Environmental

  • March 20, 2017

    DOE Has No Excuse For Shirking LNG Study, Enviros Say

    The U.S. Department of Energy did not properly analyze the impact of increased liquefied natural gas exports in approving exports from Cheniere Energy Inc.'s projects in Texas and Louisiana despite having the information and means to do so, the Sierra Club told the D.C. Circuit on Friday.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • 2-For-1 Executive Order Leaves OMB To Work Out Details

    Laurence Platt

    While President Donald Trump’s recent executive order reducing regulations may seem appealing in its simplicity, the White House has provided agencies with little guidance on its implementation, instructing them to call the Office of Management and Budget with questions. Yet the OMB's ability to provide answers will be impaired by a lack of clear legal standards, say Laurence Platt and Joy Tsai of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Legal Pot Industry Bugged By Lack Of Pesticide Guidance

    Telisport W. Putsavage

    Marijuana cultivation suffers from the same pest and disease pressure as any large commercial greenhouse operation. However, the circumstance unique to this setting is that any use of a pesticide in the cultivation of marijuana is a violation of federal law, says Telisport Putsavage of Putsavage PLLC.

  • Jurors In Toxic Tort Litigation Take Genetics Seriously

    David Schwartz

    Can jurors grasp the role of genetics in personal injury claims alleged to arise from exposure to specific chemicals? A recent asbestos trial featured a discussion of the plaintiff's genetic mutations as a factor in her mesothelioma. Trial lawyers should be thinking about how juries understand cancer, genetics and disease causation, say David Schwartz of Innovative Science Solutions and Kirk Hartley of LSP Group LLC.

  • Trump’s Enviro Law Impact May Not Be What Many Anticipate

    Lester Sotsky

    Many posit a material decline in environmental enforcement and a retrenchment or reversal of environmental regulatory initiatives in the new Trump administration. We expect three concrete areas where activism and activity will be on the rise during this time, targeting a variety of environmental, public health and liability issues of considerable potential consequences, say Lester Sotsky and Andy Wang of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • In Retrospect

    Relearning The Lessons Of Korematsu's Case

    Randy Maniloff

    Fred Korematsu’s U.S. Supreme Court case challenging President Franklin Roosevelt’s executive order that led to the incarceration of approximately 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry may sound like ancient history. However, Feb. 19 marks the 75th anniversary of the order's signing, and that it’s celebrating its diamond anniversary now is breathtaking timing, says Randy Maniloff of White and Williams LLP.

  • Individual Defense In The Shadow Of Corporate Guilty Pleas

    Jessica K. Nall

    Corporate guilty pleas can be expected to have serious implications for the individual executives and employees alleged to have been involved in the conduct under scrutiny. But whether their corporate employer pleads guilty or pursues an alternative resolution, there are other factors at play that can make a bigger difference to the eventual outcome for individuals, say Jessica Nall and Janice Reicher of Farella Braun & Martel LLP.

  • How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 2

    Bruce J. Heiman

    General counsels face the challenging task of understanding how companies can navigate the rules surrounding uses of artificial intelligence. To get smart on AI, general counsels must ask the right questions about areas such as human resources, intellectual property, liability and insurance, say Bruce Heiman and Elana Reman of K&L Gates LLP.

  • How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 1

    Bruce J. Heiman

    Though the Trump administration has yet to make an official statement regarding artificial intelligence, support for AI is consistent with its expressed desire to promote American business. As such, general counsel will inevitably have to navigate what big data and AI mean for compliance with current and future laws and regulations, say Bruce Heiman and Elana Reman of K&L Gates LLP.

  • A New Element In Awarding Calif. Public Works Contracts

    Anthony J. Samson

    Legislation recently proposed in California would require the disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the manufacture of certain “eligible materials” for public works projects. If passed, it could have the biggest effect on companies that manufacture construction materials, especially cement, flat glass, manufactured wool, steel and asphalt, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.