Environmental

  • June 16, 2017

    EPA Asks DC Circ. To Allow Delay Of Methane Rules

    The EPA defended its decision to delay an Obama-era rulemaking aimed at curbing methane emissions, telling the D.C. Circuit on Thursday to deny a request from environmental groups to allow the rule to proceed while it reconsiders portions related to leak detection and other well site regulations.

  • June 16, 2017

    NJ High Court To Review Standing In Development Challenge

    The New Jersey Supreme Court agreed Thursday to hear a dispute over a plan to build an industrial park on undeveloped property in the city of Linden, revisiting an appellate decision to allow the plan to go ahead because the challengers lacked standing.

  • June 16, 2017

    Enviros Sue To Stop EPA Risk Management Rule Delay

    A slew of environmental groups asked the D.C. Circuit on Thursday to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from further delaying the effective date of an Obama-era rule designed to reduce the risk of chemical accidents.

  • June 16, 2017

    Aviation Gas Cleanup Costs Wrongly Assigned, Fed. Circ. Told

    The federal government told the Federal Circuit on Thursday that a lower court had improperly imposed almost $100 million in damages in connection with contracts to supply high-octane aviation gasoline during World War II, arguing that the order ignored evidence and a preceding decision.

  • June 16, 2017

    NIGC Issues Violation Notice Against Nooksack Casino

    The National Indian Gaming Commission on Thursday told the Nooksack tribe of Washington state to cease and desist from all gambling activity at its Northwood Casino, saying that an investigation has revealed various alleged violations of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

  • June 15, 2017

    Dakota Access Ruling Boosts Tribes Seeking Enviro Justice

    A D.C. federal court decision forcing the government to re-examine its final approval of the Dakota Access pipeline granted in the first month of the Trump administration gives new legal ammunition to tribes who argue they must be treated fairly when agencies assess the environmental damage a project might cause, attorneys say.

  • June 15, 2017

    Feds' New Settlement Policy May Imperil Restoration Projects

    The U.S. Department of Justice's recent prohibition on letting polluters make donations to third-party environmental groups as part of federal enforcement settlements will cut off a vital source of funding for environmental cleanup and restoration projects, experts say.

  • June 15, 2017

    House Bill Would Reverse Land Swap For Mining Co. Project

    The ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee floated a bill Thursday that would undo Congress’ approval of a land swap meant to help a copper mining company co-owned by Rio Tinto PLC and BHP Billiton PLC subsidiaries build a proposed copper mine on land in Arizona that is sacred to Native Americans.

  • June 15, 2017

    Former Ariz. Enviro Dept. Director Headed To EPA Post

    The chief operations officer in Arizona’s governor’s office, who has experience leading the state’s Department of Environmental Quality, has been selected to serve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as its chief of operations, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s office announced Wednesday.

  • June 15, 2017

    Mesa Power Can't Get $584M Claim Against Canada Revived

    A D.C. federal court on Thursday shot down Mesa Power Group LLC's bid to revive its CA$775 million ($584 million) claim against Canada over the Ontario government's allegedly unfair renewable energy regulatory process, citing a federal court’s limited ability to review the substance of arbitration awards.

  • June 15, 2017

    Mintz Levin Adds Former Latham Cleantech Co-Head

    A transactional attorney who was global co-head of Latham & Watkins LLP’s clean technology industry group and represented a mobile payment company acquired by Intuit Inc. for $360 million has joined Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • June 15, 2017

    Oracle Objects To SunEdison's Service Transfer Plan

    Oracle America Inc. objected Thursday to a proposed transition services agreement between bankrupt SunEdison Inc. and its yieldcos, saying the deal may impact Oracle’s intellectual property.

  • June 15, 2017

    Navy Accused Of Violating CWA After Cleaning Retired Ship

    The Suquamish Tribe and a pair of nonprofit environmental groups asked a Washington federal judge Wednesday to stop the Navy from cleaning decommissioned ships at a federal superfund site on the Puget Sound, accusing the government of violating the Clean Water Act.

  • June 15, 2017

    EPA Wants Toxic Air Rulemaking To Take 7 years, Not 2

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not dispute that it was required to update air emissions requirements for nine categories of allegedly toxic air pollutants, but it told a D.C. federal court Thursday the timeline laid out by environmental groups was unrealistic.

  • June 15, 2017

    Pruitt Offers Lukewarm Defense Of Trump’s EPA Budget Cuts

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Thursday gave lawmakers a lukewarm endorsement of a White House budget proposal that would slash the EPA’s funding by nearly 30 percent, but was reassured by Republicans that any funding cuts will likely be much smaller.

  • June 15, 2017

    Syngenta Looks To Nix Farmers' Claims In 1st GMO Corn Trial

    Agricultural giant Syngenta AG urged a Kansas federal judge on Wednesday to toss without jury deliberation allegations brought by corn producers in multidistrict litigation over the company’s alleged role in China’s rejection of U.S. corn shipments.

  • June 15, 2017

    Enviro Group Says No Error In $20M Penalty Against Exxon

    Environmental groups on Wednesday said that a Texas federal court was correct to impose a nearly $20 million civil penalty on Exxon Mobil Corp. over allegations that it improperly emitted millions of pounds of air pollution from a complex in Texas, arguing that Exxon’s objections are either meritless or overdue.

  • June 15, 2017

    NY AG Says Exxon 'Effectively Admitted' Misleading Investors

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Wednesday told a state court that Exxon Mobil Corp. has "effectively admitted" that it misled investors over the climate change risks of its business activities in responding to his office’s documents detailing the factual basis for its subpoenas.

  • June 15, 2017

    Dakota Access Pipeline To Get Deeper Enviro Review

    A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s environmental review of Energy Transfer Partners unit Dakota Access LLC’s controversial crude oil pipeline was not entirely up to snuff, but did not yet decide whether to halt the pipeline’s operation as the agency works to fix the deficiencies.

  • June 14, 2017

    Justice Ginsburg On Oral Argument And ‘Imperious’ Attorneys

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg discusses the value of oral arguments, advice for advocates, and the one thing lawyers do that irks her, in the second of two articles based on an exclusive interview.

Expert Analysis

  • Rare Grable Removal Sighted In Missouri

    Julie Park

    A Missouri federal court recently found that, under the Grable doctrine, federal jurisdiction existed in a case brought under state law, because the plaintiffs’ claims dealt with the practices and regulations of a federal agency. Companies subject to federal regulation may find this case useful when seeking to invoke removal jurisdiction, say attorneys from Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • In Trump Era, States Take Lead On Social Cost Of Carbon

    Seth Belzley

    The social cost of carbon is a measure intended to quantify the effect that a single ton of carbon dioxide emissions has on climate change. Even as the Trump administration has disbanded the federal interagency working group on this issue, the states have been stepping up their efforts, say Seth Belzley and Stephen Humes of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Stability For Calif. Cap-And-Trade Program, For Now

    Robert Hines

    Thanks to a California appellate court's recent decision in California Chamber of Commerce v. State Air Resources Board, the future of California’s cap-and-trade program looks a little brighter. The opinion provides at least temporary stability to a key portion of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, say Robert Hines and Ashley Breakfield of Farella Braun & Martel LLP.

  • In Congress: House Out Of Town

    Richard Hertling

    After the most significant and dramatic week of the 115th Congress, having kept the government funded through the end of the fiscal year and passed its bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the House is on a scheduled district work period. The Senate is the only chamber in session this week, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • In Tronox, 2nd Circ. Sends Clear Message About Injunctions

    Jack Haake

    There is value in the protections afforded by an injunction, be it through a settlement or a bankruptcy discharge. The Second Circuit’s recent decision in Tronox preserves an injunction’s value in two ways, says Jack Haake of Foley & Lardner LLP.

  • Opinion

    Why Wildlife Whistleblower Rewards Need Work

    Stephen Kohn

    Laws governing wildlife whistleblower rewards have existed for over 30 years, and apply to informants who provide information on crimes covering animals, fish and plants. Unfortunately, they have not been effectively utilized as the powerful tool that Congress intended, say Steven Kohn of Kohn Kohn & Colapinto LLP and Ashley Binetti of the National Whistleblower Center.

  • Regulatory Reform Agenda Opens Door For Public Input

    Avi Garbow.jpg

    While the ability of the public to petition an agency for action has traditionally been an important part of administrative law and procedure, two recent executive orders direct a new and ongoing process of regulatory evaluation that arguably provides enlarged platforms for stakeholders to help shape the balancing of agencies’ regulatory priorities, say Avi Garbow and Bryson Smith of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • A Tale Of 2 States, And 2 Asbestos Verdicts

    Meghan Senter

    Two verdicts were handed down recently in mesothelioma lawsuits related to asbestos exposure. Both cases were heard in state courts, both involved a deceased plaintiff, and both were brought by the same firm. But the verdicts were very different, and illustrate how state-specific laws can be as damaging to a case as a bad set of facts, says Meghan Senter of Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP.

  • Time For FERC To Re-Examine Its Hydropower License Policy

    David Poe

    The term length of a federal hydroelectric license is a major factor in inducing a licensee to invest money in a hydroelectric project. But the relicensing process for such projects has grown unwieldy and expensive. Respondents to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's recent notice of inquiry on hydropower licensing terms agree on the misalignment of incentives in FERC’s current policies, say attorneys with Bracewell LLP.

  • The Current State Of Renewable Energy Disputes: Part 4

    Justin Tschoepe

    In addition to disputes with governmental entities, or over the use of sovereign land, renewable energy companies frequently face disputes involving purely private parties. The final part of this series summarizes three common examples of such litigation, including shareholder litigation, consumer disputes and nuisance lawsuits, say Justin Tschoepe and William Wood of Norton Rose Fulbright.