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Environmental

  • June 15, 2018

    Climate Split Persists As FERC Upholds $3.5B Pipeline OK

    A divided Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said on Friday that it would not reconsider its approval of Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC's controversial $3.5 billion natural gas pipeline, with the five commissioners once again split along partisan lines over the agency's obligations to consider the climate change impacts of pipeline projects.

  • June 15, 2018

    EPA Promises To Ensure Lead Paint Inspectors Are Trained

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has promised to ensure workers checking for lead paint at renovation projects are properly trained and credentialed after a whistleblower-prompted investigation found the agency used unqualified inspectors in the Southeast during the Obama administration, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said Thursday.

  • June 15, 2018

    Tribal, Green Groups Sue DOI To Force Plan For Mine Closure

    The SIerra Club and three groups including Navajo and Hopi tribe members asked an Arizona federal court Thursday to order the U.S. Department of the Interior to figure out how to clean up a coal mine that feeds the Navajo Generating Station, saying it violated federal law by failing to do so in anticipation of the plant’s closure late next year.

  • June 15, 2018

    Drivers Slam Ford, Bosch Bid To Sink Emissions-Cheating Suit

    Consumers told a Michigan federal judge Friday that they’ve made detailed and specific allegations that Ford Motor Co. and auto parts supplier Robert Bosch LLC schemed to rig 500,000 heavy-duty trucks to cheat emissions tests, and that the companies shouldn’t be allowed to escape a suit seeking to hold them liable for their deceit.

  • June 15, 2018

    EPA Cost-Benefit Review Signals Big Concessions To Industry

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently said it is considering altering its approach to regulatory cost-benefit analyses to reflect industry groups' concerns that the process is weighted against them, something experts say would be tough to implement as a one-size-fits-all rule and would surely invite legal challenges from environmental and other public interest groups.

  • June 15, 2018

    Senate Funding Bill Staves Off Cuts To Indian Programs

    The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $36 billion funding bill Thursday that largely increased spending over the levels proposed by the Trump administration for federal programs providing health care, education and other services to Native American tribes.

  • June 15, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Won’t Lift Tariffs From Canadian Solar Cos.

    The Federal Circuit declined Friday to spare Canadian producers from safeguard tariffs imposed on solar products, finding in a precedential opinion that the solar panel companies challenging the tariffs were not likely to ultimately succeed in court.

  • June 15, 2018

    Shareholders Allege PG&E Fraud In Suit Over Calif. Wildfires

    Shareholders hit PG&E Corp. with a proposed class action Thursday accusing the utility of defrauding investors by claiming to comply with California safety regulations despite a state investigation blaming PG&E for a dozen of the wildfires that ravaged the state in 2017.

  • June 15, 2018

    EPA, Corps Close To Clean Water Rule Replacement Proposal

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers moved closer on Friday to officially proposing a replacement for a controversial Obama-era rule defining the Clean Water Act's reach.

  • June 15, 2018

    Maxus Trustee Targets YPF, Repsol In $14B Ch. 11 Fraud Suit

    The liquidating trust for bankrupt Maxus Energy on Thursday launched a potential $14 billion, 23-count adversary suit in Delaware Bankruptcy Court against Spanish energy giant Repsol SA and Argentina-based YPF SA, accusing both of using Chapter 11 to duck U.S. environmental liabilities.

  • June 15, 2018

    SD Justices Skirt Merits In Nixing Tribes' Keystone XL Appeal

    South Dakota's high court has tossed an appeal from two Native American tribes and an advocacy group in their fight against the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, but did so on jurisdictional grounds instead of reaching the merits of the case.

  • June 14, 2018

    EPA To Move Forward With New Pesticide Training Protocol

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will officially announce the availability of expanded pesticide safety training materials in the Federal Register, ending its postponement of an Obama-era rule that required certain employers to provide updated training, the New York Attorney General’s Office announced Thursday.

  • June 14, 2018

    ND Health Dept. Gives Thumbs Up To Oil Refinery Near Park

    The North Dakota Department of Health has given Meridian Energy Group Inc. a permit to build a proposed crude oil refinery in Billings County, not far from the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

  • June 14, 2018

    Sprint Defends FCC 5G Cell Review Exemptions At DC Circ.

    Sprint Corp. asked for permission Wednesday to intervene on behalf of the FCC against consolidated D.C. Circuit challenges by Native American tribes and environmentalists contesting an agency rule exempting small-cell fixtures necessary for building up next-generation or 5G networks from environmental and historic reviews.

  • June 14, 2018

    Pa. Regulator Gives Sunoco Go-Ahead To Restart A Pipeline

    The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has given Sunoco Pipeline LP a partial win by allowing it to restart operations at a natural gas pipeline in the state, but also dealt the company a blow by continuing a halt on the construction of two others.

  • June 14, 2018

    BLM Must Revisit Enviro Analysis For NM Oil Leases

    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management must set aside several oil and gas leases covering roughly 20,000 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest and redo part of its environmental analysis, a New Mexico federal judge said on Thursday, deciding its look at greenhouse gases was insufficient.

  • June 14, 2018

    Solar Importer Acted Too Soon In Duty Challenge: Fed. Circ.

    The Federal Circuit ruled Thursday that solar panel importer Sunpreme Inc. moved too quickly in its bid to knock down tariffs on its purchases, finding that the company should have waited for an administrative ruling on its complaint before going to court.

  • June 14, 2018

    Trump Pick For Okla. Judgeship Advances Over Dems' Gripes

    A judge on the shortlist for future U.S. Supreme Court openings made progress Thursday toward an Oklahoma federal court post, despite complaints from Democrats about his previous attacks on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and his lack of American Bar Association vetting.

  • June 14, 2018

    Black & Decker Sued For RI Superfund Cleanup Costs

    The state of Rhode Island filed a lawsuit Wednesday in federal court going after Black & Decker Inc. and one of its dissolved subsidiaries for their alleged share of the costs the Ocean State paid to clean up a North Providence Superfund site contaminated with dioxin and other hazardous pollutants.

  • June 14, 2018

    SunEdison Investors Seek Class Cert. In Stock-Drop Suit

    Pension funds alleging bankrupt renewable energy developer SunEdison’s former executives and directors concealed liquidity and financing problems that ultimately caused share prices to drop asked a New York federal court Wednesday for class certification.

Expert Analysis

  • PFAS: Not Your Typical Emerging Contaminants — Part 1

    Jeffrey Dintzer

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently held its National Leadership Summit with the goal of “taking action” on the emerging contaminants known as perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances. In part one of this two-part series, Jeffrey Dintzer and Nathaniel Johnson of Alston & Bird LLP discuss the possible legal consequences for businesses that manufacture, sell or consume PFAS products.

  • Analyzing The Economics Of Litigation Funding

    J.B. Heaton

    The growth of litigation funding has only increased the controversy surrounding it. Looking to move beyond the rhetoric for and against the practice, attorney and investment analytics expert J.B. Heaton, of J.B. Heaton PC and Conjecture LLC, attempts an objective analysis of the underlying economics of the litigation funding arrangement.

  • Rule 23 Changes: How Electronic Notice Can Save Money

    Brandon Schwartz

    Courts are acknowledging a shifting consumer preference toward electronic mediums. Proposed changes to Rule 23, scheduled to take effect at the end of this year, will officially provide for the use of electronic notice in class actions — a change that could save parties a significant amount of money, say Brandon Schwartz and Maggie Ivey of Garden City Group LLC.

  • How We Got Here: A Look Back At Trailblazing Women In Law

    Jill Norgren

    Today's female lawyers stand on the shoulders of several generations of pioneers. Here, historian Jill Norgren explains how the status of women in the legal profession has changed since the 1870s.

  • Opinion

    Self-Policing Animal Research: Another Bad Idea From USDA

    Delcianna Winders

    When Congress passed the Animal Welfare Act in 1966, it stressed the law was needed because of “the shocking failure of self-policing” by the animal experimentation industry. Yet now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a return to self-policing — an exceedingly bad idea, says Delcianna Winders, visiting scholar at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.

  • When Defendants Invoke ‘Necessity’ In Pipeline Sabotage

    Robert Hogfoss

    In recent years, a number of anti-pipeline protests involving trespass and vandalism have been prosecuted as criminal acts. Some defendants have raised a “necessity defense” for their actions, and two courts have now allowed that defense to proceed. But these actions themselves present significant risks to human life and health and the environment, say attorneys with Troutman Sanders LLP.

  • 3 Ways FERC Could Increase Pipeline Review Transparency

    Barbara Jost

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently solicited public comments on whether to revise its policies governing approval of new natural gas pipelines. This may not ultimately result in significant revisions to pipeline approval procedures. But a few simple changes could enhance public confidence in pipeline siting, says Barbara Jost of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

  • Kinross Settlement Highlights FCPA Risks For Mining Cos.

    Collmann Griffin

    In March, a Canadian gold and silver mining company agreed to pay nearly $1 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over alleged violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The case shows the risks faced by companies that fail to implement appropriate controls post-acquisition, particularly in the mining industry, says Collmann Griffin of Miller and Chevalier Chtd.

  • Introducing The Legal Industry To Millennial Business Owners

    Yaima Seigley

    ​The current business climate has produced vast opportunities for seasoned lawyers to create valuable connections with millennial business owners, but first lawyers must cleanse their palate of misconceptions regarding millennials, says Yaima Seigley of Isaac Wiles Burkholder & Teetor LLC.

  • Policy Language Can Curtail Long-Tail Insurance Claims

    Paul Ferland

    The New York Court of Appeals' recent decision in Keyspan v. Munich shows that the most effective tool an insurer has in cases involving long-tail claims is its specific policy language limiting coverage to losses that occur during the policy period, says Paul Ferland of Foran Glennon Palandech Ponzi & Rudloff PC.