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Environmental

  • October 9, 2018

    7th Circ. Won't Budge From Ill. Nuke Subsidy Ruling

    The Seventh Circuit on Tuesday refused to reconsider its ruling backing subsidies offered by Illinois to prop up struggling nuclear power plants, rejecting a rehearing request from a coalition of independent power producers who argued that the decision rested on incorrectly presuming that a lower court granted summary judgment.

  • October 9, 2018

    Justices Allow SG To Argue Wash. Fuel Tax Applies To Tribe

    The U.S. Supreme Court will allow the U.S. solicitor general to present oral arguments in Washington state’s appeal of a state court finding that a Yakama Nation-owned fuel distributor isn’t liable for fuel importation taxes, according to a Tuesday order.

  • October 9, 2018

    ND Tribal Landowners Hit Texas Oil Cos. With Pipeline Suit

    Landowning members of the Three Affiliated Tribes hit a group of Texas oil companies with a proposed class action in federal court, alleging the companies have been operating an oil pipeline across their North Dakota reservation lands without getting the landowners’ permission.

  • October 9, 2018

    Mining Association Asks 9th Circ. To Revisit Oregon Regs

    The American Exploration & Mining Association said the Ninth Circuit should revisit its recent split panel decision that upheld an Oregon measure prohibiting motorized mining methods in certain salmon habitats, arguing the opinion conflicts with the intent of Congress.

  • October 9, 2018

    High Court Won't Review NY Honeywell Cleanup Fight

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to resurrect a suit by upstate New York residents against Honeywell International Inc. that accused the company of exposing them to “hazardous concentrations of toxic vapor” during a cleanup of Onondaga Lake.

  • October 9, 2018

    Dutch Appeals Court Backs Greenhouse Gas Reduction Order

    A Netherlands appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling directing the federal government to slash greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, saying the European human rights law requires the government to take such action to combat climate change.

  • October 9, 2018

    High Court Won't Review Invalidation Of EPA Rule For HFCs

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to take up challenges to the D.C. Circuit’s determination invalidating a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule forcing manufacturers to stop using hydrofluorocarbons, a lower court decision authored by newly minted Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

  • October 5, 2018

    Stay Of Kids' Climate Suit Sought Pending High Court Review

    The U.S. government asked an Oregon federal judge Friday to stay a suit accusing federal agencies and the president of failing to protect future generations from the effects of climate change, saying it intends to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss the case because the district court is taking too long.

  • October 5, 2018

    EPA Defends Lower-Than-Requested Biodiesel Quotas

    The Environmental Protection Agency at the D.C. Circuit on Friday defended its decision to set production volumes for biomass-based biodiesel under the Renewable Fuel Standard Statute below the amount requested by the industry for 2018, saying a higher quota could “crowd out” opportunities for other advanced biofuels.

  • October 5, 2018

    6 Firms To Guide 5 IPOs Exceeding $1B Led By Lithium Co.

    Six law firms expect to guide five initial public offerings estimated to raise nearly $1.1 billion during the week of Oct. 8, steering a lineup led by a lithium producer seeking to rev up the market for electric-car batteries, plus three biotechnology firms and a technology startup.

  • October 5, 2018

    Carbon Pricing Talk Heats Up Amid State-Federal Policy Rift

    As federally overseen interstate electricity markets continue to wrestle with how to accommodate state policies that prioritize power sources like renewable energy, regulators and even some fossil-fuel power producers are warming to the idea that putting a price on carbon in regional power markets could ease growing state-federal tensions.

  • October 5, 2018

    Gov't Seeks To Appeal Ruling On Tribal Dam Maintenance

    The government has urged a Federal Claims Court judge to allow an appeal of his decision not to toss some claims from a suit alleging the government failed in its trust duty to the White Mountain Apache Tribe by failing to maintain and repair certain dams.

  • October 5, 2018

    European Investment Bank Loans $242M For Wind Project

    The European Investment Bank has loaned €210 million ($241.9 million) for construction of a wind project off the coast of Belgium, the bank announced on Friday.

  • October 5, 2018

    Mining Co. Says No Class Cert. In Brazil Dam Collapse Case

    A Brazilian mining company has told a New York federal court a securities fraud putative class action brought by investors over statements made before and after a dam collapse in Brazil that killed 19 people should not be certified, saying that resolving the lead plaintiffs' claims won't produce common answers.

  • October 5, 2018

    Changes To RFS Needed To Save Refiners, DC Circ. Hears

    A group of independent refiners Friday slammed the Environmental Protection Agency at the D.C. Circuit for refusing to make changes to obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program they say threaten to ruin them.

  • October 5, 2018

    3rd Circ. Puts Chem Co. On Hook For Past Cleanup Costs

    The Third Circuit has found that current owners of contaminated properties can be held liable for prior environmental remediation costs, handing a victory Friday to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in its $900,000 cleanup row with a chemical company.

  • October 5, 2018

    Enviros Tell DC Circ. EPA's CAA Order Dodged Public Review

    The Sierra Club on Thursday asked the D.C. Circuit to undo a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency order that the group says instituted a nationally applicable change to the way certain Clean Air Act permits are issued without proper public notice and comment.

  • October 5, 2018

    Presidents Can Create Offshore Monuments, Judge Says

    A D.C. federal judge on Friday affirmed that U.S. presidents have authority under the Antiquities Act to designate offshore areas as national monuments where commercial fishing operations could be barred.

  • October 4, 2018

    Counties Seek 9th Circ. Revival Of VW Emissions Claims

    Counties in Florida and Utah asked the Ninth Circuit on Thursday to revive their claims alleging Volkswagen AG violated local rules over tampering with emissions software in its vehicles, arguing that the district court was wrong to find that the claims are preempted by the Clean Air Act.

  • October 4, 2018

    Feds Get Win In Suit Over WWII Hazardous Waste Cleanup

    A New Jersey federal judge said a company that purchased land contaminated during World War II and the Korean War could not recover cleanup costs from the government under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, granting a win to the U.S. government. 

Expert Analysis

  • The EPA Isn’t Putting Asbestos Back Into Buildings

    Andrew Knudsen

    This summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sparked public outrage with its proposed "significant new use" rule addressing certain commercial uses of asbestos. But the EPA’s proposed action would actually impose substantial new prohibitions on the listed uses of asbestos — which currently are not regulated by the EPA at all, says Andrew Knudsen of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.

  • What The Arkema Indictment Means For Chemical Cos.

    Benjamin Patton

    Last month, a Texas grand jury indicted Arkema Inc., its CEO and a plant manager for allowing a release of air contaminants during Hurricane Harvey. The indictment is legally significant because it represents a criminal prosecution for a safety incident that involved no fatalities or catastrophic environmental harm, say Benjamin Patton and Mary Balaster of Reed Smith LLP.

  • EPA's Clean Energy Proposal: 6 Key Points

    Joel Beauvais

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Affordable Clean Energy rule, released last month, provides states with significant leeway on regulating electric power generation. This would likely mean substantial variations between states and even individual generating units, say Joel Beauvais and Stacey VanBelleghem of Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Q&A

    Back To School: Widener's Rod Smolla Talks Free Speech

    Rodney Smolla

    In this new series featuring law school luminaries, Widener University Delaware Law School dean Rodney Smolla discusses teaching philosophies, his interest in First Amendment law, and arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in Virginia v. Black.

  • New Pass-Through Deduction Will Pass Over Many Lawyers

    Evan Morgan

    A few weeks ago, the IRS proposed regulations related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's 20 percent deduction on qualified business income for pass-through entities. The guidance offers long-awaited clarity, but is mostly bad news for many law firms, says Evan Morgan of Kaufman Rossin PA.

  • How Reckless Judicial Impeachments Threaten Rule Of Law

    Jan van Zyl Smit

    Judicial impeachment fever seems to be spreading through the states, with West Virginia legislators recently voting to remove their state's entire Supreme Court, and lawmakers in Pennsylvania and North Carolina threatening the same. These actions are a serious threat to judicial independence, says Jan van Zyl Smit of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Fogel Reviews 'Good Judgment'

    Judge Jeremy Fogel

    In this time of partisan conflict over judicial selection, a new book by Canadian jurist Robert J. Sharpe —​ "Good Judgment" — represents a refreshing, deeply thoughtful departure from binary arguments about how and why judges make decisions, says U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel, director of the Federal Judicial Center.

  • A New Direction For EPA Enforcement Program

    Andrew Stewart

    After two decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is overhauling its enforcement framework to shift the focus to nontraditional methods. A push for significant changes in this realm is unsurprising since the agency has much greater running room under the Administrative Procedure Act, say Andrew Stewart and Richard Alonso of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • 10 Ways To Prevent E-Discovery Woes

    Debbie Reynolds

    E-discovery is not easy, but employing these 10 strategies may help minimize future headaches, say Debbie Reynolds and Daryl Gardner of EimerStahl Discovery Solutions LLC.

  • Affordable Clean Energy Rule: A New Path To GHG Reduction

    Jane Montgomery

    The Affordable Clean Energy rule, proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week, is already controversial. Critics focus on limited greenhouse gas reductions from efficiency projects, but the rule works in concert with market forces and existing law, says Jane Montgomery of Schiff Hardin LLP.