Environmental

  • March 21, 2017

    1st Circ. Bolsters State Powers In Gas Pipeline Reviews

    The First Circuit's recent ruling that a Kinder Morgan unit needed final approval from Massachusetts environmental regulators to start building a natural gas pipeline project helps preserve states' role in the permitting process and could embolden states and pipeline opponents to drag out reviews of projects already approved by the federal government, experts say.

  • March 21, 2017

    Ariz. Highway Approval Done The Right Way, 9th Circ. Told

    The Federal Highway Administration and the Arizona Department of Transportation have each urged the Ninth Circuit to affirm a lower court’s ruling that they didn't cut any corners on environmental reviews when they greenlighted a Phoenix-area highway project.

  • March 21, 2017

    Wash. Tribe Wins Temporary Block On Others' Halibut Fishing

    A Washington federal judge on Monday granted an emergency request by the Quileute Tribe to temporarily block the first day of unrestricted halibut fishing by tribes in the region because of bad weather on the coast that would give inland tribes an unfair advantage, despite pushback from three tribes who said weather forecasts don’t normally demand a delay across the board.

  • March 21, 2017

    Utility Tells 9th Circ. New Ruling Boosts Antitrust Defense

    An Arizona power utility on Monday told the Ninth Circuit that a recent ruling by the Third Circuit supported its argument that it should be immune from legal action over state-mandated price-setting and that a lower court was wrong to allow SolarCity to pursue an antitrust lawsuit against it.

  • March 21, 2017

    Canada Regulators Launch Climate Change Disclosure Review

    Canadian securities regulators said Tuesday they will launch a project scrutinizing how well public companies are disclosing risks and financial impacts relating to climate change, joining a growing global movement that officials say reflects demand from investors for better information about environmental risks.

  • March 21, 2017

    EPA's Pruitt Targeted In Okla. Ethics Complaint Over Emails

    Environmentalists and a law professor on Tuesday filed an ethics complaint with the Oklahoma Bar Association against U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, alleging he misled Congress about his use of a personal email address to conduct business during his tenure as Oklahoma's attorney general.

  • March 21, 2017

    BNY, Morgan Stanley End $81M Suit Over Mall Built On Dump

    Morgan Stanley & Co. has paid Bank of New York Mellon Corp. an undisclosed sum to settle claims that it wrongly refused to buy back an $81 million commercial loan after retailers fled an Ohio shopping center built on a landfill because of methane problems, documents filed in New York federal court show.

  • March 20, 2017

    9th Circ. Rejects Challenges To Navajo Plant Smog Plan

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday rejected challenges to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's plan to cut emissions at an Arizona coal-fired power plant, saying that the plan to meet regional haze requirements was a reasonable use of the agency's authority.

  • March 20, 2017

    Fuel Co. Can't Get $5.5M Credit For Raw Materials, Feds Say

    A Florida grease recycling plant suing the federal government to recover more than $5.5 million in taxes is improperly trying to claim tax credits for raw materials that were not part of the final fuel mixtures it sold, according to an IRS court filing Friday.

  • March 20, 2017

    EPA Commits $100M For Flint Water Infrastructure Upgrades

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday awarded a $100 million grant to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, aimed at upgrading Flint’s drinking water infrastructure in the wake of its lead-tainted water crisis, which became a national scandal in 2015.

  • March 20, 2017

    Wine Co. Can't Trim ‘Redundant’ Claims In Worker Death Suit

    A California federal judge on Monday denied a winemaker's bid to strike “redundant” portions of the federal government’s environmental justice suit alleging Clean Air Act violations and other claims in connection with a worker’s 2012 death from anhydrous ammonia exposure, saying the laws and regulations complement each other.

  • March 20, 2017

    Citgo Tells 5th Circ. $81M Spill Fine Is Too Flawed To Stand

    Citgo continued Friday to urge the Fifth Circuit to undo an $81 million fine stemming from a 2006 oil spill, saying that the federal government cannot explain away a lower court's flaws in determining how much economic benefit the company received from its violation that led to the spill.

  • March 20, 2017

    9th Circ. Says Fishermen's APA Suit Lacks Jurisdiction

    The Ninth Circuit said Friday that it did not have jurisdiction over a suit brought by a group of fishermen alleging that a decision by the National Park Service to enforce bans on commercial fishing in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area was unlawful, ruling that the case should be remanded and dismissed because it was improperly brought.

  • March 20, 2017

    Troutman Sanders Adds Dentons Energy Markets Team

    Two partners and an attorney from Dentons LLP have joined Troutman Sanders LLP’s energy and projects practice in the New York and Washington, D.C., offices, the firm said Monday.

  • March 20, 2017

    Partisan Sparks Fly At Gorsuch Hearing’s First Day

    Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, pushed back against accusations of bias at the opening of his confirmation hearing Monday, as criticisms over the Senate delay on filling the late Justice Antonin Scalia's seat dominated much of the first day.

  • March 20, 2017

    Justices Won't Hear Park Worker's Whistleblower Suit

    The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to consider a Ninth Circuit decision that tossed a whistleblower-reprisal claim from a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee, who alleged the service discriminated against her, told her to “learn to be more feminine" and then retaliated against her when she complained.

  • March 20, 2017

    Trump Admin. Delays Efficiency, Electric Vehicle Rules

    The U.S. Department of Energy on Monday delayed five efficiency regulations including one for federal building standards, and the Department of Transportation delayed a safety rule for electric vehicles, each saying more time was needed to review them.

  • March 20, 2017

    Indonesia Set To Target EU Biodiesel Tariffs At WTO

    The Indonesian government on Sunday said that it will soon launch a World Trade Organization case against the European Union’s anti-dumping duties on biodiesel exports, alleging that the tariffs were calculated in a way that violates global trade rules.

  • March 20, 2017

    NJ High Court Will Hear Farmland Preservation Row

    The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to review an Appellate Division’s decision that further findings were necessary to determine if a commercial farmer ran afoul of state soil conservation rules by tampering with preserved land to build greenhouses, according to an order released Monday.

  • March 20, 2017

    Deepwater Judge Allows Delayed Claims To Proceed To Court

    The judge overseeing the Deepwater Horizon multidistrict litigation ruled Friday that plaintiffs whose pursuit of economic damages from the oil spill and resulting federal moratorium on Gulf of Mexico drilling were put on hold could opt out of a global settlement and bring their claims in court.

Expert Analysis

  • How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 1

    Bruce J. Heiman

    Though the Trump administration has yet to make an official statement regarding artificial intelligence, support for AI is consistent with its expressed desire to promote American business. As such, general counsel will inevitably have to navigate what big data and AI mean for compliance with current and future laws and regulations, say Bruce Heiman and Elana Reman of K&L Gates LLP.

  • A New Element In Awarding Calif. Public Works Contracts

    Anthony J. Samson

    Legislation recently proposed in California would require the disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the manufacture of certain “eligible materials” for public works projects. If passed, it could have the biggest effect on companies that manufacture construction materials, especially cement, flat glass, manufactured wool, steel and asphalt, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Gorsuch May Further Tip Balance Against Deference To EPA

    Kathryn M. Schroeder

    From an environmental law perspective, Judge Neil Gorsuch has shown a willingness to reassess Chevron deference to an agency’s interpretation of the statutes it implements. If confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, he could fan further interest in revisiting Chevron deference at a time when the court is actively considering what deference is due an agency when it interprets its own regulations, say attorneys with Bracewell LLP.

  • 4 Fla. Water Law Issues To Watch In 2017

    Kathryn B. Rossmell

    While political changes in 2017 will impact issues across the board, one matter is of special interest to Floridians: water. Legislation and case law both indicate this year will see significant discussions on this vital resource, accompanied by updates to the policies and infrastructure that form the basis of our legal interactions with it, says Kathryn Rossmell of Lewis Longman & Walker PA.

  • Saving Lawyers 1 Less Drink At A Time

    Jennifer Gibbs

    Lawyers are likely turning to alcohol to lessen stress and anxiety, to socialize, and even to sleep better. Unfortunately, many are unaware that their nightly pour could be causing or exacerbating the anxiety that is plaguing the legal profession, says Jennifer Gibbs of Zelle LLP.

  • Antitrust: A New Line Of Attack Against Pipelines

    David L. Wochner

    The Sierra Club’s recent filings with federal regulatory agencies asserting that two natural gas pipeline projects violate antitrust law are novel, and we believe they face substantial obstacles under established antitrust law, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.

  • In Congress: CRA Disapprovals, Sub-Cabinet, Mnuchin

    Hertling_Richard_Covington.jpg

    House Joint Resolution 43 is likely to draw the most public attention of the five Congressional Review Act disapproval resolutions in the House this week, given the political sensitivity of abortion and family-planning services. Across the Capitol, a vote is expected on the nomination of Steven Mnuchin to serve as Secretary of the Treasury. Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP review the full calendar.

  • Opinion

    Lawyers Cannot Stay Silent While Trump Belittles The Courts

    Alexandra Wald

    This is not the first time that a president has criticized the judiciary. But what is unique about President Donald Trump's attacks is that they target not just a specific decision, but the judiciary and its decision-making power altogether. Every lawyer, regardless of political persuasion, must speak up, says Alexandra Wald of Cohen & Gresser LLP.

  • Marketing Basics For Solo Practitioners And Small Law Firms

    Matthew Horn

    There is no question that solo practitioners and small law firms need to spend the majority of time on legal work, but in order to achieve sustainable growth, marketing should not be a secondary task “put-off” until you have some free time, says Matthew Horn, founder of Legal Services Link LLC.

  • The (Not-So-Certain) Future Of EPA's Vapor Intrusion Rule

    Gabriel J. Padilla

    If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under direction of the new administration, determines its final vapor intrusion rule raises a “substantial question of fact, law or policy,” the issue may be subject to additional rulemaking or other further actions. In other words, the rule's future and potential impact currently are in doubt, say Gabriel Padilla of Bick Law LLP and Nadine Weinberg of ERM Group Inc.