Environmental

  • 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.

  • October 5, 2017

    TransCanada Pulls Plug On $12B Pipeline Project

    TransCanada Corp. on Thursday said it's scrapping its proposed $12 billion Energy East pipeline, less than two months after Canadian energy regulators imposed a stricter environmental review process on the controversial, cross-country project.

  • October 4, 2017

    BLM Must Enforce Obama-Era Methane Rule, Court Says

    A California federal judge on Wednesday reactivated Obama-era regulations limiting methane gas emissions on public lands, finding that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management didn’t have authority to cease enforcing a rule that was already in effect without going the through proper administrative channels.

  • October 4, 2017

    House GOP Query Trump, Obama Interior Secretaries’ Travel

    Two Republican leaders of the House Committee on Natural Resources asked U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday to provide documents showing how he and his two Obama-era predecessors have used noncommercial aircraft for official business.

  • October 4, 2017

    EPA Asks Court To Rethink Halting Superfund Cleanup Plan

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asked a Rhode Island federal court Wednesday to reconsider its order pausing a groundwater cleanup plan at a Superfund site because it found the agency made decisions in developing the plan that violated the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.

  • October 4, 2017

    FHWA Says It Will Repeal Greenhouse Gas Rule

    The Federal Highway Administration on Wednesday said it plans to rescind a rule designed to lower carbon dioxide emissions on national highways.

  • October 4, 2017

    Aramark Agrees To Pay Gov't $1.6M For W.Va. Waste Cleanup

    The U.S. Department of Justice filed a notice Wednesday inviting the public to comment on a proposed consent decree stipulating that Aramark Uniform & Career Apparel LLC will pay nearly $1.6 million in connection with the release of a hazardous chemical at a West Virginia Superfund site.

  • October 4, 2017

    Senate Dems Skewer Trump's EPA Chemical, Air Nominees

    President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical safety division on Wednesday was slammed for practicing “pseudoscience” by Senate Democrats during a contentious nomination hearing, in which a Hunton & Williams LLP partner slotted for the Air and Radiation Office also came under fire for hedging on questions about climate change-related activity.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Harvey’s Aftermath For The US Oil And Gas Sector

    Thomas Ciarlone Jr.

    As the U.S. oil and gas industry recovers from Hurricane Harvey, operators must also be aware that force majeure clauses, excusing nonperformance during natural disasters, may not provide as much cover as they think, says Thomas Ciarlone Jr. of Kane Russell Coleman Logan PC.

  • Punitive Damages In Mass Torts: Outrageous And Reckless

    Stephen McConnell

    There is no consistency to the punitive damages process: One case might be halted by a judge who applies Daubert to preclude junk science, while another judge waves virtually the same case by and a jury socks the defendant with a $110 million verdict. Our system of civil litigation looks like jackpot justice, says Stephen McConnell of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Wind Power: A Strong Market But An Uncertain Future

    John Crossley

    The U.S. Department of Energy's recently published 2016 Wind Technologies Market Report showed strong growth for wind power due to low power purchase prices, decreased technology costs and improved performance. But the expiration of the production tax credit and low natural gas prices make long-term growth uncertain, say John Crossley and Brynna Krough-Deaton of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • The Psychology Of Hourly Fee Arrangements

    J.B. Heaton

    The range of possible and better fee agreements is wide. But such alternatives will become popular only if litigants confront the psychological tendencies shaping their existing fee arrangements, says J.B. Heaton, a partner at Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP.

  • What Does It Mean To 'Consider' Pipeline Risk Factors?

    Zachary Koslap

    The Fifth Circuit's recent ruling in ExxonMobil Pipeline Company v. U.S. Department of Transportation held that ExxonMobil was not in violation of regulations requiring it to “consider” all risk factors relevant to a certain pipeline segment. The court’s distinction between process-based and outcome-based regulations is especially useful, says Zachary Koslap of Manko Gold Katcher & Fox LLP.

  • Practicing Law In The Era Of 3rd-Party Litigation Funding

    David Silver

    The growth of third-party litigation funding has added a distinct variable to the world of civil litigation. Such funding has and will continue to change the calculus for many corporations and their defense counsel as to the tipping point between settling or pursuing a case to a court decision, says David Silver of Silver Public Relations.

  • Self-Collection In E-Discovery — Risks Vs. Rewards

    Alex Khoury

    As judges become better educated about the complexities of collecting electronically stored information, in particular the inefficacy of keyword searching, they are increasingly skeptical of self-collection. And yet, for many good reasons (and a few bad ones), custodian self-collection is still prevalent in cases of all sizes and in all jurisdictions, says Alex Khoury of Balch & Bingham LLP.