Environmental

  • February 12, 2018

    9th Circ. OKs Sanctions For First Solar Wrongful Death Suit

    A California federal judge correctly found that a workers' compensation deal preempted a suit against First Solar Inc. over an employee killed while inspecting its power plant, and his estate's attorneys were properly sanctioned for making arguments they should have known were frivolous, the Ninth Circuit ruled Monday.

  • February 12, 2018

    Gov't Must Seek Tribes' Input On Vital Issues: NCAI Prez

    The federal government must respect tribes’ sovereignty by engaging their leaders on infrastructure, tax, energy, land management, labor and many other issues impacting tribal governments and members, the president of the National Congress of American Indians said Monday.

  • February 12, 2018

    Trump Budget Would Cut BIA Funds, Up Indian Health Money

    Funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education would be cut nearly $450 million under a 2019 budget proposal unveiled Monday by the Trump administration, but the Indian Health Service would see an increase of about $400 million from 2018 under the plan.

  • February 12, 2018

    Potlatch To Pay $6M To EPA, DOT Over Pollution Cleanup

    Environmental lawyers at the U.S. Department of Justice have reached a $6 million consent decree with real estate investment trust and paper and wood mill unit owner Potlatch Corp. in Idaho federal court over the $13.43 million cost for cleanup of environmental contamination that Potlatch allegedly worsened at a former Idaho railroad operation site.

  • February 12, 2018

    Shell Cuts $10M Deal In La. Toxic Air Emissions Suit

    Shell Chemical LP agreed on Monday to spend approximately $10 million to reduce harmful air pollution from four industrial flares at a plant in Norco, Louisiana, resolving allegations that emissions from the Shell facilities violate the Clean Air Act and state law.

  • February 12, 2018

    Trump Proposes 25 Percent Cut To EPA In 2019 Budget

    President Donald Trump on Monday proposed cutting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by nearly a quarter in fiscal year 2019, a reduction that would slash money for a variety of activities including research and state programs.

  • February 12, 2018

    Clean Energy On Chopping Block In Trump Budget Blueprint

    Clean energy development bears the brunt of U.S. Department of Energy spending cuts proposed by President Donald Trump on Monday, as it did in last year’s budget blueprint, while the Department of the Interior's slimmed-down budget looks to use expanded energy leasing revenues to pay for public infrastructure projects.

  • February 12, 2018

    Broadband Groups Laud Trump Infrastructure Proposal

    President Donald Trump’s plan to spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment rolled out on Monday included elements intended to increase investment in broadband build-out — to the delight of many in the telecommunications sector.

  • February 12, 2018

    9th Circ. Backs Arctic Ringed Seals’ ‘Threatened Status’

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday overturned a lower court and said that the federal government did not err when it used climate change predictions as part of its reasoning to classify a ringed seal subspecies as threatened, deciding that the determination was “supported by the record.”

  • February 12, 2018

    Tenants 2 Years Late To Claim $21M DuPont Superfund Deal

    An Indiana federal judge on Friday told a group of frustrated Hoosier State residents they are two years too late to intervene in a $21 million cleanup deal with Atlantic Richfield Co. and DuPont despite sympathizing with them over the slow pace of the Superfund cleanup.

  • February 12, 2018

    Feds, Dakota Access Fight Tribe To Keep Pipeline Permits

    The federal government and Dakota Access LLC further urged a D.C. federal court Friday to deny the Yankton Sioux Tribe’s bid to pull permits for the company’s controversial pipeline, with the government saying it had completely complied with the National Environmental Policy Act.

  • February 12, 2018

    NJ Enviros, Ex-State Sen. Can't Stop $225M Exxon Deal

    A New Jersey appeals court on Monday refused to second-guess the state’s controversial $225 million settlement with Exxon Mobil Corp. over contamination from its refineries and gas stations, ruling in a published decision that the judge who heard the case in its entirety had been in the best position to approve the deal.

  • February 12, 2018

    Enviro Watchdog Says DOI Temp Officials Are Illegal

    An environmental group on Monday accused the U.S. Department of the Interior of illegally installing temporary leaders of its Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Parks Service, potentially invalidating actions taken by those agencies or making them more vulnerable to legal challenges.

  • February 12, 2018

    Ace Fights $1.1M Pollution Award Coverage At 11th Circ.

    Ace American Insurance Co. told the Eleventh Circuit on Friday that a Georgia federal judge erred in forcing it to cover now-bankrupt Exide Technologies for a $1.1 million judgment over acid damage at a battery factory owned by Wattles Co., asserting Exide's policy was meant to contain an exclusion for pollution claims.

  • February 12, 2018

    Tribal Tie Doesn't Nix Coal Plant Row, Enviros Tell 9th Circ.

    Environmental groups told the Ninth Circuit on Friday that a lower court wrongly found that their challenge to the federal government’s approval of continued operations of a coal-fired plant and mine on Navajo land was barred by the mine owner's tribal sovereign immunity.

  • February 11, 2018

    Trump Administration Outlines $200B Infrastructure Plan

    President Donald Trump will unveil on Monday a long-awaited proposal to spend $200 billion to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, highways, railways, waterways and other infrastructure and to expedite environmental reviews, while also putting states and localities on notice that they’ll have to shoulder more of the cost burden going forward.

  • February 9, 2018

    DOJ's No. 3 Checks Out For Walmart Gig

    The U.S. Department of Justice’s associate attorney general who was tasked with overseeing numerous divisions, including antitrust, civil, civil rights, environment and natural resources, and tax, will leave the department for Walmart after nine months on the job, the DOJ and the retail giant announced Friday.

  • February 9, 2018

    Girardi Keese Must Open Books On $130M Deal, 9th Circ. Told

    An attorney whose client accused Girardi Keese of mismanaging a $130 million settlement with Lockheed Martin urged the Ninth Circuit on Friday to allow an accounting of the funds to move forward, while the firm argued that a lower court correctly found the suit was time-barred since the funds were distributed nearly two decades ago.

  • February 9, 2018

    TSCA Rule Would Help Fund Broader EPA Chemical Program

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed new fee structure for its Toxic Substances Control Act program would bring much-needed revenue to an agency facing dramatically increased responsibilities under recent amendments to the law, although environmentalists say companies would get off easy.

  • February 9, 2018

    Shell Loses $300M-Plus Oil Cleanup Claim Against Dole Unit

    Shell Oil Co. lost a bid at getting more than $300 million in oil waste cleanup costs reimbursed by a Dole real estate subsidiary when a California court ruled Thursday the regional water board’s order listing the developer as a contributor to the pollution has not yet been finalized.

Expert Analysis

  • Lessons From President Trump's Failed Judicial Nominations

    Arun Rao

    On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced 12 new judicial nominations. We will soon discover whether these candidates learned from the mistakes of the three nominees forced to withdraw in December after bipartisan concerns arose over their qualifications, says Arun Rao, executive VP of Investigative Group International.

  • The Government’s Big Stick For Fighting Small Biz Fraud

    Amy Laderberg O'Sullivan

    Last year saw the first application of the Small Business Act's presumption-of-loss rule in a civil False Claims Act case — U.S. v. Washington Closure Hanford. The ruling will likely embolden the government to aggressively pursue cases involving set-aside fraud, say attorneys with Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Toxicology In The 21st Century: 5 Tips For Litigators

    Giovanni Ciavarra

    New research methods are uncovering fresh data about chemical toxicity at a rapid rate, which may catch manufacturers and consumers off guard. The challenge for attorneys is to understand whether and how the science supports their position, and to make a comprehensible and compelling case to judges and juries, say Giovanni Ciavarra and Crista Trippodi Murphy of Innovative Science Solutions.

  • How To Control Data As Technology Complicates E-Discovery

    Peter Ostrega

    While technology is making certain aspects of e-discovery faster and easier, it is also creating new challenges as quickly as we can provide solutions. The good news is that there are concrete steps businesses can take to address those challenges, says Peter Ostrega of Consilio LLC.

  • How The Climate Changed For Renewables In 2017

    Brook Detterman

    2017 ended, as it began, with much uncertainty for renewable energy, as the Trump administration continued to move against the Clean Power Plan. But key renewable energy objectives advanced at the state level, and tax reform left the production tax credit for wind energy and the investment tax credit for solar developers intact, says Brook Detterman of Beveridge & Diamond PC.

  • Severe Weather Events Create Insurance Dilemmas

    Edward Murphy

    In recent years, severe weather events and natural catastrophes have been on the rise in California and elsewhere. Some insurers are becoming more restrictive with their homeowners policies, leaving many without adequate insurance for natural disasters, says Edward Murphy of Foran Glennon Palandech Ponzi & Rudloff PC.

  • 6 E-Discovery Predictions For 2018

    Erich Potter

    Erich Potter, discovery counsel with Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker LLP, discusses six ways e-discovery will continue to excite and confound in 2018.

  • How FERC Redefined 'Grid Resilience'

    Colette Honorable

    Last fall, the U.S. Department of Energy directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to consider "grid resilience" measures that tended to favor coal and nuclear power. FERC's response this week, rejecting the DOE approach, embraces a resilience strategy incorporating new energy technologies, and could even lead to consideration of climate change as a factor, say attorneys with Reed Smith LLP.

  • White House Deregulation Push Is Just Getting Started

    Jane Luxton

    The Trump administration's recently released unified agenda indicates an even greater pace of deregulatory action in 2017 than was called for in the president's "two-for-one" executive order. But parties interested in particular future regulatory reforms must develop a strategy for aligning with the relevant agency’s priorities, say attorneys with Clark Hill PLC.

  • Will Ratepayers Or Shareholders Pay For California Fires?

    Mike Danko

    Northern California homeowners recently filed suit against PG&E Corporation, blaming its power lines for sparking wildfires that have destroyed more than 5,000 homes. If plaintiffs prove that the utility took shortcuts that placed profits over safety, victims’ compensation should come from the company's profits, not from ratepayers, say Mike Danko of Danko Meredith and Caroline Corbitt of Gibbs Law Group.