Environmental

  • March 20, 2017

    Iowa Water Nitrate Pollution Suit Is Tossed By Fed. Court

    An Iowa federal judge has dismissed a suit brought by the Des Moines Board of Water Works Trustees alleging several upstream water drainage districts polluted the river with nitrates, ruling Friday that the districts had legal immunity and that a constitutional challenge failed.

  • March 20, 2017

    NOAA Says Temperature Study Docs Protected In FOIA Suit

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Friday asked a D.C. federal judge to toss Judicial Watch’s lawsuit alleging NOAA violated a federal information disclosure law by failing to turn over emails related to the measurement of global temperature data.

  • March 20, 2017

    Fiat Investors Seek Class Cert. In Emissions Cheating Suit

    Investors claiming Fiat Chrysler inflated its stock price by using illegal software to cheat on emissions tests and otherwise dodging safety and emissions regulations asked a New York federal judge on Friday to certify a proposed class represented by Pomerantz LLP and The Rosen Law Firm PA.

  • March 20, 2017

    Feds Say They Don't 'Own' Navajo Land In Cleanup Suit

    The U.S. government on Friday said it’s not required to bankroll the environmental cleanup of more than a dozen old uranium sites on Navajo Nation land, telling an Arizona federal court that El Paso Natural Gas Company LLC's bid to avoid its own liability for the mess is barred by sovereign immunity.

  • March 20, 2017

    DC Circ. Denies Tribe's Bid To Stem Dakota Pipeline Oil

    The D.C. Circuit on Saturday rejected a bid by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe to prevent Dakota Access from putting oil into its pipeline at a disputed North Dakota site, which could allow the company to start the flow of oil as soon as Monday.

  • March 20, 2017

    High Court Won’t Hear Challenge To Well-Plug Order

    The Supreme Court will not review a decision by the D.C. Circuit that upheld the U.S. Department of the Interior’s order forcing Noble Energy Inc. to plug and abandon an oil well off the coast of California, according to an order handed down Monday.

  • March 17, 2017

    Miami Mayor Asks Legislators To Oppose FPL-Backed Bills

    Miami's mayor urged Florida legislators Thursday to vote against two Florida Power & Light-backed bills that would allow utilities to build transmission lines despite local governments' objections and would overturn an appeals court ruling nixing gubernatorial approvals for FPL's plans in South Florida.

  • March 17, 2017

    Feds, Sioux Tribe Tangle Over Bid To Halt Dakota Pipeline

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Dakota Access LLC urged the D.C. Circuit on Friday not to prevent the company from moving oil through its pipeline at a disputed site in North Dakota, while the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe argued that an injunction is needed to protect the tribe’s religious rights.

  • March 17, 2017

    Greenpeace Sues DHS For Records On Chemical Facilities

    Greenpeace Inc. on Thursday asked a D.C. federal court to force the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to make fully public the records related to its list of formerly high-risk chemical facilities, saying that the department ignored its own administrative law judge’s order to hand over the information under the Freedom of Information Act.

  • March 17, 2017

    High Court Urged To Pull Flint Water Row From State Court

    Two engineering firms have asked the Supreme Court to review a Sixth Circuit decision holding that lawsuits brought against them by Flint, Michigan, residents over the city’s water contamination crisis could go ahead in state court under the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act, saying it loosens class action pleading standards in direct conflict with six other circuit courts.

  • March 17, 2017

    Kansas' Top Court Affirms Green Light For $2.8B Coal Plant

    The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday upheld an addendum to a permit issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to Sunflower Electric Power Corp. for a proposed $2.8 billion coal-fired power plant, rejecting the Sierra Club’s arguments that the addendum flouted federal greenhouse gas rules by failing to set certain emission limits.

  • March 17, 2017

    Trump Backs Up Paris Exit Talk With Climate Funding Cuts

    President Donald J. Trump's plan to eliminate U.S. funding for international climate change programs follows through on his campaign vow to walk away from the Paris climate agreement, but experts say it doesn't necessarily signal the end of the U.S.'s involvement in the landmark pact and that Trump could face pushback from businesses eager to cash in on global decarbonization efforts.

  • March 17, 2017

    La. Levee Board Asks 5th Circ. To Rethink Coastal Harm Suit

    A Louisiana state levee board on Friday asked the Fifth Circuit to reconsider its decision to uphold a lower court’s decision that tossed its multibillion-dollar suit against 88 energy companies including BP PLC, Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips Co. over alleged oil and gas drilling damage to coastal ecosystems.

  • March 17, 2017

    US Mining Co. Appeals Order In Nova Scotia Quarry Row

    A Delaware mining company will appeal the Federal Court of Canada’s order refusing to stay the country’s attempt to escape an arbitral decision finding that the government improperly rejected a Nova Scotia quarry project on environmental grounds.

  • March 17, 2017

    DOL Again Delays Beryllium Rule Under Trump Memo

    The U.S. Department of Labor is officially delaying by two months the effective date of a new rule created to protect workers from a material that can cause lung disease, in keeping with a memorandum issued by the Trump administration that halted new regulations for further review.

  • March 17, 2017

    NRC Says Oglala Sioux Uranium Mine Challenge Is Premature

    The federal government on Friday urged the D.C. Circuit to nix the Oglala Sioux Tribe's challenge of the environmental assessment and license given to the operators of a South Dakota uranium mine, saying the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission hasn't yet issued a final order on the project.

  • March 17, 2017

    Ariz. Tribe Hits Gov't With $200M Trust Mismanagement Suit

    The White Mountain Apache Tribe has slapped the federal government with a $200 million suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, alleging the government failed in its trust duty to the tribe by mismanaging its money and the forests on its sprawling Arizona reservation.

  • March 17, 2017

    Polysilicon Co. Fears Loss Of IP In SunEdison Asset Sale

    A joint venture founded by a bankrupt SunEdison unit and a former Samsung subsidiary urged a New York bankruptcy court on Thursday to look further into its objection to a $150 million sale of SunEdison’s solar material business, complaining that its intellectual property is wrapped up in the deal.

  • March 17, 2017

    Fla. Phosphate Mine Projects Wrongly Approved, Enviros Say

    Federal agencies should not have allowed Mosaic Co. to expand four phosphate mines because they did not properly assess the expansions' impact on central Florida watersheds, environmental groups have alleged in Florida federal court.

  • March 17, 2017

    Class Counsel Gets $167M In Fees In VW Emissions MDL

    A California federal judge on Friday granted $167 million in fees and $8 million in costs to the class counsel representing drivers of 2.0 liter Volkswagen diesel cars who reached a $10 billion deal with the German automaker in the massive litigation over its emissions scandal.

Expert Analysis

  • How 401(k) Benefits Can Attract Millennial Legal Talent

    Nathan Fisher

    If today’s law firms are willing to rethink their perceptions of millennials, they may see greater success in attracting and retaining new talent by giving the younger generation the kind of retirement planning benefits they want and need, says Nathan Fisher of Fisher Investments.

  • How The Courts Review Executive Orders

    Steven D. Gordon

    The cases challenging President Donald Trump’s executive orders fit within the established legal framework that limits, but does not preclude, judicial review of such orders, says Steven Gordon of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Opinion

    Indian Country And Climate Change After DAPL

    Matthew L.M. Fletcher

    Considering the Trump administration's support for the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, Native Americans are at the vanguard of challenging government and business acts that worsen climate change. One wonders if it is only a matter of time before Native Americans and their resources are in the administration's crosshairs, says Matthew Fletcher of Michigan State University College of Law.

  • FERC's Pipeline Review Process Is Working As Intended

    Jay Costan

    Outgoing Commissioner Norman Bay surprised the natural gas industry on his last day at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this month, advocating a more cautious approach to pipeline approvals in light of environmental controversies. But FERC is fulfilling all its pipeline review responsibilities under the law, and has no authority to make the changes Bay suggests, says James Coston of Dentons US LLP.

  • In Congress: Gorsuch, CR, Trump's 1st Speech To Congress

    Richard Hertling

    Both chambers are set to return on Monday after a weeklong recess, kicking off a six-week session of legislative business. The issues expected to dominate this work period include the confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court and negotiations over how to keep the government funded beyond the scope of the current continuing resolution, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • What Lawyers Can Learn From Kellyanne Conway

    Michelle Samuels

    Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway's TV appearances provide some examples of what lawyers should and shouldn't do when speaking to the media, says Michelle Samuels, a vice president of public relations at Jaffe.

  • The Uncertain Future Of PURPA, A Key To Renewable Energy

    Larry Eisenstat

    The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act was enacted in 1978 to encourage development of alternative energy resources. But PURPA's opponents want to see it amended or repealed. With the law’s supporters staying relatively quiet, calls for reform may gain traction with the new Congress and the Trump administration, say attorneys from Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • The Mistakes Lawyers Make When Copying And Pasting

    Robert D. Lang

    We all recognize that cutting or copying text from earlier works and pasting it into new documents saves attorneys time. However, with this increase in speed comes an increased risk of making, or not catching, errors, says Robert Lang of D’Amato & Lynch LLP.

  • Opinion

    Calif. Court Gets Automatic Funding Disclosure Right

    Matthew D. Harrison

    Detractors of litigation funding have strained to characterize a recent decision from a California federal court as significant headway in their crusade against the litigation funding industry. However, in truth, this is a victory for both the industry and those in need of capital to bring meritorious claims against wrongdoers in an often prohibitively expensive legal system, say Matthew Harrison and Priya G. Pai of Bentham IMF.

  • Who Would Face Liability For Oroville Dam Management?

    Brett Moore

    The Butte County, California, sheriff recently ordered the evacuation of more than 180,000 people in the communities surrounding the Oroville Dam after officials spotted severe erosion in its emergency spillway. Although other avenues may exist to pursue liability against the agencies involved in management of the facilities, those agencies might avoid state tort liability on preemption grounds, says Brett Moore of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP.