Environmental

  • April 25, 2017

    Enviro Group Backs Push To Rehear NC-Alcoa River Dispute

    A conservation organization on Monday backed North Carolina’s bid for the Fourth Circuit to rehear en banc an unfavorable split panel ruling that affirmed a lower court’s decision to toss a suit by the state challenging an Alcoa unit’s right to land where the company had built four hydropower dams along the Yadkin River.

  • April 25, 2017

    Sierra Club, Dominion Can't Agree On Coal Ash Cleanup

    The Sierra Club told a Virginia federal court Monday that its negotiations with Dominion Virginia Power have stalled over how to deal with arsenic from coal ash waste that seeped into groundwater, adding that it was submitting its own alternative plan to the court.

  • April 25, 2017

    Holland & Hart Adds Energy Atty Challenging Methane Rules

    A former Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP energy and air quality partner, whose work includes challenging Bureau of Land Management and Environmental Protection Agency rules affecting methane gas emissions, has joined Holland & Hart LLP.

  • April 25, 2017

    Non-Class Counsel Can't Get Fees In VW 2.0-Liter Settlement

    Attorneys who did not serve as class counsel in litigation against Volkswagen AG over emissions cheating in its 2.0-liter diesel vehicles are not entitled to attorneys’ fees because their work didn’t benefit the class on the whole, a California federal judge ruled Monday.

  • April 25, 2017

    Groups Sue EPA To Label Western Lake Erie As 'Impaired'

    A coalition of conservation and business groups sued the U.S. Environmental Protection agency in D.C. federal court Tuesday seeking to force it to decide whether the western basin of Lake Erie in Ohio should be designated "impaired" in light of harmful algal blooms, a designation they said is the first step toward restoration.

  • April 25, 2017

    Enviros Want Fla. City Sanctioned in Sewage Discharge Row

    Environmental groups and citizens suing the city of Gulfport, Florida, for allegedly discharging untreated sewage into Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico asked the court Monday to sanction the city and its attorneys for their “legally baseless” attempt to dismiss the suit.

  • April 25, 2017

    Judge Wants FERC Input In Ill. Nuke Plant Subsidy Fight

    As challengers of Illinois' plans to subsidize struggling nuclear power plants argued that despite what the state says, the subsidies directly affect wholesale electricity rates in violation of the Federal Power Act, an Illinois federal judge on Monday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to weigh in on the issue.

  • April 25, 2017

    ND Wants Stay Over Consolidation In CPP Row, DC Circ. Told

    North Dakota won't abandon efforts to consolidate its challenge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's denial of reconsideration petitions over the Clean Power Plan with the main challenge of the rule, but urged the D.C. Circuit Monday to instead pause the litigation while the EPA reviews the rule.

  • April 25, 2017

    DC Circuit Delays Case Over States' Plant Emissions Rules

    The D.C. Circuit on Monday granted a request by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to postpone oral arguments in litigation over the EPA's requirement that 36 states revise emissions exemptions related to startup, shutdown and malfunction events at power plants and other facilities.

  • April 24, 2017

    Enviros Gird For Pitched Battle To Stop Trump Border Wall

    President Donald Trump appears committed to his campaign promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico, but environmental groups say they are ready to battle the administration in court every step of the way, even though past challenges to border barrier construction have failed.

  • April 24, 2017

    Pa. 'Trigger' Ruling Eases Path To Toxic Cleanup Coverage

    A Pennsylvania court on Friday rejected an insurance carrier's argument that a chemical manufacturer's coverage for litigation over the cleanup of a toxic waste site is limited to the policy in effect when property damage was first discovered, a ruling that could give policyholders access to a wider swath of policies for claims tied to gradual damage.

  • April 24, 2017

    FirstEnergy Slams 'Audacious Attempt' To Revive $2M Suit

    FirstEnergy Corp. on Friday slammed Duke Energy's efforts to pierce the corporate veil and hold FirstEnergy's predecessor accountable for $1.8 million in cleanup costs at two polluted Florida sites, calling it an “audacious attempt” to shift liability.

  • April 24, 2017

    DOJ, Radioactive Waste Firms Spar Over $367M Merger Risks

    Dueling pictures emerged Monday of a West Texas radioactive waste site caught up in an antitrust trial in Delaware, with the U.S. Department of Justice calling the site ground zero in a $367 million market-control grab, and merger parties describing it as an otherwise doomed money pit.

  • April 24, 2017

    $4.6M Deal Inked Over Feds' Nuclear Waste Plant FCA Claims

    The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday that a Georgia-based subcontractor has agreed to pay $4.6 million to settle False Claims Act allegations that it ducked quality assurance requirements and supplied defective steel reinforcing bars during the construction of a U.S. Department of Energy nuclear waste treatment facility.

  • April 24, 2017

    Blackfeet OK $471M Water Rights Deal With Feds, Montana

    The Blackfeet Nation has voted to approve a water rights agreement with the federal government and the state of Montana that will furnish the tribe with $471 million in funding from both governments for infrastructure projects on the reservation.

  • April 24, 2017

    5th Circ. Agrees To Delay Power Plant Effluent Rule Challenge

    The Fifth Circuit on Monday granted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's request to hold in abeyance for four months a challenge to an Obama-era rule that set limits on how much toxic metal can be discharged in wastewater from power plants, despite environmental groups warning the public is harmed the longer a decision on the rule’s merits is delayed.

  • April 24, 2017

    3rd Circ. Urged To Decide Permit Fight Before Pipeline Buried

    Environmental advocates Monday kept pressing the Third Circuit to speed up their challenge to a Clean Water Act permit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued for a Kinder Morgan unit's pipeline project, arguing the court can still decide the matter before the pipe is buried.

  • April 24, 2017

    States, Enviros Oppose EPA Bid To Pause Mercury Rule Case

    Environmentalists and a group of largely Democratic state and local governments asked the D.C. Circuit on Friday to deny the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s request to delay oral arguments in a case focused on regulations limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants.

  • April 24, 2017

    EPA Renewable Fuel Requirements Are Too Lax, DC Circ. Told

    Environmental and biofuel industry groups attacked an Environmental Protection Agency rule Monday that they claim slashes renewable fuel requirements far below congressional targets, telling a D.C. Circuit panel that there was “vastly more than enough” renewable fuel supplies to meet those goals.

  • April 24, 2017

    3M Looks To Dodge Suit Over Navy Base Water Contamination

    The 3M Co. told a Pennsylvania federal judge Friday that it had no responsibility to protect the health of Philadelphia-area residents who claim in a class action that their water supplies were contaminated by cancer-causing chemicals used in firefighting foam sold to the U.S. Navy.

Expert Analysis

  • Lessons From Newport Beach's Rejected EIR: Part 1

    Arthur F. Coon

    Last month, the California Supreme Court held that Newport Beach's environmental impact report for a mixed-use development project failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act. The EIR failed to consider potentially environmentally sensitive habitat areas in its analysis of project alternatives and mitigation measures, says Arthur Coon of Miller Starr Regalia.

  • Opinion

    ABA Needs A New Model Legal Ethics Rule

    Kevin L. Shepherd

    Perhaps lost in the presidential post-election tumult was a report issued in late 2016 by an international body evaluating U.S. compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards. Considering repeated criticisms of the legal profession, the American Bar Association should seriously consider a new model legal ethics rule, says Kevin Shepherd of Venable LLP.

  • What Does Lateral Partner Success Look Like?

    Howard Flack

    In the final segment of his series on lateral recruitment, Howard Flack, a partner of Volta Talent Strategies LLC and former leader of the lateral partner recruiting team at Hogan Lovells, shares a number of factors law firms should consider when measuring lateral hire success.

  • NJDEP Seeks Further Flexibility For Cleanup Standards

    Adam H. Cutler

    The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s recently proposed rule related to groundwater cleanup standards, which seeks further shortcuts around Administrative Procedure Act protections, is bad public policy. Due process protections like public notice, public comment, and social and economic evaluations of any new rule or rule change are fundamental requirements of New Jersey and U.S. law, say attorneys with Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • Are Lateral Recruitment Opportunities Shaping Your Strategy?

    Howard Flack

    In the second installment of this series on lateral recruiting, Howard Flack of Volta Talent Strategies LLC challenges law firms to ask themselves whether business strategies are determining lateral hires — or vice versa.

  • Offshore Decommissioning Liability And Bankruptcy

    Edward Ripley

    It is more important than ever to prepare for disposal and environmental remediation of oil and gas infrastructure when it is no longer economically viable. But accounting for decommissioning obligations can turn into a game of “hot potato,” especially during bankruptcy proceedings. Edward Ripley and Eldy Roché of King & Spalding LLP discuss two important lessons regarding decommissioning liability of offshore installations.

  • Natural Resource Damages: A New Angle In PCB Litigation

    Graham Zorn

    In an effort to use product liability theories to impose liability on manufacturers of products found in the environment, Washington state recently sued polychlorinated biphenyl manufacturer Monsanto in state court. This could signal a new era in PCB litigation, and should be closely watched by manufacturers and marketers of similar products, say Graham Zorn and Eric Klein of Beveridge & Diamond PC.

  • Lateral Partner Hiring: Time To Look In The Mirror

    Howard Flack

    The surveys that report lateral partner hiring as more or less a 50-50 proposition keep being published, and yet the lateral partner market is as robust as ever. So, what are firms looking at to measure their success and justify the level of investment they continue to make in the lateral market? asks Howard Flack of Volta Talent Strategies LLC.

  • Indian Country Should Defend Environmental Protections

    Charles W. Galbraith

    As he promised in his campaign, President Donald Trump has been rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations since his first full day in office. Indian Country's leadership may be needed, now more than ever, in the many fights yet to come on environmental issues that could impact lands beyond any pipeline, says Charlie Galbraith of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

  • How Will Congress Approach ESA Reform?

    Paul Weiland

    In the present political climate, it is difficult to predict whether the trend of Congress' declining role in the administration of federal environmental and natural resource laws will continue, or whether there will be a realignment of the balance of powers among the branches. But it's likely congressional Republicans will make a concerted effort to amend the Endangered Species Act, say Paul Weiland and Steve Quarles of Nossaman LLP.