Environmental

  • July 12, 2017

    DHS, FEMA Skirt Texans' Rules Challenge Over Storm Damage

    A D.C. federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a suit brought by two dozen Texans whose homes were damaged in a series of severe storms in 2015 and 2016 that alleged the Federal Emergency Management Agency has inadequate rules for housing assistance.

  • July 12, 2017

    2nd Circ. Denies BP, Shell's Attempt To Squash MTBE Suit

    A Second Circuit panel on Tuesday rejected requests from Shell Oil Co. and BP Products North America to revisit its decision to revive the Orange County Water District’s claims that oil companies had endangered its water supply by leaking the gasoline additive methyl tertiary-butyl ether.

  • July 12, 2017

    Judge Recommends Partial Cert. In Train Derailment Suit

    A Tennessee magistrate judge on Tuesday recommended partial certification of a group of residents alleging railroad operator CSX and a railway equipment company caused a train car carrying hazardous substances including acrylonitrile to derail, purportedly putting the community at risk of exposure to a potential carcinogen.

  • July 12, 2017

    Infamous Lobster Thief Took $100M, South Africa Tells Judge

    The Republic of South Africa told a New York federal judge Wednesday that the true value of the damage notorious rock lobster poacher Arnold M. Bengis did to the country's fisheries is $100 million and asked for a revised forfeiture order to reflect that amount.

  • July 11, 2017

    Justice Breyer On The Limits Of Presidential Power

    Justice Stephen Breyer discusses the Supreme Court’s role as a check on executive authority and the global influence on U.S. courts, in the first of two articles based on an exclusive interview with the justice. This is part of a series of exclusive Law360 interviews with current and former Supreme Court justices.

  • July 11, 2017

    Enviros Expand Border Wall Suit, Attack Lack Of Studies

    The Trump administration is violating federal environmental laws by plowing ahead with prototype projects for a wall on the nation’s southern border without first evaluating the potential impact on the environment, including on endangered creatures such as the Quino checkerspot butterfly, an environmental group has alleged.

  • July 11, 2017

    Enviros, Tribal Groups Sue BLM Over Methane Rule Delay

    Environmental and tribal citizen groups hit the U.S. Bureau of Land Management with a complaint Monday in California federal court, alleging the agency's decision to delay an Obama-era regulation to reduce methane waste on public land is illegal and will cost states, tribes and local governments millions in lost revenue.

  • July 11, 2017

    Texas Court Says TCEQ Shorted Power Plants On Tax Break

    A Texas appellate court on Tuesday said the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and a lower court erred by denying a property tax exemption for eight power plants based on their pollution control equipment.

  • July 11, 2017

    Wyo. Tribes Ask 10th Circ. To Rethink Reservation Ruling

    The Northern Arapaho Tribe and the Eastern Shoshone Tribe each urged the Tenth Circuit on Monday to reconsider its February ruling that the boundaries of the tribes' shared Wyoming reservation had been diminished, with both arguing that the ruling conflicts with U.S. Supreme Court precedent and violates tribal sovereignty.

  • July 11, 2017

    Calif. Legislators Plan Cap-And-Trade Extension To 2030

    California Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers announced plans Monday to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program by 10 years, through 2030, after an initial 2020 sunset date, with provisions that will require pollution monitoring in particularly polluted neighborhoods.

  • July 11, 2017

    Judge Says FTC Claims Already Settled In VW Emissions Suit

    A California federal judge on Tuesday denied the Federal Trade Commission’s pending motion seeking additional testimony into claims that Volkswagen AG’s U.S. unit intentionally destroyed documents after its diesel emissions cheating scandal made headlines, a procedural move in light of the FTC’s settlements with the German automaker. 

  • July 11, 2017

    EPA Floats Lifting Pebble Mine Block In Alaska

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday said it wants to withdraw a proposal to block a massive open-pit mine in Alaska near the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery, fulfilling one of its obligations under a settlement reached earlier this year with the project developer.

  • July 11, 2017

    NHTSA Reconsidering Maximum Fuel Efficiency Penalties

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is indefinitely delaying the institution of higher maximum penalties for automakers who don’t meet fuel efficiency standards as the agency seeks further comment on the proposed change, according to two notices released Tuesday.

  • July 11, 2017

    Utilities, Illinois Spar Over Allco Ruling In Subsidy Fight

    Illinois power producers and the state government sparred Monday over the significance of a Second Circuit ruling on Connecticut's renewable energy incentive program to their own federal court fight over nuclear power plant subsidizes.

  • July 11, 2017

    Challenge To RI Wind Farm Too Late, 1st Circ. Says

    A First Circuit panel on Monday affirmed a lower court’s ruling that a challenge to the approval of an offshore wind farm by a Rhode Island business group was brought too late and so was time-barred under state law.

  • July 11, 2017

    Morgan Lewis Tells Judge Privilege Breach Dooms Fraud Case

    A Pennsylvania federal judge was urged during a hearing Tuesday to throw out charges over an alleged green energy scam after government investigators accessed a privileged memo that a defendant in the case sent to a Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP attorney.

  • July 11, 2017

    2nd Circ. Ruling Backs Nuclear Subsidies, NY Regulator Says

    New York utility regulators Monday pushed for the dismissal of a challenge to a state plan to subsidize struggling nuclear power plants, contending that a Second Circuit decision from June upholding a Connecticut program for soliciting renewable energy projects shows the New York plan doesn’t run afoul of federal law.

  • July 10, 2017

    Renco Says Poisoning Suit Relates To New Peru Arbitration

    The Renco Group Inc. on Friday removed from Missouri state court a lawsuit over alleged lead poisoning suffered by Peruvian children who lived near an affiliate's metallurgical complex in the Andean highlands, arguing their suit falls under federal jurisdiction because it relates to new arbitration the company has initiated against Peru.

  • July 10, 2017

    Troutman Sanders Snag Lathrop & Gage Enviro Partners

    Troutman Sanders LLP added a three-person environmental and business litigation team from Lathrop & Gage LLP to its Chicago office, the firm announced Monday.

  • July 10, 2017

    Feinberg To Be Settlement Master In Fiat Chrysler MDL

    Experienced mediator Kenneth Feinberg will be charged with brokering a deal in multidistrict litigation over whether certain diesel engines in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV vehicles emitted excessive pollutants, after a California federal judge announced his intent to name Feinberg settlement master.

Expert Analysis

  • A Closer Look At OSHA's Broken Regulatory Process

    Jordan Barab

    Based on the political orientation of the current administration, President Donald Trump’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is unlikely to move any significant regulatory initiatives forward. But if a major catastrophe were to spur bipartisan demands for regulatory action, there are three problem areas to consider, says Jordan Barab, former deputy assistant secretary of labor for OSHA.

  • When 'I Pick, You Pick, They Pick' Goes Wrong

    Angela Zambrano Headshot.jpg

    In the “I pick, you pick, they pick” arbitration system, each party selects its own arbitrator, and those two arbitrators select a third. But the Texas Supreme Court's recent decision in Forest Oil v. El Rucio Land and Cattle demonstrates how this method can heighten rather than minimize the chance of an arbitral mistake, say Angela Zambrano and Robert Velevis of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Takeaways From 3 NJ Environmental Insurance Decisions

    Robert Chesler

    In 2017, New Jersey has already witnessed three important decisions in the law of insurance coverage for hazardous waste site cleanup, each of which enhances policyholders' ability to obtain coverage for long-tail claims, say Robert Chesler of Anderson Kill PC and Robin Keliher of Willis Towers Watson PC.

  • Disposal Of Contamination: Be Careful What You Throw Away

    Mitchell Klein

    While the Superior Court of New Jersey's decision in Pollitt Drive LLC v. Engel does not establish any precedent, it is in keeping with a line of cases holding, somewhat surprisingly, that plaintiffs must retain the physical evidence from environmental remediations, says Mitchell Klein of Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • Suffering Withdrawal: The Post-Paris Energy Outlook

    James Hoecker

    The Trump administration's withdrawal from the Paris climate accord has not deterred a number of U.S. states, municipalities and technology companies from their clean energy plans. But in a competitive world, weak government support for new technologies and industries may have substantial commercial consequences, says James Hoecker of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • Debating The Value Of Distributed Rooftop Solar

    Brad Thompson

    How much is solar power really worth? Although a seemingly simple question, it has a myriad of complex and sometimes conflicting responses that many regulators across the U.S. are trying to resolve, say Brad Thompson and Jessica Sabbath of King & Spalding LLP.

  • Weekly Column

    Innovating For Wise Juries: Setting Trial Time Limits

    Stephen Susman

    This is the second in a series of articles discussing ideas proposed by the NYU School of Law Civil Jury Project to resuscitate the American jury trial. In this article, Stephen Susman, Richard Lorren Jolly and Dr. Roy Futterman argue for setting early and strict time limits in civil jury trials.

  • Trump's Monuments Order Won't Benefit Tribal Economies

    Hillary Hoffmann

    President Donald Trump's executive order mandating the review of national monuments with the goal of opening public lands to mineral development could provide some economic benefits, but history has shown that most mineral development booms are followed by inevitable busts, says professor Hillary Hoffmann of Vermont Law School.

  • Opinion

    Big Business Lobby Tries To Hobble Litigation Finance, Again

    Allison Chock

    In its most recent petition advocating mandatory disclosure of litigation finance, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce simply rehashes the same arguments from its previous failed efforts to convince the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the dire implications of undisclosed funding relationships, say members of IMF Bentham Ltd.

  • Energy Efficiency Resources Must Stay In The Mix

    Richard Drom

    A proposal by PJM Interconnection threatens to exclude energy efficiency resources — the electricity savings achieved through the use of more energy-efficient products — from competing in its capacity market. This precedent could lead to additional barriers for other advanced energy technologies in wholesale electricity markets, says Richard Drom of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC.