Environmental

  • April 9, 2018

    Pruitt’s Alleged Acts Draw Scrutiny From Ethics Office

    The U.S. Office of Government Ethics voiced concerns about reports that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt rented a condo with lobbyist ties and improperly shuffled staff who questioned his behavior in a letter to the EPA's chief ethics officer on Friday.

  • April 9, 2018

    Kinder Morgan Stops Nonessential Work On Canada Pipeline

    All nonessential work on Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has been brought to a halt, the company said in an announcement Sunday, adding that it would pump no more “shareholder resources” into the project in the face of political opposition.

  • April 9, 2018

    Federal Agency Chiefs Ink Deal To Speed Up Project Reviews

    Several heads of U.S. agencies on Monday inked an agreement to coordinate federal environmental reviews of major infrastructure developments, following through on President Donald Trump's executive order seeking to speed up permitting for pipelines, highways and other projects.

  • April 9, 2018

    PJM Presses FERC To Tackle State Clean Energy Subsidies

    PJM Interconnection LLC on Monday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to greenlight plans to blunt the effects of state green policies on its wholesale electricity markets, but clean energy advocates claim the regional grid operator's proposed solutions merely tilt the playing field toward traditional power plants.

  • April 9, 2018

    Union Reps Didn't Prejudice Well Water Trial, W.Va. Court Says

    The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has backed a jury verdict in favor of two coal companies in a suit accusing them of contaminating well water with their mining activity, saying there was no merit to arguments of improper union worker presence during the trial.

  • April 9, 2018

    Pa. Justices Won't Rethink Scope Of Gas Lease Fund Use

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday quashed an appeal from a state environmental group in a dispute over the state’s use of payments from gas leases on public lands, ruling that the appeal was premature.

  • April 8, 2018

    Personnel Moves May Expose Pruitt To Whistleblower Claims

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s deregulatory push has spawned a predictable flurry of lawsuits from green groups, but Pruitt may face legal battles on a different and perhaps unexpected front if agency workers who reportedly took flack after raising concerns about his actions decide to file whistleblower claims.

  • April 6, 2018

    Bankrupt NY Solar Co. Blasts Ex-CEO's Bid To Liquidate

    Bankrupt Level Solar Inc. hit back hard on Thursday against a bid by its former CEO to convert its restructuring to a liquidation, calling the request a “litigation tactic” by “someone who expects to be sued” and telling a New York bankruptcy court the reorganization is going swimmingly.

  • April 6, 2018

    Widow Says Mine Safety Agency Breached Duty In Explosion

    The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration should have done more to prevent a deadly 2010 explosion at a West Virginia mine operated by a Massey Energy Co. subsidiary, the widow of one of the 29 coal miners killed in the incident alleged Thursday, on its eight-year anniversary.

  • April 6, 2018

    Enviro Group Seeks Order Forcing EPA To Act On Water Plan

    Northwest Environmental Advocates asked a Washington federal court on Thursday to order the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to either approve or disapprove a plan by Washington state to improve the water quality of the Deschutes river basin, saying the agency’s deadline had come and gone.

  • April 6, 2018

    Relator In FCA 1st-To-File Suit Has Died, Justices Told

    Counsel for the whistleblower leading litigation accusing KBR Inc. and Halliburton Co. of overcharging the military for water purification services wrote to the U.S. Supreme Court to inform the justices that the man has died, saying the case should live on, as he wanted.

  • April 6, 2018

    Travelers Must Pay $7.5M Cleanup Deal, Ill. Court Affirms

    A pair of Travelers units are on the hook for a trucking company's $7.5 million settlement of litigation over environmental contamination cleanup efforts, a split Illinois appellate panel affirmed on Thursday, finding that the insurers unreasonably declined to settle the claim within policy limits.

  • April 6, 2018

    Trump Aims To Simplify Offshore Wind Regs, DOI Sec. Says

    U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told global leaders in the offshore wind sector on Friday that the Trump administration aims to simplify the industry’s regulatory process, given its key role in building the nation’s renewable energy portfolio and independence.

  • April 6, 2018

    Ariz. Senate Passes Bill To Kill 'Chevron Deference'

    The Arizona Senate passed a bill Thursday eliminating "Chevron deference," a legal doctrine that gives state regulatory agencies a crucial advantage in legal fights with businesses, Indian tribes and other regulated entities, in a move that could lead to similar legislation in other states and the federal government.

  • April 6, 2018

    Monsanto Can't Dodge Water Contamination Suit, Judge Says

    An Alabama federal judge on Thursday denied Monsanto Chemical’s bid to toss an Army veteran’s personal injury suit alleging the company caused his leukemia by contaminating drinking water where he was based as a soldier several years ago, disagreeing with Monsanto that the veteran missed the statutory deadline to file.

  • April 5, 2018

    8th Circ. Axes $13M Punitives, Schaeffler From Pollution Suit

    A split Eighth Circuit erased a $13 million punitive damages award Thursday for a woman who said that a Missouri ball bearing maker's factory pollution gave her a serious autoimmune disorder, saying its parent, Schaeffler Group, shouldn't have been included in the trial and the latter's presence had muddied the proceedings.

  • April 5, 2018

    Engineering Firm Can't Dodge Flint Water Crisis Bias Suit

    A Michigan federal judge on Thursday denied an engineering firm's effort to escape a proposed class action alleging the largely black city of Flint, Michigan, wasn't treated as well as a neighboring, mostly white county during a lead-tainted drinking water crisis.

  • April 5, 2018

    BIA Win In Okla. Oil Lease Row Affirmed By 10th Circ.

    The Tenth Circuit on Thursday said a lower court was right to throw out a putative class action filed by two Oklahoma landowners, deciding the suit made imprecise allegations that the Bureau of Indian Affairs did not conduct the necessary environmental analysis before approving oil leases.

  • April 5, 2018

    PennEast Needs NJ Land For $1B Pipeline, Judge Told

    PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC on Thursday told a federal judge that it needs immediate access to more than 100 New Jersey properties along the course of its planned $1 billion natural gas pipeline or else it won't be able to complete time-sensitive environmental assessments needed to meet regulatory deadlines for the project.

  • April 5, 2018

    Wichita Tribe Asks Oklahoma Court To Nix Land Row Suit

    The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes on Wednesday urged an Oklahoma federal court to toss a land row suit by the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma claiming that a tribal history center threatens ancestral graves, saying the Caddo Nation hadn't furnished evidence for its claims and that many of them are moot since construction of the center has been completed.

Expert Analysis

  • TSCA Regulatory Action Raises Retailers' Litigation Risk

    Alexandra Cunningham

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a final rule regulating formaldehyde in consumer products under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and is now evaluating other chemicals. There may be increased litigation after such regulatory action — even in the absence of noncompliance — so manufacturers and retailers should stay alert, say Alexandra Cunningham and Merideth Daly of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Why Machine Learning Should Matter To Lawyers

    Dan Puterbaugh

    Legal leaders who want to meet their clients' expanding expectations should start moving their documents to future-ready document management solutions now if they want to stay competitive in the next few years, says Dan Puterbaugh of Adobe Systems Inc.

  • Roundup

    EPA In The Trump Era

    EPA In The Trump Era - Thumbnail

    In this series, former EPA general counsels and agency members discuss some of the most significant recent developments at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and what they mean for the future of U.S. environmental law.

  • The Volkswagen Scandal: Catalyst For Class Action Change?

    Noah Wortman

    The sheer scale and global nature of the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal has led to discussions about how such high-volume consumer cases are handled, with some commentators suggesting that the case represents a turning point in how class action litigation is viewed and handled, particularly in Europe, say Noah Wortman, global head of class action services at Goal Group, and attorneys with Hausfeld LLP.

  • 9th Circ. CWA Decision Could Pose New Compliance Risks

    Bernadette Rappold

    With the Ninth Circuit's recent decision in Hawaii Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui, environmentalists have scored a victory under the Clean Water Act that may cause a widespread re-evaluation of permitting status and engender a wave of citizen suits, says Bernadette Rappold of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

  • Series

    EPA In The Trump Era: Enforcement And Compliance Changes

    Wayne D'Angelo

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement machine does not turn on a dime, and a year of enforcement data does not establish a trend. While the first 12 months may not have cemented a new approach to enforcement and compliance, year two is as good a time as any to offer a few first impressions, says Wayne D'Angelo, former director of strategic planning and advance at the EPA and a partner at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

  • Series

    EPA In The Trump Era: The DOJ's 3rd-Party Payment Policy

    Raymond Ludwiszewski

    The U.S. Department of Justice's 2017 memo ending the previous administration's common practice of paying various nongovernmental, third parties as a condition of settlement with the U.S. is an important change of course that will meaningfully impact the contours of future judicial civil consent judgments with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, says Raymond Ludwiszewski, former EPA general counsel and partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Series

    EPA In The Trump Era: Settling Mandatory Duty Lawsuits

    Avi Garbow

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2017 "sue and settle” directive embraces a nascent process to post online notices of intent to sue, complaints and petitions for review. For some this is sufficient for planning purposes and strategic undertakings, but for others it provides interesting opportunities, says Avi Garbow, former EPA general counsel and partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • How FERC's New Rule Paves The Way For Energy Storage

    Levi McAllister

    Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued its long-awaited final rule that aims to remove barriers to electric storage resource participation in regional transmission organization and independent system operator markets. Market participants with an interest in energy storage are advised to focus closely on the tariff provisions being developed by each RTO/ISO, say attorneys with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Series

    EPA In The Trump Era: The Superfund Enforcement Initiative

    Donald Elliott

    When it comes to climate change, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Administrator Scott Pruitt is undeniably less aggressive than under its immediate predecessor. However, for the current EPA, one area that sharply conflicts with this pattern is Superfund, says Donald Elliott, former EPA general counsel and chairman of the environmental practice group at Covington & Burling LLP.