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Environmental

  • October 2, 2018

    4th Circ. Nixes Army Corps Permit For $3.5B Pipeline

    The Fourth Circuit on Tuesday vacated a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley gas pipeline, saying the agency improperly substituted a West Virginia condition for the permit with a federal one.

  • October 2, 2018

    DOJ Defends Trump's Decision To Shrink National Monuments

    President Donald Trump was well within his rights to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, the federal government has told a D.C. federal judge, urging her to toss several lawsuits challenging those controversial actions.

  • October 2, 2018

    Tribal Council Candidates Say DOI Can't Dodge Election Suit

    Four Nooksack tribal council candidates who lost a December special election urged a Washington federal court Monday not to toss their suit alleging the U.S. Department of the Interior failed to properly oversee the election, saying the DOI abruptly departed from established policy to recognize the new council as the tribe’s governing body.

  • October 2, 2018

    BLM Methane Rule Delay Must Be Nixed, 10th Circ. Hears

    States and environmental groups backing an Obama-era rule regulating methane venting and flaring from gas wells on public and tribal lands told the Tenth Circuit that a lower court's injunction blocking its implementation should be vacated since the U.S. Bureau of Land Management recently rescinded the rule.

  • October 2, 2018

    NC Recycling Co. Founder Gets 10 Years For $27M Fraud

    A North Carolina federal judge has sentenced the founder of a now-defunct electronics waste recycling company to 10 years in prison for fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars by lying to investors, franchisees and lenders and spending the money on personal luxuries, according to authorities.

  • October 2, 2018

    5th Circ. Leaves Door Open In Feds' Time-Barred CAA Suit

    In an issue of first impression for the Fifth Circuit, a panel has allowed the federal government to pursue injunctive relief against a power company for modifying coal-fired plants without proper permits despite the feds' Clean Air Act civil penalty claims being time-barred.

  • October 2, 2018

    Scarinci Hollenbeck Adds Employment Vet, 5 Others

    Scarinci Hollenbeck LLC has added as counsel to its litigation practice group a seasoned employment defense attorney from Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP, while also expanding its roster with five new associates in the New Jersey-based firm's litigation, labor and employment, government and education law and environmental law practice groups.

  • October 2, 2018

    FERC Urges DC Circ. To Toss Enviro's Pa. Pipeline Appeal

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday urged the D.C. Circuit to toss an environmental group’s challenge to the approval of a Kinder Morgan unit's $144 million Pennsylvania pipeline project, saying the group failed to raise its claims before the agency.

  • October 2, 2018

    1st Circ. Judge Has Harsh Words For Trump In Maria's Wake

    A little more than a year after Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico and the rest of the Caribbean, First Circuit Judge Juan R. Torruella in an interview with Law360 sharply criticized what he felt was an inadequate response to the disaster by the federal government and President Donald Trump's comments disputing the death toll as a result of the storm.

  • October 2, 2018

    EPA Air Polluter Policy Change Is Unlawful, DC Circ. Told

    California and several environmental groups told the D.C. Circuit that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency flouted both administrative law and the Clean Air Act when it rescinded a 1995 policy that said any facility considered to be a “major” polluter under the CAA could never be recategorized as a less prolific polluter.

  • October 1, 2018

    Supreme Court Rebuffs Tech Billionaire’s Beach Access Suit

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned down a petition from billionaire venture capitalist and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla over public access to his Northern California beachfront property, disregarding his argument that some of the value of his property was unconstitutionally taken under the state’s Coastal Act.

  • October 1, 2018

    Fishermen Say High Court Should Review Otter Program's End

    A group of California commercial fishing groups looking to keep shellfish out of sea otters’ paws urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to review a Ninth Circuit decision they said improperly allowed the federal government to remove some shellfish protections.

  • October 1, 2018

    Puerto Rican Class Wins Cert. In Utility Conspiracy Suit

    Customers suing Puerto Rico’s public power utility for cheating on environmental standards testing and systematically overcharging them were granted class certification on Sunday, after a Puerto Rico federal court found their claims will all hinge on proving the existence of a racketeering conspiracy.

  • October 1, 2018

    High Court Won't Hear Challenge To Tribal Casino Land Grant

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a California county’s challenge to the federal government’s land-into-trust acquisition for a proposed Ione Band of Miwok Indians casino, leaving in place a Ninth Circuit decision allowing the acquisition to stand.

  • October 1, 2018

    Enviros Sue To Resurrect Obama-Era Methane Waste Rule

    A coalition of environmental organizations has filed a lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Land Management's move to roll back an Obama-era rule aimed at reducing methane releases from oil and gas operations on federal and Native American lands, saying the action only considered industry interests, not those of the public.

  • October 1, 2018

    Osmotica, Anaplan, Livent IPOs Worth $722M Led By 3 Firms

    Osmotica Pharmaceuticals PLC, led by Ropes & Gray LLP; Anaplan Inc., led by Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP; and Livent Corp., led by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, have set a price range on initial public offerings estimated to total $722 million.

  • October 1, 2018

    Justices Focus On FWS Discretion In Frog Habitat Oral Args

    U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday appeared deeply conflicted about whether to agree with the Fifth Circuit's finding that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had discretion to protect 1,500 acres in Louisiana for an endangered frog species that does not currently live there.

  • October 1, 2018

    Dominion Power Line OK Was By The Book, Army Corps Says

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers satisfied its obligations under federal environmental and historic preservation laws in reviewing and allowing a Dominion Energy Inc. electricity transmission project to cross the James River in Virginia, the agency told the D.C. Circuit on Friday.

  • October 1, 2018

    High Court Passes On Noble-Conoco Row Over $63M Cleanup

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a 2017 Texas Supreme Court ruling saying Noble Energy Inc. must indemnify ConocoPhillips Co. for $63 million in environmental cleanup costs.

  • October 1, 2018

    Fishing Groups' Wind Farm Suit Filed Too Soon, Judge Says

    A D.C. federal court agreed with Statoil Wind US and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that a challenge by seafood industry groups and others to a $42.5 million lease awarded to the company for a wind farm off the coast of New York was brought too soon.

Expert Analysis

  • The Future Of State-Subsidized Electric Generation Resources

    Joseph Cavicchi

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently ruled that PJM Interconnection’s current capacity market auction tariff is unjust and unreasonable. The decision raises a fundamental economic question as to the future of PJM's existing market-based approach to determining the region’s mix of generating assets, say Joseph Cavicchi and Kenneth Grant of Compass Lexecon​​​​​​​.

  • Peering Behind The Peer Review Curtain

    William Childs

    The U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals specified peer review as one criterion for evaluating scientific evidence. But not all peer review is created equal, and sometimes additional exploration — whether through discovery into your adversaries’ experts, or early investigation of your own potential experts — may make sense, says William Childs of Bowman and Brooke LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Lipez Reviews 'Last Great Colonial Lawyer'

    Judge Kermit Lipez

    In his new book, "The Last Great Colonial Lawyer: The Life and Legacy of Jeremiah Gridley," Charles McKirdy argues that Gridley — someone I had never heard of — was the last great colonial lawyer, and that his cases illuminate his times. The author largely substantiates both claims, says First Circuit Judge Kermit Lipez.

  • Time To Update Prop 65 Warnings For Residential Rentals

    Andrea Sumits

    The ubiquitous Proposition 65 warning signs posted throughout apartment communities in California may soon become a thing of the past. Under a new draft rule that is being finalized, safe harbor warnings for residential rental properties will be found in lease agreements rather than on posted signs, says Andrea Sumits of Environmental General Counsel LLP.

  • Unclear Which Way Wind Blows After Reversal Of Alta Wind

    Julie Marion

    The Federal Circuit recently reversed the U.S. Court of Federal Claims decision in Alta Wind v. United States, finding the trial court's method of valuing the wind farm properties did not accurately represent their fair market value. The decision was unclear, however, about how the lower court should determine the value on remand, leaving the renewable energy industry with a number of questions, say attorneys at Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Interview Essentials For Attorneys On The Move

    Eileen Decker

    Across the country this fall, recent law school graduates, law firm associates and experienced professionals will interview for positions in private practice and government service. Sharing tips on how to stand out in this high-pressure, hypercompetitive process are Eileen Decker, former U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, and Keith Jacoby, co-chairman of Littler Mendelson PC’s class action practice group.

  • Roundup

    Clerking For Ginsburg

    Clerking For Ginsburg

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined the U.S. Supreme Court 25 years ago and is not planning to retire anytime soon — she has hired clerks through 2020. What's it like to assist Justice Ginsburg? In this series, former clerks reflect on the experience.

  • Series

    Clerking For Ginsburg: 3 Surprises

    David Post

    It had never occurred to me that judges don’t always love the way their appellate cousins review their work and tell them — in public — all the things they got wrong. I was frequently struck by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s acute awareness of the delicacy of this relationship, says attorney David Post.

  • Top 5 NDAA Provisions On Energy And The Environment

    Rachel Jacobson

    On Monday, President Donald Trump will sign the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. Buried deep within these acts are often-overlooked provisions that have a major impact on energy, environment and natural resources policy, say Rachel Jacobson and Matthew Ferraro of WilmerHale.

  • Series

    Clerking For Ginsburg: A Superhero Supreme

    Burden Walker

    As a clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, my job was to mirror my boss’ views and values in everything I did. Years later, I find that I am still striving to live up to the values Justice Ginsburg instilled in me, as both a lawyer and a spouse, says Burden Walker, an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland.