    NC Appeals Court Backs Duke Monopoly Over Power Sales

    A North Carolina appeals court on Tuesday said that an environmental group acted as a public utility when it installed solar panels at a Greensboro, North Carolina, church and charged it for the electricity they generated, infringing upon Duke Energy Corp.'s state-sanctioned monopoly over electricity sales in the region.

  • September 19, 2017

    Lobster Thief Ordered To Fork Over $30M To South Africa

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday ordered a man who plundered South African lobster fisheries from 1987 to 2001 to fork over more than $30 million to the country, bumping up a previous restitution award after the poacher dodged his obligation to pay back victims of the overharvesting.

  • September 19, 2017

    DOI Claims Immunity In Blackfeet Water Rights Suit

    The federal government asked a Montana federal judge on Monday to dismiss a suit filed by members of the Blackfeet Nation that demanded legal title to the natural resources on the tribe’s reservation, arguing that the United States was immune from the suit’s claims.

  • September 19, 2017

    Emissions Cheating Played Role In Early Deaths, Study Says

    Excess emissions from diesel cars outfitted with so-called defeat devices to make the cars appear more environmentally friendly than they actually were may have contributed to up to 10,000 premature deaths a year from air pollution in the European Union, according to a study released Monday.

  • September 19, 2017

    NJ Water Agency Asks To Probe Trenk DiPasquale Computers

    A defunct Newark, New Jersey, water agency on Monday asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to search electronic devices used by Trenk DiPasquale Della Fera & Sodono PC attorneys in order to fill a “giant email hole” of discovery in its lawsuit alleging the firm and others enabled unlawful and wasteful conduct at the agency.

  • September 19, 2017

    Uranium Mill Shoots Down CAA Suit Over Radon Emissions

    A Utah federal judge has tossed an environmental group’s Clean Air Act lawsuit against uranium mill operator Energy Fuels Resources Inc. over allegedly excessive radon emissions, declining to second-guess the Utah state air regulator’s finding that emissions tests performed by the company were valid.

  • September 19, 2017

    FERC Lifts Limit On Construction Of $4.2B ETP Pipeline

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday told Energy Transfer Partners LP that it is lifting its ban on certain drilling activities necessary to construct the $4.2 billion Rover Pipeline in Ohio, saying the company has taken steps to ensure that a drilling fluid spill won’t happen again.

  • September 19, 2017

    Senate Panel Advances Key Energy Noms

    The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Tuesday advanced the nominations of two Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners, including President Donald Trump's pick to lead the agency, as well as the Department of the Interior's land and minerals management boss and its solicitor, and the Department of Energy's top lawyer.

  • September 18, 2017

    'Flawed' Calculation Caused Inflated Forfeiture: Lobster Thief

    Counsel for a man who plundered South African lobster fisheries from 1987 until 2001 took issue Monday with a New York federal judge’s decision that his client needs to forfeit an additional $37.2 million, saying that number was based on the price of whole lobsters, rather than the tails that were actually sold.

  • September 18, 2017

    Siemens Tells 1st Circ. Brook Cleanup Verdicts Should Stand

    If a lawsuit over the cost of the environmental cleanup of a brook running through a Boston neighborhood is remanded for a new trial, the jury verdicts related to a Siemens AG subsidiary and an affiliate should stand, the companies told the First Circuit on Friday.

  • September 18, 2017

    DOI Recommendations To Shrink Monuments Draw Fire

    Tribes, environmental groups and federal lawmakers on Monday assailed the U.S. Department of the Interior’s recommendations that several national monuments be reduced in size, while Republican leadership slammed the leaking of the DOI’s memo containing the recommendations.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Dealing With Difficult Lawyers

    Alan Hoffman

    Some lawyers tend to be overly aggressive, regarding law practice as a zero-sum game in which there are only winners and losers. The best response is to act professionally — separating the matter at hand from the personalities. But it is also important to show resolve and not be vulnerable to intimidation, says Alan Hoffman of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • Harvey’s Aftermath For The US Oil And Gas Sector

    Thomas Ciarlone Jr.

    As the U.S. oil and gas industry recovers from Hurricane Harvey, operators must also be aware that force majeure clauses, excusing nonperformance during natural disasters, may not provide as much cover as they think, says Thomas Ciarlone Jr. of Kane Russell Coleman Logan PC.

  • Punitive Damages In Mass Torts: Outrageous And Reckless

    Stephen McConnell

    There is no consistency to the punitive damages process: One case might be halted by a judge who applies Daubert to preclude junk science, while another judge waves virtually the same case by and a jury socks the defendant with a $110 million verdict. Our system of civil litigation looks like jackpot justice, says Stephen McConnell of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Wind Power: A Strong Market But An Uncertain Future

    John Crossley

    The U.S. Department of Energy's recently published 2016 Wind Technologies Market Report showed strong growth for wind power due to low power purchase prices, decreased technology costs and improved performance. But the expiration of the production tax credit and low natural gas prices make long-term growth uncertain, say John Crossley and Brynna Krough-Deaton of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • The Psychology Of Hourly Fee Arrangements

    J.B. Heaton

    The range of possible and better fee agreements is wide. But such alternatives will become popular only if litigants confront the psychological tendencies shaping their existing fee arrangements, says J.B. Heaton, a partner at Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP.

  • What Does It Mean To 'Consider' Pipeline Risk Factors?

    Zachary Koslap

    The Fifth Circuit's recent ruling in ExxonMobil Pipeline Company v. U.S. Department of Transportation held that ExxonMobil was not in violation of regulations requiring it to “consider” all risk factors relevant to a certain pipeline segment. The court’s distinction between process-based and outcome-based regulations is especially useful, says Zachary Koslap of Manko Gold Katcher & Fox LLP.

  • Practicing Law In The Era Of 3rd-Party Litigation Funding

    David Silver

    The growth of third-party litigation funding has added a distinct variable to the world of civil litigation. Such funding has and will continue to change the calculus for many corporations and their defense counsel as to the tipping point between settling or pursuing a case to a court decision, says David Silver of Silver Public Relations.

  • Self-Collection In E-Discovery — Risks Vs. Rewards

    Alex Khoury

    As judges become better educated about the complexities of collecting electronically stored information, in particular the inefficacy of keyword searching, they are increasingly skeptical of self-collection. And yet, for many good reasons (and a few bad ones), custodian self-collection is still prevalent in cases of all sizes and in all jurisdictions, says Alex Khoury of Balch & Bingham LLP.

  • 6 Common Lateral Partner Myths Debunked

    Dan Hatch

    It’s safe to say that while demand ebbs and flows for legal services, there will never be a shortage of opinions about lateral partner hiring, which is positive for the industry, as anything with such vital importance to careers should attract significant attention. However, there is a unique mythology that travels with the discussions, says Dan Hatch of Major Lindsey & Africa.

  • When A Firm Is 'Failing': CentraCare Vs. Energy Solutions

    Lisl Dunlop

    Very few merging firms have been successful in invoking the "failing firm" defense before the federal antitrust agencies. Two recent cases — one in health care and one in the waste disposal industry — provide insights into using the defense in practice, say Lisl Dunlop and Shoshana Speiser of Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP.