Environmental

  • August 8, 2017

    Cabot Sues Attys For $5M Over Filing Of Allegedly Barred Suit

    Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. on Monday filed a $5 million lawsuit in Pennsylvania state court against two law firms that allegedly pursued claims on behalf of a local property owner that the lawyers knew were barred by a previous settlement.

  • August 8, 2017

    Wash. Tribes Ask Judge To Keep Killer Whale Suit Afloat

    Two Washington tribes on Monday asked a federal judge to keep alive their suit alleging the U.S. Coast Guard put endangered killer whales at risk by adopting a shipping traffic plan off the coast of the state without consulting the National Marine Fisheries Service, saying they've met the low threshold of harm for standing.

  • August 8, 2017

    DC Circ. Strikes Down Part Of EPA Rule On HFCs

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not have authority under the Clean Air Act to force companies that use hydrofluorocarbons in products like spray cans, automobile air conditioners and refrigerators to swap the HFCs out for an EPA-approved alternative, handing a win to chemical companies that challenged a 2015 rule.

  • August 7, 2017

    SunEdison Shareholders' Objections Put To Rest

    The New York bankruptcy judge handling SunEdison Inc.'s Chapter 11 case on Monday explained his rejection of shareholder bids to further probe the clean energy giant's losses, saying the company is “hopelessly insolvent” and that months of investigations and legal fights haven't produced any evidence of nefarious activity.

  • August 7, 2017

    DOI Sage Grouse Report Focuses On Energy, State Interests

    The U.S. Department of the Interior on Monday released a review of an Obama-era plan to protect the greater sage-grouse across its 11-state range in the West, and recommended reworking some policies to facilitate more energy exploration and production.

  • August 7, 2017

    Enviros Ask DC Circ. To Stop Delay Of Landfill Emissions Rule

    The Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups on Friday asked the D.C. Circuit to end the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s freeze on Obama-era regulations that limit emissions from municipal landfills, saying the agency has no valid justification for reviewing the rules.

  • August 7, 2017

    Enviros, DOI Agree On Atty Fees In Navajo Coal Plant Suit

    A Colorado federal judge on Monday wrapped up a bid for attorneys' fees by several environmental groups in their suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior for letting a Navajo coal mining operation expand production, after the parties agreed to settle over the fees.

  • August 7, 2017

    Monsanto Can Pause Cities' PCBs Suit, Judge Rules

    A California federal judge on Friday said Monsanto Co. can pause separate public nuisance suits filed by San Jose, Oakland and Berkeley seeking cleanup costs for the company’s alleged pollution of San Francisco Bay with polychlorinated biphenyls, ruling the cities have failed to exhaust their administrative remedies.

  • August 7, 2017

    EPA Tells Justices Waters Rule Belongs In Appeals Court

    The federal government has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a Sixth Circuit ruling that the federal appeals courts have sole jurisdiction to hear challenges to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ controversial Waters of the United States rule.

  • August 7, 2017

    Texas Dems Want Answers On Border Wall's Enviro Impact

    A group of Texas Democrats on Friday demanded answers from the acting head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security over funding sources and potential environmental impacts from the construction of a proposed border wall, which is reportedly planned to cut through portions of a federal wildlife refuge.

  • August 7, 2017

    EPA Taking Another Look At Gold King Mine Spill Claims

    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Friday said that the agency is reconsidering previously rejected claims for damages against the agency over its role in the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster and assailed the Obama administration for its handling of the spill.

  • August 7, 2017

    Ariz. Tribe's Suit Over Mining Disturbances Put To Bed

    An Arizona federal judge on Friday laid to rest the Gila River Indian Community’s lawsuit claiming sand and gravel mining operations are encroaching on its reservation land and causing damage to cultural sites and the Gila River, after the tribe agreed to drop its allegations.

  • August 7, 2017

    RMP Can't Escape Negligence Claims In Utah Oil Spill Row

    Rocky Mountain Power cannot escape a $30 million lawsuit from Chevron Pipe Line Co. over the cost of cleaning up an oil spill in Salt Lake City, a Utah federal judge said Friday.

  • August 7, 2017

    Enviros Lose $500M Texas Road Projects Challenge

    A $500 million Austin, Texas, highway improvement effort was not improperly separated into three projects to dodge National Environmental Policy Act requirements, a Texas federal judge ruled Friday, siding with the Texas Department of Transportation, which was defending its review against a challenge by environmental groups.

  • August 7, 2017

    VW Exec Pleads Guilty In Emissions Cover-Up Case

    A Volkswagen AG executive has pled guilty in Michigan federal court to criminal charges that he conspired to cover up the automaker’s diesel emissions cheating scandal.

  • August 7, 2017

    DC Circ. Says Feds Must Explain Horse Territory Redrawing

    The D.C. Circuit held Friday that the U.S. Forest Service did an ill-explained “about-face” when it redrew the boundaries of territory it manages for wild horses in part of the Modoc National Forest in Northern California, handing a win to animal advocates battling the agency’s move to shrink the area.

  • August 7, 2017

    BASF Can't Nix NJ Town's Expert In Superfund Site Tax Row

    A New Jersey Tax Court judge has ruled that BASF Corp. can't boot a municipality’s expert witness before trial in a challenge of a contaminated parcel's tax assessment, reasoning that a land development planning professional isn’t necessarily less qualified than a licensed real estate appraiser to weigh in on a zoning question.

  • August 7, 2017

    Nexus Pipeline Developers Press FERC For Final Thumbs-Up

    With a quorum of commissioners now restored at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the developers of the $2.2 billion Ohio-to-Michigan Nexus natural gas pipeline on Friday urged the agency to promptly approve construction of the project, which has been opposed on both environmental and antitrust grounds.

  • August 7, 2017

    TVA Must Move Coal Ash Waste, Judge Rules

    A federal judge on Friday ordered the Tennessee Valley Authority to move coal ash waste currently located in pond disposal areas to a lined impoundment area, handing a win to environmental groups that brought the Clean Water Act suit.

  • August 7, 2017

    3 Questions Environmental Attorneys Have About RCRA

    The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act has been serving as the foundation of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency action to protect the public from improper waste disposal for four decades, but the statute continues to keep attorneys guessing about things like how citizen suits get filed and how new coal waste rules will be implemented. This is the last in a seven-part series on important open questions about environmental law.

Expert Analysis

  • Calif. High Court Opinion Offers Little CEQA Guidance

    Arthur Coon

    The California Supreme Court's recent decision in Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments is not surprising, and it is undoubtedly correct. But it is disappointing that the majority’s opinion lacks significant practical or legal guidance for conducting compliant greenhouse gas analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act, says Arthur Coon of Miller Starr Regalia.

  • How Industry Is Responding To FERC On State Policies

    Stephen Hug

    In May, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held a conference focused on the interplay between state policy goals and the organized energy markets in the eastern U.S. The subsequent comments from more than 70 interested parties reflect a basic lack of consensus among industry participants on the best approach going forward, say attorneys with Bracewell LLP.

  • Weekly Column

    Innovating For Wise Juries: Matching Experts

    Stephen Susman

    In the penultimate installment of this series, Stephen Susman, Richard Lorren Jolly and Dr. Roy Futterman of the NYU School of Law Civil Jury Project answer a question on many legal analysts’ minds: What if both sides’ expert witnesses sat in a hot tub discussing the case while a jury watched?

  • Key Factors In Selling Wind Farm Tax Equity Investments

    Jai Khanna

    Recently, a vibrant market has developed for secondary sales of tax equity partnerships that own wind farms in the U.S. However, sellers and purchasers of such membership interests should consider several important points in connection with any sale, say Jai Khanna and Maher Haddad of Baker McKenzie and Paul Vercruyssen, assistant deputy general counsel at Hannon Armstrong.

  • Rebuttal

    The Rise Of Midsize Firms

    Ronald Shechtman

    Recently, this publication featured an op-ed in which one law firm partner contended that midsize firms will be the next casualty of the legal market, due to a supposed inability to compete with BigLaw or boutique firms for business. Though we can expect to see Am Law firms continue to lead the market in megadeals and life-or-death litigations, by all indications midsize is on the rise, says Ronald Shechtman of Pryor Cashman LLP.

  • 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Submitting Litigation AFA

    Gregory Lantier

    Outside counsel should be able to articulate why she is proposing an alternative fee arrangement for this matter. If the client has not requested an AFA or the case is unusually difficult to budget with accuracy, this might not be the case to propose an AFA, say attorneys with WilmerHale.

  • How Mobile Apps Can Benefit Your Practice

    Sean Cleary.jpg

    Despite the boom in mobile application development, many lawyers are still reluctant when it comes to using apps in their daily work. Attorney Sean Cleary explores the benefits and shares some recommendations for apps geared toward attorneys.

  • Rebuttal

    The Future Of Litigation Finance Is Analytics

    Eva Shang

    In a recent Law360 guest article, Christopher Bogart of Burford Capital LLC claimed that "while theoretically well designed to find the proverbial needle in a haystack, big data and AI currently lack the ability to do so usefully in a commercial litigation financing context." But AI can manage many of the tasks that litigation financiers would otherwise perform, says Eva Shang, co-founder of Legalist Inc.

  • Why Conn.’s Renewable Program Survived A Legal Challenge

    Jennifer Mersing

    Last month, the Second Circuit rejected challenges to Connecticut’s renewable energy procurement process and credit program. While the decision raises some questions about the boundaries of states' renewable energy programs, its narrow reading of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Hughes v. Talen Energy supports a wide range of state incentives in this area, says Jennifer Mersing of Stoel Rives LLP.

  • The Current State Of Water Infrastructure Funding

    Jerome Muys

    With the new administration’s infrastructure initiative likely to focus on transportation, water utilities almost certainly will confront continuing funding shortfalls. Jerry Muys of Sullivan & Worcester LLP examines why private investors haven't been willing to move beyond their historical antipathy toward the public water sector and provide the funding necessary to keep it afloat.