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Environmental

  • August 13, 2018

    DHS Says Enviro Challenge To Border Wall Waiver Is Moot

    The Trump administration on Friday once again urged a D.C. federal judge to toss a suit accusing it of violating numerous federal laws by waiving environmental oversight regulations to accelerate construction of approximately 20 miles of a wall along the border between eastern New Mexico and Mexico, telling the court it lacks the authority to review the claims.

  • August 13, 2018

    San Diego Beats Monsanto Water Pollution Counterclaims

    Monsanto Co. lost a bid to flip a lawsuit over its alleged pollution of the San Diego Bay by blaming it on the city’s stormwater system when a California federal judge found that the company didn’t have standing to bring counterclaims because it suffered no direct injury from the contamination.

  • August 13, 2018

    Texas Enviro Agency Can't Escape Age And Race Bias Suit

    A Texas federal judge ruled Monday that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality must face a suit accusing one of its department directors of age and race discrimination, writing that a former hydrologist presented enough questions of fact for the case to survive summary judgment.

  • August 13, 2018

    Enviros To Fight FERC's PennEast Pipeline Approval In Court

    Environmental groups on Monday said they plan to challenge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of the planned $1 billion PennEast gas pipeline, claiming the agency failed to show a need for the project and didn’t consider its potential climate change impacts.

  • August 13, 2018

    NYC Restaurant Group Fights Foam Ban At Appeals Court

    A trade group representing restaurants and foam manufacturers has taken its opposition to New York City's ban on styrofoam, effective Jan. 1, to state appellate court, saying Mayor Bill de Blasio is unfairly resisting the city council's mandate to recycle polystyrene and that recycling is both economically feasible and environmentally effective.

  • August 13, 2018

    Phillips 66 Refinery Hit With $475K Penalty Over Modifications

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Illinois filed a proposed consent decree Friday in federal court against Phillips 66 and WRB Refining LP, requiring the companies to reduce emissions at the Wood River Refinery under the Clean Air Act, spend at least $500,000 on lead-paint abatement and pay a penalty of $475,000.

  • August 13, 2018

    Ariz. Agency Wants Quick Win In Water Rights Row

    An Arizona water district has moved for a quick win in a dispute over the district's alleged obligations to deliver excess water supply to the Ak-Chin Indian Community, urging a federal court to reject quick win bids filed by the tribe itself and the federal government.

  • August 13, 2018

    KKR Gets Stake In Indian Enviro Engineering Co. for $530M

    Private equity firm KKR & Co. LP said Monday that it has agreed to acquire 60 percent of India-based Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd. for approximately $530 million, in a deal that was guided by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

  • August 10, 2018

    How The Legal Industry Lets Down Lawyers With Disabilities

    The dissolution of a five-year-old bar group marks the latest setback for disabled attorneys, who often find little support while navigating an inhospitable industry.

  • August 10, 2018

    Gaining Access: Disabled Lawyers Share Their Stories

    In a series of interviews, lawyers tell Law360 how even well-intentioned professors can create barriers, how inclusivity can help a firm’s litigation prowess, and how “inspirational” can be a dirty word.

  • August 10, 2018

    FERC's Independence Under Threat, Ex-Commissioners Say

    Former members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are worried the White House is compromising the agency's historic independence amid reports that a U.S. Department of Energy official who pushed a controversial plan to aid coal and nuclear power plants is President Donald Trump's pick to fill a vacant commissioner slot and that FERC is already working with the administration on the issue.

  • August 10, 2018

    Ex-Massey CEO Asks W.Va. High Court To Put Him On Ballot

    Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who was convicted in 2016 of conspiring to violate mine safety standards before a deadly explosion, asked West Virginia’s highest court on Thursday to put him on the ballot as a third-party candidate for U.S. Senate this fall.

  • August 10, 2018

    Chinese Wind Energy Co. Can Enforce $70M Arbitration Award

    Renewable energy company Soaring Wind Energy LLC and China-focused investor Tang Energy Group Ltd. won their bid to confirm a $70 million arbitration award against another investor, when a Texas federal judge found no justification for altering the award.

  • August 10, 2018

    EPA Must Regulate Stormwater Pollution In LA, Court Rules

    Environmental groups persuaded a California federal judge to rule Thursday that the Environmental Protection Agency had made an “arbitrary and capricious” decision when it refused to require permits for polluted stormwater runoff in the Los Angeles area, which the groups said was impairing two waterways.

  • August 10, 2018

    Watchdog Wants Probe Into EPA Chief’s Lobbying Disclosures

    A nonprofit public accountability group called on the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Friday to investigate the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, accusing him of violating the Lobbying Disclosure Act in connection with efforts to shift the borders of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

  • August 10, 2018

    Monsanto Owes $289M In Landmark Roundup Cancer Trial

    A California jury held Friday that Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro herbicides contributed to a school groundskeeper’s lymphoma and slapped the company with a combined $289 million in compensatory and punitive damages in a landmark suit against the agricultural giant, which has denied links between its herbicides and cancer for decades.

  • August 10, 2018

    Pa. Drilling Law Case Could Set New Enviro Rights Standards

    Questions over the proper application of Pennsylvania's Environmental Rights Amendment have abounded since the state's high court breathed new life into the provision last year, but attorneys say a recent order for reconsideration of a decision affirming a drilling-friendly municipal zoning ordinance could set clear new standards.

  • August 10, 2018

    Rising Star: Morgan Lewis' Yardena Zwang-Weissman

    Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP partner Yardena Zwang-Weissman’s work defending Southern California Gas Co. and Sempra Energy following the massive Aliso Canyon gas leak in 2015 helped earn her a spot as one of four environmental lawyers under age 40 selected by Law360 as Rising Stars.

  • August 9, 2018

    Enviros Point 9th Circ. To Pipeline Ruling In Wind Farm Appeal

    A conservation group told the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday that a recent appellate court decision vacating federal approvals for portions of the Mountain Valley pipeline supported its challenge to the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ assent to a lease between a wind farm developer and a California tribe.

  • August 9, 2018

    Ariz. Agency Need Not Consider Water Reserves, Court Says

    The Arizona Department of Water Resources is not required to consider unquantified federal reserved water rights when it determines whether a developer has an adequate water supply, the Arizona Supreme Court said on Thursday in a decision affirming the approval of a water company's application to supply water to a mixed-use development.

Expert Analysis

  • Is Trump Admin.'s Suspension Of Clean Water Rule Lawful?

    Steven Gordon

    Earlier this year the Trump administration suspended the Clean Water Rule while considering how to rescind or revise it. This action was immediately challenged in New York federal court, presenting some interesting questions about when and how an agency can suspend a regulation that has already taken effect, says Steven Gordon of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Developments In Environmental Enforcement Since TCJA

    Peter Condron

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has made it more difficult for companies facing environmental enforcement to deduct payments to the government by requiring that settlement agreements and court orders contain specific language. Though the IRS has yet to explain just how parties are to comply, guidance can be found in the rule-making process and recent case law, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Opinion

    Law360's Global 20 Doesn't Acknowledge Global Networks

    Glenn Cunningham

    While I read with interest Law360's report analyzing the top 20 global law firms of 2018, I also noticed it doesn't tell the whole story. Global networks of independent law firms compare favorably with multinational firms in terms of geographic coverage, legal expertise, and awareness of local cultures and customs, says Glenn Cunningham of Interlaw Ltd.

  • Will Blood Testing Revive Medical Monitoring Claims?

    Tony Hopp

    In Burdick v. Tonoga, a New York state trial court recently certified what appears to be the first medical monitoring class defined by the level of a particular chemical measured in class members’ blood serum, signaling a potential revival of interest in medical monitoring class actions, say attorneys with Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

  • A 'Broad' Approach To Toxic Tort Class Cert. At 6th Circ.

    Carol Wood

    Last week, in Martin v. Behr Dayton Thermal Products, the Sixth Circuit affirmed an Ohio federal court’s certification of a so-called “issue class” under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(c)(4). The ruling may serve as persuasive authority for future toxic tort plaintiffs who seek to certify a class without establishing a defendant’s liability to any individual class member with common proof, say attorneys with King & Spalding LLP.

  • Suddenly, ALJs Become Political Appointees

    Brian Casey

    Less than three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, President Donald Trump signed an executive order applying the court’s rationale in Lucia to the hiring — and firing — of all administrative law judges in the federal government, making them entirely beholden to the heads of their agencies or the president for their jobs, says Brian Casey of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

  • A Lawyer's Guide To Genomics In Toxic Tort Cases: Part 3

    Kirk Hartley

    Genetic data and techniques are becoming ever more powerful tools for explaining when and how diseases arise. They can also have very strong evidentiary value, and in some toxic tort cases, genetic findings can provide conclusive answers for a judge or jury, say Kirk Hartley and David Schwartz of ToxicoGenomica.

  • DC Circ. Set A Higher Bar For Hydro License Renewal

    Walker Stanovsky

    On July 6, the D.C. Circuit torpedoed a hydroelectric license renewal issued in 2013 because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not consider environmental damage already caused by the project. In doing so, the court rejected FERC’s long-standing practice of using existing conditions and operations as an environmental baseline, say attorneys at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

  • A Lawyer's Guide To Genomics In Toxic Tort Cases: Part 2

    Kirk Hartley

    The use of genetic testing in tort litigation is relatively new. Such testing may uncover one or more gene variants that help identify individuals at an increased risk of developing a disease. Whole genome sequencing can be the best and most appropriate approach for toxic tort civil litigation, say Kirk Hartley and David Schwartz of ToxicoGenomica.

  • Congressional Forecast: July

    Layth Elhassani

    While Senate hearings on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court will draw much attention during July, Congress remains very busy with fiscal year 2019 appropriations bills. The chambers may go to conference this month on the first of several appropriations "minibuses," says Layth Elhassani of Covington & Burling LLP.