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Environmental

  • November 28, 2018

    Gov't Beats PPG Suit Over Superfund Cleanup Contribution

    A New Jersey federal court has granted a win to the federal government in a long-running suit from PPG Industries Inc. over the costs of remediating a Superfund site, finding while the government had regulatory control over the facility during both world wars, it did not oversee or direct waste disposal.

  • November 28, 2018

    Acting EPA Head Slams Climate Change Report

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s acting leader on Wednesday veered away from President Donald Trump’s recent remarks expressing skepticism about climate change, but also criticized a federal report on the issue as unnecessarily alarmist.

  • November 28, 2018

    Maverick Capital Keeps Claims In Solar Fraud Suit

    An Arizona federal judge has refused to toss the bulk of claims made by funds associated with Maverick Capital Ltd. that accused First Solar Inc. of misrepresenting the success of its solar projects in a scheme that cost investors after the problems were revealed and the stock crashed.

  • November 27, 2018

    High Court Decision On Review Expands Landowners' Options

    In sending a dispute between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and timber firm Weyerhaeuser back to the Fifth Circuit, and in the process reversing a decision on the right of landowners to review agency determinations about land protection, the U.S. Supreme Court has given landowners more options for appeal while diminishing the power of such agency decisions, attorneys say.

  • November 27, 2018

    House Lawmakers Propose Bipartisan Carbon Tax Bill

    House lawmakers from both parties announced legislation Tuesday evening that would impose a tax of $15 per metric ton on carbon emissions starting in 2019 that would increase by $10 each following year.

  • November 27, 2018

    High Court Hints At Skepticism Of ESA Reach In Frog Ruling

    The U.S. Supreme Court's Tuesday decision to remand timber giant Weyerhaeuser Co.'s challenge to the designation of a parcel of its property as "critical habitat" for an endangered frog keeps the door open for limits on the government's power to protect land under the Endangered Species Act, experts say.

  • November 27, 2018

    Greek Shippers Cop To Texas Oil Leak, Will Pay $4M Fine

    Two Greek shipping companies pled guilty in Texas federal court to dumping oil from the ballast tanks of a ship while docked in Houston and Port Arthur and have agreed to pay a $4 million fine, according to a press release.

  • November 27, 2018

    Climate Report Likely To Haunt Administration In Court

    The Trump administration could find itself bedeviled by its own blockbuster climate change report in litigation over efforts to roll back rules on emissions from power plants and vehicles, as courts may frown on contradictions between the report's detailed, dire conclusions and the administration's actions, experts say.

  • November 27, 2018

    Congress Sends Coast Guard Reauthorization To Trump

    Congress sent a bill reauthorizing the U.S. Coast Guard to President Donald Trump’s desk Tuesday, containing two-year spending authorizations, policy changes and a shift in how the nation will regulate ships’ discharge that took months to negotiate.

  • November 27, 2018

    EU Greenlights France's €600M Plan To Bolster Solar Output

    The European Commission on Tuesday cleared France’s €600 million ($678.5 million) plan to boost energy production from existing solar installations, moving the country another project closer to its goal of getting nearly a quarter of its energy from renewables by 2020.

  • November 27, 2018

    Senate Energy Panel Advances McNamee For FERC

    The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee sent Bernard L. McNamee, nominated to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to the full Senate Tuesday, despite Democrats’ concerns over his criticisms of renewable fuel sources.

  • November 27, 2018

    Inmates Say $444M Fed. Prison Project Is 'Pork Barrel Politics'

    A group of inmates filed a complaint in D.C. federal court Monday seeking to block the Federal Bureau of Prisons' $444 million proposal to build a penitentiary in Kentucky that the inmates claim is unneeded and would damage the surrounding environment, calling the project “pork barrel politics.”

  • November 27, 2018

    Supreme Court Sends Dusky Gopher Frog Case To 5th Circ.

    The U.S. Supreme Court sent a dispute between Weyerhaeuser Co. and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service involving the dusky gopher frog back to the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday, though the court’s ruling gives the timber company a leg up in its fight over the future of a 1,500-acre tract of land in Louisiana.

  • November 26, 2018

    Air Liquide Invests $150M In Calif. Co.'s Hydrogen Network

    California-based FirstElement Fuel Inc. has inked a renewable hydrogen supply agreement with French industrial gases corporation Air Liquide SA, which will invest approximately $150 million in the construction of a liquid hydrogen production facility, the companies said Monday.

  • November 26, 2018

    Climate Change Worsening, Tribes At Higher Risk: Report

    Climate change is mostly driven by greenhouse gas emissions and other human activities and will continue to get worse, with Native American tribes and other indigenous groups especially vulnerable to damage, according to the National Climate Assessment released by the Trump administration.

  • November 26, 2018

    NJ Pols Move To Allot $50M From Exxon Deal For Cleanup

    A New Jersey legislative committee on Monday advanced a bill earmarking $50 million for environmental regulators to repair and restore contaminated land, a sum that comes from Exxon Mobil Corp.’s controversial $225 million settlement with the state over pollution from its gas stations and refineries.

  • November 26, 2018

    Fla. County Drops Fight Against $1.15B Rail Project

    Martin County, Florida, and an advocacy group on Monday joined the U.S. Department of Transportation in moving to dismiss a lawsuit that had sought to block the second phase of the Brightline passenger rail project, which received a $1.15 billion bond, connecting Miami to Orlando, following a settlement in the matter.

  • November 26, 2018

    FERC Can't Roll Back GHG Analysis, DC Circ. Told

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission flouted federal law and D.C. Circuit precedent when it slipped a new policy limiting its analysis of certain pipeline projects’ climate change impacts into an order approving a Dominion Energy Inc. project in New York, project opponents told the appeals court Monday.

  • November 26, 2018

    Climate Torts Are No State Court Matter, 9th Circ. Hears

    Dozens of fossil fuel companies have told the Ninth Circuit that federal court is the proper setting for suits lodged by California cities and counties seeking to hold them liable for climate change-related infrastructure damage, arguing that a California federal judge wrongly remanded the cases to state court.

  • November 26, 2018

    Ky. Utility Loses Bid To Shake Coal Ash Claims At 6th Circ.

    The Sixth Circuit on Monday denied a bid by Kentucky Utilities Co. for an en banc review of a panel’s decision allowing environmental groups to bring claims under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act over allegations the utility’s coal ash was polluting waterways.

Expert Analysis

  • Utilities' Build-Transfer Deals Spur Renewable Projects

    Sean Shimamoto

    Build-transfer agreements — where an electric utility hires a third party to develop and construct a renewable energy project, then transfer ownership to the utility — can create opportunities and challenges for developers and utilities. Some common themes have emerged from recent transactions, say Sean Shimamoto and Frank Shaw of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • Why Enviros, Agencies Disagree On Safe Glyphosate Levels

    Lori Elliott Jarvis

    An environmental group is criticizing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for their actions and policies regarding levels of glyphosate in oat-based products. Advocacy groups will likely continue to press the issue, with individual companies being pulled into the debate, say attorneys at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.

  • Need Litigation Finance? Don't Skip These 5 Steps

    Molly Pease

    The process of applying for litigation financing isn’t difficult, but few do it right the first time. Following five steps in your application process will help make sure litigation funders are convinced of the value of your company's legal claims, says Molly Pease of Curiam Capital LLC.

  • ​Are You Ready For Your Congressional Investigation?

    Brian Smith

    ​The Democratic Party is ​expected to take control of the House of Representatives next year,​ ​which​ will dramatically increase the congressional investigations risks for ​the ​private sector.​ Prime targets include pharmaceutical, financial services and technology ​companies, says Brian Smith of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • A Closer Look At EPA Inspector General's New Strategic Plan

    Brian Stansbury

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Inspector General recently released its strategic plan for 2019 to 2023. Brian Stansbury and Leah Min of King & Spalding LLP provide insights on several noteworthy aspects, such as how the OIG will hold the EPA accountable for meeting 2019 targets and rely on data and business analytics to meet its goals.

  • EPA's New Approach To Interstate Air Pollution Under CAA

    Norman Fichthorn

    Over the last two decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to address interstate air pollution under the Clean Air Act have yielded a series of complex federal regulatory programs. However, it's now signaling a method that involves greater deference to states’ analyses and determinations, says Norman Fichthorn of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.

  • 6th Circ. Creates Deep Divide Over Reach Of CWA

    Anthony Cavender

    Despite the Clean Water Act's long history, recent decisions from the federal appellate courts — including two opinions from the Sixth Circuit last month — have raised new questions about several issues that once seemed settled, say Anthony Cavender and Amy Pierce of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • How The Affordable Clean Energy Rule Impacts Oil And Gas

    Carroll McGuffey

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed replacement for the Clean Power Plan, dubbed the Affordable Clean Energy rule, is now open for comment. The rule could cost the coal industry and coal-fired power plants millions, but there are a number of elements that the oil and gas industry must consider as well, says Carroll McGuffey of Troutman Sanders LLP.

  • A Holistic Approach To Client Retention

    Dan Tacone

    In an era when law firms are fighting for business and clients can dictate the terms of the relationship, "value" has become a moving target. Firms that take a proactive approach by using strategies designed to articulate value over time will gain the competitive advantage, says Dan Tacone at Intapp Inc.

  • Q&A

    A Chat With Allens Pricing Chief Pier D'Angelo

    Pier D'Angelo

    In this monthly series, Amanda Brady of Major Lindsey & Africa interviews management from top law firms about the increasingly competitive business environment. Here we feature Pier D'Angelo, chief pricing and practice officer at Allens.