Environmental

  • May 12, 2017

    9th Circ. Won't Lift Block On Oregon Logging Project

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday tossed an appeal by a logging company and a union seeking to reverse an Oregon federal court's order setting aside authorization for a harvesting project in Roseburg, saying the appeals court doesn’t have jurisdiction.

  • May 12, 2017

    Veteran Commercial Litigator Joins Bryan Cave's NY Office

    Bryan Cave LLP has expanded its New York office’s commercial litigation group with the addition of a new partner who has represented corporate giants like Wal-Mart, Dunkin’ Donuts and Sleepy’s LLC.

  • May 12, 2017

    Maine Judge Grants EPA Stay To Review Tribal Water Rules

    A Maine federal judge on Friday gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a 90-day stay in the state’s suit challenging the EPA’s tightening of water quality standards for tribal waters, giving the agency the time it requested to review the policy.

  • May 12, 2017

    Ormat Gets OK For Kids' Part Of $6M Worker Death Deal

    A California federal magistrate judge approved the portion of a $6 million wrongful death settlement that applies to the three children of a 27-year-old hydroblaster who died in 2016 after falling into a pipe at a geothermal plant operated by an Ormat Technologies subsidiary.

  • May 12, 2017

    EPA Lets Pebble Mine Project Move Forward

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it will allow a massive proposed Alaska copper mine to begin to move through the approval process again, a reversal of the Obama administration’s decision to block the issuance of any permits for the Pebble Mine project while it reviewed environmental impacts.

  • May 11, 2017

    NJ High Court Won't Disturb Waterfront Permit Approval

    The New Jersey Supreme Court has rejected bids by Hoboken, New Jersey, and a residents' group to review an appellate panel opinion in favor of a state environmental permit granted to a developer looking to construct two high-rise residential buildings along the Hudson River.

  • May 11, 2017

    VW 3-Liter Deal Approved As Cheat Tab Hits Record $17.5B

    U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said Thursday he’ll approve a $1.2 billion deal ending claims Volkswagen AG installed emission-cheating software on its pricier 3.0-liter-engine vehicles, the latest in a series of settlements totaling more than $17 billion.

  • May 11, 2017

    2nd Circ. Tosses NY Property Owners' Cleanup Costs Case

    The Second Circuit on Thursday declined to revive a suit in which Long Island property owners sought to recover money spent cleaning up a perchloroethylene spill from a site’s former lessees and occupants, finding that their Comprehensive Environmental Remediation, Compensation and Liability Act claims lacked teeth.

  • May 11, 2017

    Md. Approves Credits For Large Offshore Wind Projects

    The Maryland Public Service Commission on Thursday approved vital credits for two major offshore wind energy projects that together are expected to produce almost 370 megawatts of power, according to a statement from the commission.

  • May 11, 2017

    Calif. Gov. To Add $6.5M To AG's Office For Fighting Trump

    California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday introduced a revised state budget plan that adds $6.5 million to the state’s Department of Justice to fund 31 new positions dedicated to challenging actions from the Trump administration.

  • May 11, 2017

    Wash. Tells DOE To Act After Toxic Storage Tunnel Collapse

    Washington state demanded Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Energy quickly act to assess and remedy tunnels at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation that store mixed radioactive waste after one partially collapsed Tuesday.

  • May 11, 2017

    Fines Can Cover Ongoing Pollution, Enviros Tell Pa. Justices

    Environmental organization the Clean Air Council told the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in a brief Wednesday that the state is authorized to levy penalties for ongoing water pollution, urging the court to endorse a fine of at least $1.2 million for a natural gas well-pad leak.

  • May 11, 2017

    Pruitt Seizes Authority To OK $50M+ Superfund Remedies

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Wednesday said that any remedial action plan for a Superfund site that costs $50 million or more will have to be approved by him.

  • May 11, 2017

    DOT Can't Duck Oil Spill Plan Review Duties, Enviros Say

    The U.S. Secretary of Transportation is shirking her duty to review oil spill response plans for offshore pipelines and hiding behind a rubber-stamping of spill plans for onshore pipelines approved by the DOT, the National Wildlife Federation told a Michigan federal judge Thursday.

  • May 11, 2017

    EPA Sees 9th Circ. Pause Calif. CAA Waiver Case

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday paused an industry suit challenging California's emissions standards for certain off-road engines, a win for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which wants to review an Obama-era Clean Air Act waiver it granted to the state.

  • May 11, 2017

    Enviros Hit EPA With FOIA Suit Over Potential Pruitt Conflicts

    The Natural Resources Defense Council wants the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to immediately release records addressing whether or not Scott Pruitt favors industry stakeholders in his role as EPA chief, telling a New York federal court Thursday that the agency has shirked multiple of its Freedom of Information Act requests.

  • May 11, 2017

    Maine Tribes Slam EPA's Bid To Stay Water Quality Suit

    Two tribes in Maine urged a federal judge to reject the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's bid for a 90-day stay in the state’s suit challenging the EPA’s tightening of its water quality standards for tribal waters so it can review the policy, saying pausing the case will harm the tribes for no reason.

  • May 11, 2017

    8th Circ. Won't Revive Landowners’ Exxon Pipeline Spill Suit

    The Eighth Circuit on Thursday backed the dismissal of a class action against ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. over the 2013 rupture of its Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas, saying the lower court correctly decertified the class because landowners' claims were too individualized.

  • May 11, 2017

    Volkswagen US Taps New Compliance Chief From KPMG

    Volkswagen Group of America Inc. announced Thursday that it has hired a new chief compliance officer from KPMG LLP, filling a high-profile position as the embattled automaker continues navigating the fallout from its diesel-emissions scandal.

  • May 11, 2017

    Enviros Launch New Opposition To Sunoco Pa. Gas Pipeline

    Pennsylvania environmentalists and landowners have opened up new fronts in the fight against the controversial Mariner East 2 natural gas pipeline, filing lawsuits in the last week in two separate county courts that accuse Sunoco Pipeline LP of ignoring local zoning rules.

Expert Analysis

  • Stakeholders Must Stay Aware Of E-Cigarette Science

    Giovanni Ciavarra

    As the quantity of scientific research related to e-cigarettes skyrockets, it is increasingly important for key stakeholders to monitor scientific developments and their impacts on litigation risk. To give readers a sense of current e-cigarette science, Giovanni Ciavarra of Innovative Science Solutions LLC offers high-level summaries of five recent studies that evaluate the safety of e-cigarettes or their ingredients.

  • A Rising Tide Of Proposed Chemical Disclosure Laws

    Thomas A. Manakides

    The Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 was recently introduced in California and is intended to require manufacturers to disclose the ingredients in their cleaning products. The bill contributes to the increasing legislative trend in California — and elsewhere — of consumer product right-to-know initiatives, say Thomas Manakides and Krista deBoer of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Satire

    A Law Firm Ranking Model By 'Fake News & Distorted Reports'

    Alan B. Morrison

    Suffering from law firm ranking fatigue? Bewildered by the methodologies? If so, you're in good company. Alan Morrison, associate dean for public interest and public service law at George Washington University Law School, wonders just how far law firm ranking efforts may go.

  • Attack On Credits For Nuclear Plants Could Hit Renewables

    Gordon Coffee

    New York and Illinois have approved programs providing nuclear power plants with monetary credits for generating electricity without emitting carbon dioxide. Opponents have sued in federal court to nullify the programs. Although the lawsuits are narrowly targeted, an unfortunate consequence could be rulings that also annul renewable portfolio standards and renewable energy credits, says Gordon Coffee of Winston & Strawn LLP.

  • Can Citizen Groups Compel Ash Pond Closure By Removal?

    Steven A. Burns

    While Sierra Club v. Virginia Electric and Power may be only one of several cases dealing with Clean Water Act liability, the court in this matter is on the leading edge of cases considering whether to grant citizen groups’ preferred relief of forcing a utility to close by removal instead of closing and capping in place, says Steven Burns of Balch & Bingham LLP.

  • Trump's Infrastructure Plan: Getting The Show On The Road

    Chris Roux

    Presidential candidate Donald Trump called for the investment of $1 trillion in infrastructure over 10 years. However, the Trump administration’s budget proposal shows cuts in government spending on transportation and water infrastructure. A clear, bipartisan plan to harness both public and private funds, and to streamline the permitting process, is needed for success, says G. Christian Roux of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • Lessons From Newport Beach's Rejected EIR: Part 2

    Arthur F. Coon

    The primary takeaway from Newport Banning Ranch's rejected project is that coastal zone project environmental impact reports are inadequate if they ignore evidence of impacts on potential environmentally sensitive habit areas. A lingering larger question is whether and how the California Supreme Court's ruling can be applied in other contexts, says Arthur Coon of Miller Starr Regalia, in the final part of this two-part series.

  • Crowdfunding For Legal Cases: 5 Trends Reshaping Justice

    Julia Salasky

    Most people have never had an opportunity to personally take part in a legal case that directly challenges laws or policies they don’t agree with. Now that crowdfunding is available for legal cases, people can engage directly with legal change in the community and be a check on the powerful, says Julia Salasky, CEO of CrowdJustice.

  • Lessons From Newport Beach's Rejected EIR: Part 1

    Arthur F. Coon

    Last month, the California Supreme Court held that Newport Beach's environmental impact report for a mixed-use development project failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act. The EIR failed to consider potentially environmentally sensitive habitat areas in its analysis of project alternatives and mitigation measures, says Arthur Coon of Miller Starr Regalia.

  • Opinion

    ABA Needs A New Model Legal Ethics Rule

    Kevin L. Shepherd

    Perhaps lost in the presidential post-election tumult was a report issued in late 2016 by an international body evaluating U.S. compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards. Considering repeated criticisms of the legal profession, the American Bar Association should seriously consider a new model legal ethics rule, says Kevin Shepherd of Venable LLP.