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Environmental

  • September 6, 2018

    State AGs Join Fight Over DOI Flip On Migratory Bird Kills

    Democratic attorneys general from eight states sued the U.S. Department of the Interior in New York federal court seeking to undo its decision not to criminally prosecute individuals and companies for accidentally killing or injuring migratory birds, joining environmental groups that have already challenged the policy about-face.

  • September 6, 2018

    Ex-DNC Chair Ducks Visa Scheme Suit By Chinese Investors

    A Virginia federal judge on Wednesday tossed claims of fraud made against Terry McAuliffe, former head of the Democratic National Committee, by a group of Chinese investors, finding that the investors had not provided enough detail in their allegations saying they were swindled out of green cards.

  • September 6, 2018

    Canadian Energy Co. Invests $80M In Japanese Solar Plant

    Canada-based Grasshopper Solar Corp., a global developer and manager of solar assets, said on Thursday that it has invested $80 million in Japanese civil engineering and construction firm Setouchi Koken's Iizuka Solar Plant located in Fukuoka, Japan.

  • September 6, 2018

    PennDOT Settles Stormwater Case With Reduction Programs

    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will pay a $100,000 fine, roll out stricter controls over construction site runoff and build stormwater reduction projects as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Wednesday.

  • September 5, 2018

    Greenpeace Looks To End Dakota Pipeline RICO Suit

    Greenpeace Inc. and related entities asked a North Dakota federal judge to throw out a lawsuit alleging they were responsible for impeding work on the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, saying the accusations in the complaint are not specific enough and serve only to chill the speech of pipeline opponents.

  • September 5, 2018

    Drivers Say Bosch, GM Can't Ax Diesel Emissions RICO Suit

    Drivers fired back Tuesday at Bosch and General Motors' joint bid to slash an amended proposed class action alleging the companies schemed to install emissions-cheating devices on Chevrolet Cruze diesel cars, saying they have ample evidence backing their Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act claims.

  • September 5, 2018

    Kinder Morgan Takes Groundwater Case To High Court

    A Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP subsidiary has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Fourth Circuit’s ruling that the Clean Water Act prohibits pollution to groundwater that’s connected to other waterways, arguing states — not the federal government — have the authority to regulate such discharges.

  • September 5, 2018

    Enviros Ask DC Circ. To Nix Mountain Valley Pipeline Approval

    A coalition of environmental groups and tribal officials told the D.C. Circuit that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission got it wrong when it approved a certificate that greenlighted the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline, arguing the commission overstated the need for the project and understated its harms.

  • September 5, 2018

    Ill. Energy Co. Says US Treasury Owes For Solar Grant

    A subsidiary of energy company Invenergy LLC launched a complaint Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, alleging the U.S. Department of the Treasury withheld more than $500,000 in grant money related to the construction and operation of a $70 million solar facility in Illinois.

  • September 5, 2018

    Local Gov'ts Want In On Fight Over Fuel Economy Rollback

    A coalition of local governments including those of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles has asked the D.C. Circuit for permission to participate in a challenge led by California to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's bid to revisit certain Obama-era greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and light trucks.

  • September 5, 2018

    Enviros Urge Judge Not To Freeze Clean Water Rule Decision

    Environmental groups asked a South Carolina federal judge to reject the federal government’s request that he delay the effect of his ruling that cleared the way for implementation of Obama-era water regulations.

  • September 4, 2018

    3rd Circ. Bats Down Permit Challenge To $1.9B Pa. Pipeline

    The Third Circuit on Tuesday declined to review Pennsylvania’s preliminary approval of a Williams Partners LP division’s Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project, asserting the court’s right to hear federal pipeline appeals and ruling that the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Sierra Club and others had failed to make a case for appealing the state’s decision.

  • September 4, 2018

    EPA Can't Escape Gold King Mine Claims, Court Told

    New Mexico, Utah and the Navajo Nation have blasted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to shake their claims stemming from the 2015 Gold King Mine spill, accusing the agency of trying to ditch liability for the contaminated water release despite promising to take full responsibility.

  • September 4, 2018

    DOI Eyeing Long-Sought Revamp For Restoration Program

    A U.S. Department of the Interior environmental restoration program that’s intended to provide a way for polluters at Superfund sites to clean up their messes is being targeted for revisions that could make it easier to use, a move welcomed by industry attorneys who say the program has been plagued by inefficiencies.

  • September 4, 2018

    CPP Case Delays Must End, Supporters Tell DC Circ.

    Clean Power Plan supporters urged the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday to finally decide the merits of the rule, arguing that the Trump administration doesn't deserve any more time to craft a potential replacement, especially since what's been proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is weaker than the CPP itself.

  • September 4, 2018

    EPA Can't Justify Pruitt Travel Expenses, IG Report Says

    A report released Tuesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Inspector General said protective security costs more than doubled for 11 months under former Administrator Scott Pruitt, adding that his 24/7 security was "an inefficient use of agency resources."

  • September 4, 2018

    Mass. Top Court Says Emission Caps Apply To Electric Cos.

    Massachusetts' highest court ruled Tuesday that electricity companies operating in the state are subject to caps on greenhouse gas emissions, hastening state policy goals on global warming for a second time since they were enacted a decade ago.

  • August 31, 2018

    2nd Circ. Won't Rethink Cravath Shell Doc Decision

    The Second Circuit on Thursday refused to reconsider its decision barring a Nigerian activist’s widow from obtaining Royal Dutch Shell discovery documents from a U.S. case, held by Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, for litigation she is pursuing against the oil and gas giant in the Netherlands.

  • August 31, 2018

    Army Corps Backs DAPL Enviro Review In Row With Tribes

    The Dakota Access Pipeline will have no significant impact on the environment, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told a D.C. federal judge Friday, in a court-ordered review spurred by Native American tribes’ legal challenges it its decision to approve the project.

  • August 31, 2018

    Trump Taps EPA Region Head To Lead Chemical Safety Office

    President Donald Trump on Friday tapped the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regional administrator for New England to lead the agency's chemical safety office, taking another shot at filling the post after his previous nominee's candidacy ran aground amid Senate opposition over his industry ties.

Expert Analysis

  • The Future Of Authenticating Audio And Video Evidence

    Jonathan Mraunac

    The recent emergence of artificial intelligence-based technology has prompted serious concerns about the future integrity of recordings. Attorneys must think critically about standards for authenticating audio and video evidence as well as legislative and regulatory safeguards to discourage pervasive manipulation and forgery, says Jonathan Mraunac of Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC.

  • It's All Too Easy To Sell An 'Unregistered Pesticide'

    Jesse Medlong

    Whether a product is legally considered a “pesticide” depends as much on the label as on the chemicals it contains. Retailers and manufacturers face significant liability for selling products that would not, in fact, be pesticides if not for careless labeling. And the problem only increases as e-retailing grows, say Jesse Medlong and George Gigounas of DLA Piper.

  • Is Trump Admin.'s Suspension Of Clean Water Rule Lawful?

    Steven Gordon

    Earlier this year the Trump administration suspended the Clean Water Rule while considering how to rescind or revise it. This action was immediately challenged in New York federal court, presenting some interesting questions about when and how an agency can suspend a regulation that has already taken effect, says Steven Gordon of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Developments In Environmental Enforcement Since TCJA

    Peter Condron

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has made it more difficult for companies facing environmental enforcement to deduct payments to the government by requiring that settlement agreements and court orders contain specific language. Though the IRS has yet to explain just how parties are to comply, guidance can be found in the rule-making process and recent case law, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Opinion

    Law360's Global 20 Doesn't Acknowledge Global Networks

    Glenn Cunningham

    While I read with interest Law360's report analyzing the top 20 global law firms of 2018, I also noticed it doesn't tell the whole story. Global networks of independent law firms compare favorably with multinational firms in terms of geographic coverage, legal expertise, and awareness of local cultures and customs, says Glenn Cunningham of Interlaw Ltd.

  • Will Blood Testing Revive Medical Monitoring Claims?

    Tony Hopp

    In Burdick v. Tonoga, a New York state trial court recently certified what appears to be the first medical monitoring class defined by the level of a particular chemical measured in class members’ blood serum, signaling a potential revival of interest in medical monitoring class actions, say attorneys with Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

  • A 'Broad' Approach To Toxic Tort Class Cert. At 6th Circ.

    Carol Wood

    Last week, in Martin v. Behr Dayton Thermal Products, the Sixth Circuit affirmed an Ohio federal court’s certification of a so-called “issue class” under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(c)(4). The ruling may serve as persuasive authority for future toxic tort plaintiffs who seek to certify a class without establishing a defendant’s liability to any individual class member with common proof, say attorneys with King & Spalding LLP.

  • Suddenly, ALJs Become Political Appointees

    Brian Casey

    Less than three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, President Donald Trump signed an executive order applying the court’s rationale in Lucia to the hiring — and firing — of all administrative law judges in the federal government, making them entirely beholden to the heads of their agencies or the president for their jobs, says Brian Casey of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

  • A Lawyer's Guide To Genomics In Toxic Tort Cases: Part 3

    Kirk Hartley

    Genetic data and techniques are becoming ever more powerful tools for explaining when and how diseases arise. They can also have very strong evidentiary value, and in some toxic tort cases, genetic findings can provide conclusive answers for a judge or jury, say Kirk Hartley and David Schwartz of ToxicoGenomica.

  • DC Circ. Set A Higher Bar For Hydro License Renewal

    Walker Stanovsky

    On July 6, the D.C. Circuit torpedoed a hydroelectric license renewal issued in 2013 because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not consider environmental damage already caused by the project. In doing so, the court rejected FERC’s long-standing practice of using existing conditions and operations as an environmental baseline, say attorneys at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.