Environmental

  • December 1, 2017

    Justices To Hear Appeal In Tesla Unit Antitrust Suit

    The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear the appeal of an Arizona utility that wants to immediately challenge a lower court's determination the power company must face an antitrust suit brought by Tesla subsidiary SolarCity Corp.

  • December 1, 2017

    Calif. Appeals Panel Remands CEQA Rail Line Dispute

    A California appeals court has remanded an environmental challenge to the North Coast Railroad Authority’s proposal to revive a line in Northern California, months after the state Supreme Court said federal law does not preempt the California Environmental Quality Act on a state-owned rail project.

  • November 30, 2017

    House Passes Bill To OK Minnesota Wilderness Mining

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would mandate that the U.S. Forest Service renew copper sulfide mining leases in the Minnesota wilderness, over Democrats' criticisms that the mine would tarnish the area.

  • November 30, 2017

    Coca-Cola, Flowserve Dodge Ohio Superfund Suit

    An Ohio federal judge on Wednesday cut loose three companies, including Coca-Cola and Flowserve, from a lawsuit alleging they bear financial responsibility for the cleanup of an Ohio Superfund site.

  • November 30, 2017

    ETP Doesn't Deserve Broad Approval For Pipeline, FERC Says

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday stood by its refusal to give Energy Transfer Partners LP blanket approval for construction activities associated with its $4.2 billion Rover pipeline, saying the company can't be trusted to honor that approval after hiding a historic building's demolition from the agency.

  • November 30, 2017

    Paint Cos. Seek Rehearing In $1B Lead Paint Cleanup Suit

    Sherwin-Williams Co. and two other paintmakers asked a California appeals court to reconsider a decision that trimmed a $1.15 billion lead contamination judgment, saying Wednesday that the panel had ignored vital evidence about whether the companies had promoted the paint for use in homes.

  • November 30, 2017

    Feds Finalize Lease Extension For Indian Country Coal Plant

    The federal government provided the final approvals for a new lease that will allow the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant located near Page, Arizona, to continue operating until the end of 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said on Thursday.

  • November 30, 2017

    EPA Escapes Calif. Water Standards Suit

    A California federal judge on Thursday agreed to toss a lawsuit accusing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of violating the law and weakening water quality in the San Francisco Bay area by dodging its duties to review state regulators’ changes to water standards.

  • November 30, 2017

    Toyota To Build Hydrogen, Electricity Plant Run On Bio-Waste

    Toyota Motor North America Inc. unveiled plans on Thursday to build what it called a first-of-its-kind plant in California that will rely on agricultural bio-waste to generate hydrogen, electricity and water.

  • November 30, 2017

    Senate Passes Bills Aimed At Tribal Energy, Job Issues

    The Senate moved nine Native American bills through the chamber by unanimous consent on Thursday, advancing a string of measures that aim to improve tribal issues ranging from energy development to language education.

  • November 30, 2017

    EPA Keeps 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes Steady

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday said it will roughly keep the current volume of renewable fuels, such as ethanol, present in the U.S. gasoline supply steady through 2018 and keep the volume of biomass-based diesel steady through 2019.

  • November 30, 2017

    Judge Skeptical Of Exxon's Fight Against AG Climate Probe

    A New York federal judge on Thursday appeared skeptical that ExxonMobil could make a case that climate change probes launched by the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts violate its free speech rights, though she gave the energy giant a chance to convince her otherwise through additional briefing.

  • November 30, 2017

    Pa. DEP Releases Final Methane Rules For Oil, Gas Drillers

    Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection released final drafts Thursday of regulations aimed at reducing methane emissions from natural gas production, a move that came nearly two years after Gov. Tom Wolf said he wanted to make the state the national leader in curbing leakage of the greenhouse gas.

  • November 30, 2017

    EPA, Enviros Clash On Timelines For Overdue Toxic Air Rules

    A D.C. federal judge said Thursday she may ask for more information on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s available resources to help her sort out how much time is appropriate to update rules for toxic air pollutants that environmental groups sued to speed up.

  • November 30, 2017

    Mass. Wind Turbine Project No Longer Viable, DOI Hears

    Opponents of the proposed 130-turbine Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts have appealed the U.S. Department of the Interior’s decision to uphold the issuance of a 25-year commercial lease for the wind farm, saying the project should have submitted a completely new report about its potential environmental impact.

  • November 29, 2017

    Enviro Group Seeks EPA's Lawsuit Settlement Policy Docs

    The Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to provide records regarding its new policy intended to prevent lawsuit settlements that Administrator Scott Pruitt said often circumvent transparency standards.

  • November 29, 2017

    Fiat Chrysler, Bosch Push To Ax Claims In Emissions MDL

    Fiat Chrysler and Bosch urged a California federal judge to toss claims brought by drivers in multidistrict litigation over alleged cheating on emissions testing, with the automaker on Wednesday saying that, unlike in Volkswagen’s case, the drivers don’t claim their cars lost market value.

  • November 29, 2017

    Greenpeace Seeks To Dodge Dakota Access RICO Case

    Greenpeace and a nonprofit bank watchdog asked a North Dakota federal judge Tuesday to toss a suit filed by the Dakota Access pipeline operator accusing them of destroying company property and threatening executives with death.

  • November 29, 2017

    Walmart, GSA Settle With EPA Over Calif. Emissions Foul

    Wal-Mart Transportation LLC and the U.S. General Services Administration recently agreed to separate settlements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over pollution-spewing trucks that had not been upgraded to reduce diesel emissions as required by California, the EPA announced Wednesday.

  • November 29, 2017

    Enviros Hail Council Vote Against Wash. Oil Train Terminal

    Environmental groups on Tuesday celebrated a Washington state panel’s unanimous recommendation to reject a proposal by a joint venture between a Tesoro Corp. subsidiary and Savage Co. to build a major new oil train terminal in the Port of Vancouver, Washington.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    Making Pro Bono Work: Beyond The Hurdles

    Ann Warren

    There are various barriers to corporate pro bono work, including lack of malpractice insurance coverage, limited resources, and the transactional nature of the majority of in-house legal work. But at the end of the day, we’ve overcome many of these barriers, says Ann Warren, associate general counsel of Duke Energy Corp.

  • Clean Water Act Challenges To Pipeline Projects: Part 1

    Joel Beauvais

    Pipeline development in the United States is increasingly contentious, with states using Section 401 of the Clean Water Act to push back against new projects. The relevant statutory framework and recent court and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decisions will continue to provide fertile ground for litigation, say Joel Beauvais and Janna Chesno of Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • In A Town's Fight Against Gas Drilling, Preemption Is Key

    Garrett Trego

    In Seneca v. Highland Township, a federal judge in Pennsylvania recently reiterated that local laws prohibiting natural gas drilling are preempted by state and federal statutes. While the township was creative in its tactics, the decision ultimately strengthens the industry's hand, and may expedite similar disputes in the future, says Garrett Trego of Manko Gold Katcher & Fox LLP.

  • Navigating Numerical Models In Environmental Litigation

    Marcia Greenblatt

    Numerical models provide a powerful tool to quantify complex flow, sediment and contaminant transport behavior in environmental litigation, but they can be complicated and resource-intensive. Marcia Greenblatt of Integral Consulting shares insights on working with technical experts to navigate multiple models and how to best apply numerical models in litigation.

  • FERC Order Signals States Can't Delay Pipeline Rulings

    James Bowe Jr.

    Last month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation waived its authority under the Clean Water Act by failing to either issue or deny a water quality certificate for a gas pipeline within the statutory time frame. The order signals that FERC will not countenance state inaction on pipeline projects, say attorneys with King & Spalding LLP.

  • The Law Firm CFO’s Role In The Strategic Planning Process

    Tyler Quinn

    Today's law firm chief financial officer should be involved in many areas beyond traditional financial management, including operations, risk management and information technology. He or she can support strategic planning throughout the process, from development of the plan to its implementation, measurement and eventual evolution, say Tyler Quinn and Marc Feigelson of Kaufman Rossin PA.

  • Electric Vehicle Safety Regs: A Global Comparison

    Anurag Maheshwary

    Several recent developments will generate sustaining momentum for the electric vehicle industry, and the world’s leading automotive jurisdictions have been developing safety regulations for more than a decade. However, a cross-jurisdictional comparison reveals diverging regulatory philosophies and significant gaps, says Anurag Maheshwary, an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.

  • Enviro Rights: What's The Public Trust Role In Pa.?

    Philip Hinerman

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's recent decision in Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has changed the discussion about the state’s so-called environmental rights amendment. Philip Hinerman and Adam Cutler of Fox Rothschild LLP examine issues raised in the case, such as what it means to be a public trustee, and the positions various groups are taking.

  • The Legal Theory Behind The Clean Power Plan's Repeal

    Jane Montgomery

    News media reports about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's move to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan have focused on President Donald Trump’s attacks on his predecessor's environmental legacy. However, repeal proponents can make a strong argument that the CPP was always on shaky legal ground, say Jane Montgomery and Amy Antoniolli of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • Financial Crisis Anniversary

    New Post-Recession Metrics For BigLaw Partner Success

    Peter Zeughauser

    After nearly a decade of recession-accelerated change in the legal industry, “merit-based” compensation has largely come to mean measuring attorney success using some combination of origination and working attorney hours metrics. However, there are signs that the real impact of the recession is still around the corner, and that building a book isn’t enough, says Peter Zeughauser of Zeughauser Group.