Environmental

  • October 6, 2017

    Corps' Dakota Access Review Taking Longer Than Expected

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told a D.C. federal judge on Friday that it will likely take longer than it initially expected to finish fixing an environmental review of the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, saying it still needs to receive information it has requested.

  • October 6, 2017

    Trump EPA Set To Dismantle Obama's Signature Climate Regs

    The Trump administration is poised to deliver Tuesday on one of its biggest promises — repealing the Clean Power Plan — by proposing a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that says the Obama-era climate change measure violates the Clean Air Act.

  • October 6, 2017

    Farmers Fight Syngenta Bid To Speed $218M Verdict Appeal

    A class of farmers asked a Kansas federal judge Thursday not to sign off on a $218 million jury verdict they won against Syngenta AG in a multidistrict litigation over genetically modified corn, saying that the global agribusiness giant had failed to show why it should be able to hurry forward its appeal of the award.

  • October 6, 2017

    Biotech Firm Can Arbitrate Patent Row At AAA, Chancery Says

    The Delaware Chancery Court on Friday ordered a Finnish renewable resources company to arbitrate its patent dispute with a Pennsylvania-based biotechnology startup before the American Arbitration Association, rejecting use of the International Chamber of Commerce despite the companies' agreeing to that venue too.

  • October 6, 2017

    Enviros Want $6M In Fees From Exxon In $20M Pollution Row

    Environmental groups told a Texas federal judge Thursday that Exxon Mobil Corp. should pay about $6 million in attorneys’ fees and costs stemming from the thousands of hours of work and years of intense, hard-fought litigation that resulted in a nearly $20 million civil penalty against the oil giant.

  • October 6, 2017

    Pipeline Co. Says Subclasses Are Too Big In Oil Spill Suit

    Plains All American Pipeline LP on Thursday urged a California federal judge not to certify an oil industry subclass and a property owner subclass in a suit over a May 2015 oil spill near Santa Barbara, saying the court was correct earlier, when it denied certification of those classes.

  • October 6, 2017

    BLM Chucks Obama-Era Mining Ban In Sage-Grouse Habitat

    The Bureau of Land Management said Thursday that the Obama-era efforts to preserve the sage-grouse by protecting 10 million acres in the West were not necessary and are being reversed, arguing that allowing mining would only have an impact on a small and insignificant portion of the bird’s habitat.

  • October 6, 2017

    Enviros Urge DC Judge Not To Toss EPA Effluent Rule Suit

    Environmentalists on Thursday asked a D.C. federal judge not to toss their suit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's postponement of toxicity limits for power plant wastewater and also requested that they be allowed to amend their complaint.

  • October 6, 2017

    Up Next At The High Court: Alien Torts & Appellate Rules

    After the Supreme Court canceled oral arguments over Donald Trump’s travel ban due to the administration’s policy change, cases involving the Alien Tort Statute and consequential questions of appellate procedure have seized the spotlight for the week of Oct. 10. Law360 highlights what to look out for.

  • October 5, 2017

    Tribe Says Immunity Means Fishing Rights Row Must End

    The Resighini Rancheria and one of its members said Wednesday that a lawsuit alleging its members have been fishing in a portion of the Klamath River allegedly reserved for the Yurok Tribe should be dismissed, arguing in California federal court that its sovereign immunity prevented the claims from proceeding.

  • October 5, 2017

    NY Property Owners Want High Court To Review Cleanup Suit

    New York state property owners have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Second Circuit’s decision not to revive their suit against a Superfund site’s former lessees and occupants for cleanup costs related to groundwater contamination.

  • October 5, 2017

    Stoel Rives Picks Up Enviro Duo From Stinson Leonard Street

    Stoel Rives LLP has welcomed an environmental duo from Stinson Leonard Street LLP to bolster its mining and land use practice in its Minneapolis office, the firm has announced.

  • October 5, 2017

    House Dems Want DOI Monument Review Info Released

    Saying the process has been far too secretive, 26 House Democrats introduced a resolution Wednesday that would direct Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to release information on the Trump administration’s review of national monuments.

  • October 5, 2017

    Clean Energy Investors Get Reprieve From FERC Review

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Wednesday that tax equity investors in public utilities don't have to first seek authorization from the agency under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, removing an administrative hurdle for a primary funding source for renewable energy projects.

  • October 5, 2017

    Trump Taps Faegre Baker Pro As EPA's Second-In-Command

    President Donald Trump on Thursday said he wants to fill the long-vacant No. 2 position at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting energy and natural resources expert Andrew Wheeler.

  • October 5, 2017

    Former DOJ Atty Joins Venable’s SF Enviro Practice

    Venable LLP has added new talent to its environmental practice with the hiring of a former trial attorney who served as fracking litigation lead for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment & Natural Resources Division.

  • October 5, 2017

    German Auto Antitrust MDL Centralized In California

    The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Wednesday centralized at least 24 actions in California federal court that accuse German carmakers of colluding for decades on vehicle technology, rejecting proposals to move the litigation to Florida or New Jersey.

  • October 5, 2017

    No Quick Win For ENGlobal In Power Plant Contract Row

    A Texas federal judge declined to grant ENGlobal U.S. Inc. a quick win on its claims that Native American Services Corp. failed to fully pay it for work on a consulting and engineering contact, deciding Wednesday that initial evidence pointed toward deficient contractor performance.

  • October 5, 2017

    Del. Defends ‘Tortured’ Statute Reading In Ozone Reg Fight

    The state of Delaware kicked off oral arguments contesting the EPA’s decision to grant its neighbor states an extension on ozone regulations with contentions of the extension’s impacts on Thursday, only for the D.C. Circuit panel to quickly steer the conversation to a statutory interpretation one judge called “tortured.”

  • October 5, 2017

    DC Circ. Scratches Oral Arguments In LNG Approval Fights

    The D.C. Circuit on Wednesday scrapped oral arguments in the Sierra Club's fight against the U.S. Department of Energy's approval of liquefied natural gas exports from three projects, a troubling sign for the green group given the appeals court's recent rejection of one of its other DOE approval challenges.

Expert Analysis

  • How The Utility Of The Future Will Evolve: Part 1

    Bill Zarakas

    Rapid deployment of distributed energy resources has led some to argue that the utility business model of the last 100 years will soon no longer suffice. Even moderate amounts of DERs change the landscape for utility planning, and require new methods of analysis and changes to status quo policies, say Bill Zarakas and Frank Graves of The Brattle Group.

  • 9th Circ. Provides Clarity On CERCLA Contribution Claims

    Toni Finger

    In its recent decision in Asarco v. Atlantic Richfield Co., the Ninth Circuit decided three issues providing greater clarity in analyzing contribution claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. Toni Finger of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP looks at how this decision impacts a potentially responsible party's contribution right.

  • The Environmental Impact Of Hurricanes: From Sandy To Irma

    Robert Horkovich

    Five years ago, John Nevius of Anderson Kill PC wrote a Law360 article addressing the risks that followed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Today, those tasked with assessing and mitigating the enormous destruction wrought by Harvey and Irma will benefit from the late Nevius' analysis, which his colleague Robert Horkovich discusses in this update.

  • DOE Report On Electricity Markets: Missed Opportunities

    Linda Walsh

    Last month, the U.S. Department of Energy released a report on trends in the electric industry with regard to reliability, resilience and affordability. But with its emphasis on coal and nuclear "baseload" generation, the report misses many opportunities to champion important new approaches and technologies, say Linda Walsh and Sylvia Bartell of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • Navigating Texas Regulations After Harvey

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    The Texas governor's office and the executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have agreed to temporarily suspend certain state environmental rules relating to a broad range of areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey. But companies may still be bound by similar federal regulations, say Kevin Collins and Whit Swift of Bracewell LLP.

  • A Common Thread In California 'Organic' Textile Lawsuits

    Teresa Michaud

    Recent cases filed against manufacturers and retailers of “organic” textile products in California originate with a nonprofit group, and pose a risk to firms selling certain goods in California that are labeled as organic but that fall short of certain state standards, say Teresa Michaud and Anne Kelts of Baker McKenzie.

  • How Collaboration Is Changing Inside Some Law Firms

    Chris Cartrett

    In our recent survey of business of law professionals, nearly half of respondents said that who they collaborate with, inside their law firm, is different from five years ago, says Chris Cartrett of legal software provider Aderant.

  • DC Circ. Ruling Could Change Pipeline Review Procedure

    James Thompson

    The D.C. Circuit's recent decision in Sierra Club v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may change the environmental review procedure for approving natural gas pipeline projects. If the majority’s ruling stands, pipeline developers will need to ensure that reviews for future projects include a comprehensive greenhouse gas analysis of potential downstream effects, say James Thompson and Katy Larkins of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP.

  • Opinion

    Cartel Case Against German Automakers Unlikely To Succeed

    David Balto

    At first the cartel allegations plaguing the German auto industry seemed like a slam-dunk, but now the case is not as clear. Any antitrust claim against the German auto industry has two major hurdles to overcome, says David Balto, a former policy director of the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Competition.

  • 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.