Environmental

  • April 17, 2017

    Challenge To Feds' Fish Saving Efforts Mostly Moot

    A California federal judge on Monday tossed five of eight claims by a pair of California water districts in their suit against the federal government’s decision to release extra water into a river to help preserve fish for Native Americans, finding the arguments moot under a recent related Ninth Circuit ruling.

  • April 17, 2017

    Enviros Get Quick Win Over EPA In Oregon Water Temp Suit

    An Oregon federal judge has given environmentalists a quick win in a suit alleging that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency violated the Endangered Species Act by approving temperature increases in the state’s water bodies without first notifying the Fish and Wildlife Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service, saying an affirmative action like that requires consultation.

  • April 17, 2017

    Sungevity Approved For $50M Ch. 11 Sale To Creditor JV

    A public and private equity joint venture won approval Monday to buy rooftop solar firm Sungevity Inc. out of its Delaware Chapter 11 with a $50 million credit bid, after a last-minute flurry of compromises or postponements of disputes.

  • April 17, 2017

    NJ Residents Fight Smelting Contamination Suit Dismissal

    Carteret, New Jersey, residents on Sunday shot back at three companies looking to sink a putative class action in New Jersey federal court accusing them of causing environmental contamination at a defunct smelting plant, rejecting their argument that the lawsuit failed to put each business on notice of the claims against it.

  • April 17, 2017

    Enviros Seek Review Of Chicago Water Diversion Permit

    The Illinois Department of Natural Resources did not properly consider potential water conservation practices when it drastically hiked the amount of water that could be diverted from Lake Michigan into the Chicago waterway system, environmental groups said in a complaint filed in state court Friday.

  • April 17, 2017

    Military Attys Push For Guantánamo Injunction Over Housing

    Military attorneys suing the Department of Defense over allegedly contaminated living and working quarters at a Navy base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on Friday asked a federal judge to force the DOD to provide them with safer accommodations while the litigation plays out.

  • April 17, 2017

    Flint Moms’ Suit Blames Racial Bias For Water Crisis

    More than 200 mothers have slapped the state of Michigan, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and the city of Flint with a lawsuit over the recent water contamination crisis, arguing that the predominantly African-American city got short shrift due to residents’ race and income.

  • April 17, 2017

    Alaska Says BP Oil And Gas Leak Stopped

    A leak at a BP Exploration Alaska Inc. well that had sprayed crude oil and vented natural gas into an area near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, has been stopped, state environmental officials said Monday.

  • April 17, 2017

    Calif. Presses EPA For Tougher Locomotive Emissions Regs

    California air regulators on Friday urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to craft stricter emissions rules for locomotives, saying they could result in even greater reductions in toxic air pollutants than the standards currently being phased in.

  • April 17, 2017

    Judge Halts Ill. Highway Construction Over Endangered Bee

    An Illinois federal judge halted construction on a six-mile stretch of highway in suburban Kane County Monday, granting an environmental group’s request she block the project until its impact on an endangered species of bumble bee can be evaluated.

  • April 17, 2017

    Not Too Late To Consolidate CPP Fights, Challengers Say

    Clean Power Plan defenders have provided no valid reason why challenges to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s denial of administrative petitions to reconsider or delay the rule shouldn't be combined with legal challenges to the plan itself, anti-CPP states and industry groups told the D.C. Circuit on Friday.

  • April 17, 2017

    Tribes, Enviros To Drop Salmon Suit Claims After Consultation

    Two California tribes and several environmental groups agreed Friday to pause their suit over the impact of the federal government’s operation of the Klamath Irrigation Project in Northern California and southern Oregon on salmon and promised to drop their remaining claims as long as the government completes a required consultation.

  • April 17, 2017

    AEP Must Install Scrubbers At Coal Plant, 6th Circ. Rules

    The Sixth Circuit held Friday that it’s the duty of AEP Generating Co., not the owners of an Indiana coal-burning power plant it operates, to install court-ordered “scrubbers” at the plant, overturning a lower court’s interpretation of the parties’ lease.

  • April 17, 2017

    Citgo Can't Justify Lowering $81M Spill Fine, US Says

    The federal government told the Fifth Circuit on Friday that Citgo Petroleum Corp. has no legal basis to request that an $81 million civil penalty issued for a Louisiana oil spill be lowered, and urged the court to increase the penalty instead.

  • April 17, 2017

    Cogenra Fights Bid To Dismiss Claims In Trade Secrets Suit

    Cogenra Solar Inc. asked a California federal judge Friday not to toss claims in its suit against Elon Musk's solar power company SolarCity Corp. for allegedly stealing trade secrets, arguing that Cogenra has adequately alleged claims for unfair competition and promissory estoppel.

  • April 17, 2017

    High Court Skips Appeal Over Solar Co.'s $950M Antitrust Suit

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a bankrupt solar panel producer’s bid to revive its $950 million antitrust suit against three Chinese solar panel companies.

  • April 17, 2017

    LA Gets Judgment In Lighting Project Suit Restored

    A California appeals court has reinstated a lower court’s judgment in favor of the city of Los Angeles in a suit from an urban environmental group challenging a local lighting project, finding that the judgment was not a default judgment or a dismissal.

  • April 14, 2017

    Jury Says Trucking Cos. Didn't Taint Ill. Town's Water

    An Illinois federal jury on Thursday unanimously rejected claims from a Chicago suburb that a trucking company’s terminal had contaminated its groundwater with vinyl chloride, a gas that’s associated with an increased risk of certain cancers.

  • April 14, 2017

    Sens. Question EPA Nix Of Info Request After Industry Meeting

    Four Democratic senators sent a letter on Friday to Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, asking him to reveal what he discussed with members of the Republican Attorneys General Association just prior to his decision to kill an obligation that oil and gas facilities send the EPA information.

  • April 14, 2017

    Fla. High Court Won't Hear Appeal In Keys Takings Case

    The Florida Supreme Court declined Thursday to wade into a property rights case over a 9-acre offshore island in the Florida Keys that the owner argues has been effectively taken by the state through increasingly restrictive development regulations.

Expert Analysis

  • Are Your In-House Lawyers Happy?

    Aric Press

    What is the mood of the nation’s in-house lawyers? Aric Press — a partner at Bernero & Press LLC and former editor-in-chief of The American Lawyer — shares the findings of a recent survey of more than 800 in-house counsel.

  • In Congress: Light Floor Schedule, Heavy On Committees

    Richard Hertling

    Republican leadership in the House and Senate will need to refocus their efforts this week, after a failed attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The lead-up to the canceled vote last week highlighted the divisions within the Republican conference, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Trump's Skinny EPA Budget Could Have Far-Reaching Impacts

    Jim W. Rubin

    A review of President Donald Trump's recent budget proposal suggests that none of his goals for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would be well-served. In fact, the EPA, states, tribes and other federal agencies would all face serious issues in protecting human health and the environment, says Jim Rubin of Dorsey & Whitney LLP.

  • How Past And Present Aerial Photography Can Make The Case

    David Ruiz

    Many cases hinge on visual evidence. And aerial photography can play a key role, showing how geographic features or buildings looked in the past or have changed over time. Legal teams should be aware of the aerial photography resources available and the impact technological advances in the field may have on helping prove their case, says David Ruiz of Quantum Spatial Inc.

  • Google, NASA, Planes And A Stronger Legal Team

    Nicholas Cheolas

    Why did minor mechanical issues bring down two airplanes, while a catastrophic engine explosion did not bring down a third? The answers lie, in part, in research conducted by NASA in the wake of those crashes and, more recently, by Google. And those answers can help organizations build better teams to meet today’s legal industry challenges, says Nicholas Cheolas of Zelle LLP.

  • Acquiring Midstream Assets And Gas Agreements: Part 2

    Greg Krafka

    Because the value of natural gas gathering systems, processing plants and related midstream assets depends on fees to be paid under associated gas gathering and processing agreements, terms and conditions of these agreements — with respect to acreage dedication, well connections, covenants running with the land, and other matters — must be scrutinized before asset purchases, say Greg Krafka and Jim Strawn of Winstead PC.

  • 10 Tips For Better Legal Negotiations

    Marc J. Siegel

    Like everything else, the art of negotiation starts by having a conversation. It’s about being respectful, finding common ground, knowing what you want and, most importantly, listening. A conversation between two lawyers can be complicated at best, but by employing a few techniques and tactics, it doesn’t have to be that way, says Marc Siegel of Siegel & Dolan Ltd.

  • Monthly Column

    Gray Matters: Decision Error

    Gray Matters

    Lawyers make hundreds of decisions during the course of advising a client, consummating a transaction or litigating a case. In this new column, dispute resolution experts Bob Creo and Selina Shultz explore the theory, science and practical aspects of how decisions are made in the legal community.

  • Acquiring Midstream Assets And Gas Agreements: Part 1

    Greg Krafka

    In the acquisition of natural gas gathering systems, processing plants and related midstream assets, a primary focus of legal due diligence will be the gas gathering and processing agreements associated with these assets. Terms and conditions governing service levels, fees, environmental costs, termination and other issues must be carefully reviewed before purchase, say Greg Krafka and Jim Strawn of Winstead PC.

  • Law Schools And Law Firms: Seeking Common Ground

    Randy Gordon

    What we don’t know is whether the teaching and practice of law are undergoing massive structural changes or we’re still digging out from the worst economic collapse since the Depression. But what we do know is that the missions of the most forward-looking law schools and law firms are converging in ways that were unimaginable 10 years ago, says Randy Gordon, a partner at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP and executive professor of law at Te... (continued)