Environmental

  • February 13, 2018

    BLM Proposes Pulling Back Obama’s Methane Flaring Rule

    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Monday proposed to eliminate most of an Obama-era rule aimed at reducing the amount of methane that oil and gas companies release on federal and Native American lands, saying the regulations are too costly for business.

  • February 12, 2018

    9th Circ. Judge: Tribe ‘Did Nothing’ To Stop Rival Casino

    During a hearing Monday, a Ninth Circuit judge asked whether the Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community waived its right to challenge another tribe’s proposed casino hotel when it “did nothing” to notify the U.S. Department of the Interior about the project’s effect on its own casinos.

  • February 12, 2018

    4 Takeaways From Trump's $200B Infrastructure Blueprint

    President Donald Trump's proposal to spend $200 billion to rebuild the nation's roads, bridges, highways, railways, waterways and other public works marks the opening salvo in what will be a pitched political battle over increasing investment in American infrastructure. Here are a few takeaways from the plan.

  • February 12, 2018

    9th Circ. OKs Sanctions For First Solar Wrongful Death Suit

    A California federal judge correctly found that a workers' compensation deal preempted a suit against First Solar Inc. over an employee killed while inspecting its power plant, and his estate's attorneys were properly sanctioned for making arguments they should have known were frivolous, the Ninth Circuit ruled Monday.

  • February 12, 2018

    Gov't Must Seek Tribes' Input On Vital Issues: NCAI Prez

    The federal government must respect tribes’ sovereignty by engaging their leaders on infrastructure, tax, energy, land management, labor and many other issues impacting tribal governments and members, the president of the National Congress of American Indians said Monday.

  • February 12, 2018

    Trump Budget Would Cut BIA Funds, Up Indian Health Money

    Funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education would be cut nearly $450 million under a 2019 budget proposal unveiled Monday by the Trump administration, but the Indian Health Service would see an increase of about $400 million from 2018 under the plan.

  • February 12, 2018

    Potlatch To Pay $6M To EPA, DOT Over Pollution Cleanup

    Environmental lawyers at the U.S. Department of Justice have reached a $6 million consent decree with real estate investment trust and paper and wood mill unit owner Potlatch Corp. in Idaho federal court over the $13.43 million cost for cleanup of environmental contamination that Potlatch allegedly worsened at a former Idaho railroad operation site.

  • February 12, 2018

    Shell Cuts $10M Deal In La. Toxic Air Emissions Suit

    Shell Chemical LP agreed on Monday to spend approximately $10 million to reduce harmful air pollution from four industrial flares at a plant in Norco, Louisiana, resolving allegations that emissions from the Shell facilities violate the Clean Air Act and state law.

  • February 12, 2018

    Trump Proposes 25 Percent Cut To EPA In 2019 Budget

    President Donald Trump on Monday proposed cutting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by nearly a quarter in fiscal year 2019, a reduction that would slash money for a variety of activities including research and state programs.

  • February 12, 2018

    Clean Energy On Chopping Block In Trump Budget Blueprint

    Clean energy development bears the brunt of U.S. Department of Energy spending cuts proposed by President Donald Trump on Monday, as it did in last year’s budget blueprint, while the Department of the Interior's slimmed-down budget looks to use expanded energy leasing revenues to pay for public infrastructure projects.

  • February 12, 2018

    Broadband Groups Laud Trump Infrastructure Proposal

    President Donald Trump’s plan to spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment rolled out on Monday included elements intended to increase investment in broadband build-out — to the delight of many in the telecommunications sector.

  • February 12, 2018

    9th Circ. Backs Arctic Ringed Seals’ ‘Threatened Status’

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday overturned a lower court and said that the federal government did not err when it used climate change predictions as part of its reasoning to classify a ringed seal subspecies as threatened, deciding that the determination was “supported by the record.”

  • February 12, 2018

    Tenants 2 Years Late To Claim $21M DuPont Superfund Deal

    An Indiana federal judge on Friday told a group of frustrated Hoosier State residents they are two years too late to intervene in a $21 million cleanup deal with Atlantic Richfield Co. and DuPont despite sympathizing with them over the slow pace of the Superfund cleanup.

  • February 12, 2018

    Feds, Dakota Access Fight Tribe To Keep Pipeline Permits

    The federal government and Dakota Access LLC further urged a D.C. federal court Friday to deny the Yankton Sioux Tribe’s bid to pull permits for the company’s controversial pipeline, with the government saying it had completely complied with the National Environmental Policy Act.

  • February 12, 2018

    NJ Enviros, Ex-State Sen. Can't Stop $225M Exxon Deal

    A New Jersey appeals court on Monday refused to second-guess the state’s controversial $225 million settlement with Exxon Mobil Corp. over contamination from its refineries and gas stations, ruling in a published decision that the judge who heard the case in its entirety had been in the best position to approve the deal.

  • February 12, 2018

    Enviro Watchdog Says DOI Temp Officials Are Illegal

    An environmental group on Monday accused the U.S. Department of the Interior of illegally installing temporary leaders of its Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Parks Service, potentially invalidating actions taken by those agencies or making them more vulnerable to legal challenges.

  • February 12, 2018

    Ace Fights $1.1M Pollution Award Coverage At 11th Circ.

    Ace American Insurance Co. told the Eleventh Circuit on Friday that a Georgia federal judge erred in forcing it to cover now-bankrupt Exide Technologies for a $1.1 million judgment over acid damage at a battery factory owned by Wattles Co., asserting Exide's policy was meant to contain an exclusion for pollution claims.

  • February 12, 2018

    Tribal Tie Doesn't Nix Coal Plant Row, Enviros Tell 9th Circ.

    Environmental groups told the Ninth Circuit on Friday that a lower court wrongly found that their challenge to the federal government’s approval of continued operations of a coal-fired plant and mine on Navajo land was barred by the mine owner's tribal sovereign immunity.

  • February 11, 2018

    Trump Administration Outlines $200B Infrastructure Plan

    President Donald Trump will unveil on Monday a long-awaited proposal to spend $200 billion to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, highways, railways, waterways and other infrastructure and to expedite environmental reviews, while also putting states and localities on notice that they’ll have to shoulder more of the cost burden going forward.

  • February 9, 2018

    DOJ's No. 3 Checks Out For Walmart Gig

    The U.S. Department of Justice’s associate attorney general who was tasked with overseeing numerous divisions, including antitrust, civil, civil rights, environment and natural resources, and tax, will leave the department for Walmart after nine months on the job, the DOJ and the retail giant announced Friday.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Evolving Due Process In The Digital Age

    Stephen Kane

    Because courts have not modernized as quickly as companies like Amazon, Tesla and Apple, Americans are becoming increasingly dissatisfied, but technological innovations may be able to help Americans access their due process, says Stephen Kane of FairClaims.

  • Centers Of Influence Are Key To Small Law Firm Rainmaking

    Frank Carone

    In a national survey of 378 small law firms, partners ranked client referrals as the most important means of business development. Yet studies reveal that while professional services providers obtain most new clients from existing client referrals, their best new clients — the ones providing the largest pool of investable assets — overwhelmingly come from “centers of influence,” says Frank Carone, an executive partner at Abrams Fensterman.

  • Coverage For Montecito Claims: Flood Or Fire?

    Meka Moore

    The destruction caused in Montecito and other areas of Southern California earlier this year appears to have been caused by flood, mudslide and mudflow, which are excluded under most property insurance policies. However, there is potential for homeowners to assert that the damage was actually caused by the Thomas fire, say Meka Moore and Jennifer Revitz of Selman Breitman LLP.

  • The Social Cost Of Carbon And Its Impact On Enviro Law

    John Lee

    The social cost of carbon is an important but little-known number underlying many environmental regulations. Though it is not widely discussed, it is important to understand for three primary reasons, says John Lee of Goldberg Segalla.

  • Feature

    From Law Firm To Newsroom: An Interview With Bob Woodruff

    Randy Maniloff

    Lawyers who have left the traditional practice for perceived greener pastures are many. But the circumstances surrounding broadcast journalist Bob Woodruff’s departure are unique. Like none I’ve ever heard, says Randy Maniloff of White and Williams LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Kendall Reviews 'On The Jury Trial'

    Judge Virginia Kendall

    As someone who spent half her days last year on the bench presiding over trials, I often find the alarmist calls to revamp the jury trial system a tad puzzling — why is making trial lawyers better rarely discussed? Then along comes a refreshing little manual called "On the Jury Trial: Principles and Practices for Effective Advocacy," by Thomas Melsheimer and Judge Craig Smith, says U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall of the Northe... (continued)

  • Gene-Edited Crops Ripe For Renewed Regulatory Focus

    Brian Sylvester

    Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report on agriculture and rural prosperity highlighting innovations in agricultural biotechnology as a driver of the “fourth industrial revolution.” To foment further innovation in agricultural biotechnology and reduce regulatory burden on industry, the federal regulatory framework should be updated, says Brian Sylvester of Keller and Heckman LLP.

  • Do I Need New Trial Counsel? 9 Questions To Ask

    Russell Hayman

    Initial selection of defense counsel is usually made at the outset of litigation, long before it is known whether the case may actually proceed to trial. Attorneys with McDermott Will & Emery discuss questions in-house lawyers should consider when deciding whether their litigation counsel should remain lead trial counsel in a case proceeding to trial.

  • Setting The Stage For Next Phase Of Clean Water Rule Suits

    John Cruden

    On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in National Association of Manufacturers v. U.S. Department of Defense regarding the Clean Water Act’s definition of “waters of the United States." The ruling has two immediate consequences for the ongoing battle over the definition, say attorneys with Beveridge & Diamond PC.

  • Lessons From President Trump's Failed Judicial Nominations

    Arun Rao

    On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced 12 new judicial nominations. We will soon discover whether these candidates learned from the mistakes of the three nominees forced to withdraw in December after bipartisan concerns arose over their qualifications, says Arun Rao, executive VP of Investigative Group International.