Environmental

  • May 16, 2017

    Ind. Steel Cos. To Get $2M For Cleanup Under CERCLA

    Two steel companies will receive more than $2 million in remediation costs in a long-running dispute with property owner Joslyn Manufacturing Co. related to an environmental cleanup of a site they both occupy, an Indiana federal judge has said.

  • May 15, 2017

    Pruitt EPA Gives Cos. New Way To Fight Superfund Costs

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt last week gave himself the final word on how the most expensive Superfund sites are cleaned up, significantly diminishing regional EPA offices' authority and providing polluters with a new avenue to push for more favorable deals, experts said.

  • May 15, 2017

    Molycorp Judge Nixes Credit Bid Objection In Ch. 11 Sale

    Saying that ample time remains for arguments between bidding and a sale, a Delaware bankruptcy judge put off a private equity challenge Monday to rules for the offer of secured creditor claims in bidding for Molycorp Minerals’ California rare earth mine.

  • May 15, 2017

    Entergy Nuclear Plant Chided By NLRB Judge For Illegal Rules

    A National Labor Relations Board judge on Friday ruled that Entergy Nuclear Operations Inc. implemented a series of illegal workplace rules at its Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts, including restrictions on photographing and recording in the workplace.

  • May 15, 2017

    FHWA Beats Enviro Suit Over $1.7B Calif. Highway Project

    The Federal Highway Administration properly considered a range of alternatives before approving the $1.7 billion Mid County Parkway project in Riverside County, a California federal judge ruled, saying the environmental groups that sued to block the project for allegedly hurting low-income communities didn’t first exhaust their administrative remedies.

  • May 15, 2017

    Notorious Lobster Poacher Says US Unfairly Pursuing Him

    The U.S. government’s “relentless pursuit” of notorious rock lobster and wild fish poacher Arnold M. Bengis over 14 years amounts to an improper attempt to seize his family’s foreign assets, his counsel told a Manhattan federal judge Friday ahead of a scheduled May 30 resentencing.

  • May 15, 2017

    Calif. Water District Fights To Keep Stay In Tribal Case

    The Coachella Valley Water District asked a California federal court Monday to deny the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians' motion to lift the stay in a battle over groundwater rights.

  • May 15, 2017

    Ex-Massey CEO Plans High Court Appeal Of Conviction

    Former Massey Energy Co. CEO Don Blankenship is out of jail and plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court his conviction for conspiring to violate mine safety standards before a deadly explosion, according to court documents filed last week.

  • May 15, 2017

    EPA Pledges To Answer Sierra Club On Pa. Mercury Issue

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to respond to the Sierra Club’s petition seeking an objection to Pennsylvania regulators’ proposal to give a coal-fired power plant extra time to comply with a mercury emissions rule, according to a deal approved by a D.C. federal judge Friday.

  • May 15, 2017

    CPP Foes, Backers Cross Swords Over Litigation's Stay

    Clean Power Plan challengers and supporters clashed Monday over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's request to keep litigation over the Clean Power Plan on hold while it reviews the rule, with rule backers telling the D.C. Circuit that granting the agency's request would effectively kill the rule.

  • May 15, 2017

    EPA Urged To Reconsider Coal Ash Disposal Rule

    A utilities group urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday to reconsider a comprehensive set of requirements for the safe disposal of coal ash from coal-fired power plants.

  • May 15, 2017

    Texas Oil Refinery Wants Clean Air Act Suit Tossed

    Pasadena Refining System Inc. asked a Texas federal judge on Friday to toss a suit brought by two environmental groups alleging it had violated the Clean Air Act by spewing toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, saying the groups haven't shown their alleged injuries were caused by the refinery.

  • May 13, 2017

    Trump Taps Senate Panel Lawyer As EPA Enforcement Chief

    President Donald Trump on Friday nominated the chief counsel for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to head up the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's enforcement arm.

  • May 12, 2017

    Agency Watchdog Cuts Could Backfire, Dems Warn

    Government oversight officials worry a hiring freeze imposed in the early days of the Trump administration and subsequently proposed staff reductions are likely to exacerbate financial problems at their agencies rather than alleviate them, according to a memo released by House Democrats on Friday.

  • May 12, 2017

    Pebble Mine's Future Still Hazy Despite EPA Settlement

    While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday removed a major roadblock to a massive proposed Alaska copper mine by agreeing to lift the agency's hold on the permitting process, experts say that approval of the controversial Pebble Mine project is still a long way off and far from a sure thing.

  • May 12, 2017

    SunEdison Attacked For Insufficient Ch. 11 Plan Details

    SunEdison Inc.'s Chapter 11 exit continues to get more complicated, as bond issuers, groups of shareholders and others worried about losing several millions' worth of claims against the bankrupt solar energy giant complained late in the week that the disclosures in its restructuring proposal are egregiously light on important details.

  • May 12, 2017

    Climate Activist Can’t Make Necessity Defense, Judge Rules

    A Washington state judge said an environmental activist will not be allowed to present a climate change-based necessity defense during his upcoming trial over allegations he shut off a pipeline in protest, according to an announcement from the Climate Disobedience Center.

  • May 12, 2017

    Iowa Top Court OKs Class Cert. Of Corn Plant Pollution Suit

    The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday cemented the class action certification of a case in which residents of the city of Muscatine accuse Grain Processing Corp. of releasing pollution from its corn wet milling plant there that interferes with the use of their property, paving the way for a trial.

  • May 12, 2017

    'Waters Of US' Suits Belong In District Court, Justices Told

    Business groups led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the Sixth Circuit’s ruling that it has sole jurisdiction to hear challenges to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s "Waters of the United States" rule, arguing district courts have jurisdiction.

  • May 12, 2017

    Florida Gov. Signs Lake Okeechobee Water Storage Bill

    Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed legislation that provides $1.5 billion to increase water storage south of Lake Okeechobee as part of an effort to curb harmful discharges from the lake that have caused toxic algal blooms in recent years.

Expert Analysis

  • Lessons From Newport Beach's Rejected EIR: Part 1

    Arthur F. Coon

    Last month, the California Supreme Court held that Newport Beach's environmental impact report for a mixed-use development project failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act. The EIR failed to consider potentially environmentally sensitive habitat areas in its analysis of project alternatives and mitigation measures, says Arthur Coon of Miller Starr Regalia.

  • Opinion

    ABA Needs A New Model Legal Ethics Rule

    Kevin L. Shepherd

    Perhaps lost in the presidential post-election tumult was a report issued in late 2016 by an international body evaluating U.S. compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards. Considering repeated criticisms of the legal profession, the American Bar Association should seriously consider a new model legal ethics rule, says Kevin Shepherd of Venable LLP.

  • What Does Lateral Partner Success Look Like?

    Howard Flack

    In the final segment of his series on lateral recruitment, Howard Flack, a partner of Volta Talent Strategies LLC and former leader of the lateral partner recruiting team at Hogan Lovells, shares a number of factors law firms should consider when measuring lateral hire success.

  • NJDEP Seeks Further Flexibility For Cleanup Standards

    Adam H. Cutler

    The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s recently proposed rule related to groundwater cleanup standards, which seeks further shortcuts around Administrative Procedure Act protections, is bad public policy. Due process protections like public notice, public comment, and social and economic evaluations of any new rule or rule change are fundamental requirements of New Jersey and U.S. law, say attorneys with Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • Are Lateral Recruitment Opportunities Shaping Your Strategy?

    Howard Flack

    In the second installment of this series on lateral recruiting, Howard Flack of Volta Talent Strategies LLC challenges law firms to ask themselves whether business strategies are determining lateral hires — or vice versa.

  • Offshore Decommissioning Liability And Bankruptcy

    Edward Ripley

    It is more important than ever to prepare for disposal and environmental remediation of oil and gas infrastructure when it is no longer economically viable. But accounting for decommissioning obligations can turn into a game of “hot potato,” especially during bankruptcy proceedings. Edward Ripley and Eldy Roché of King & Spalding LLP discuss two important lessons regarding decommissioning liability of offshore installations.

  • Natural Resource Damages: A New Angle In PCB Litigation

    Graham Zorn

    In an effort to use product liability theories to impose liability on manufacturers of products found in the environment, Washington state recently sued polychlorinated biphenyl manufacturer Monsanto in state court. This could signal a new era in PCB litigation, and should be closely watched by manufacturers and marketers of similar products, say Graham Zorn and Eric Klein of Beveridge & Diamond PC.

  • Lateral Partner Hiring: Time To Look In The Mirror

    Howard Flack

    The surveys that report lateral partner hiring as more or less a 50-50 proposition keep being published, and yet the lateral partner market is as robust as ever. So, what are firms looking at to measure their success and justify the level of investment they continue to make in the lateral market? asks Howard Flack of Volta Talent Strategies LLC.

  • Indian Country Should Defend Environmental Protections

    Charles W. Galbraith

    As he promised in his campaign, President Donald Trump has been rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations since his first full day in office. Indian Country's leadership may be needed, now more than ever, in the many fights yet to come on environmental issues that could impact lands beyond any pipeline, says Charlie Galbraith of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

  • How Will Congress Approach ESA Reform?

    Paul Weiland

    In the present political climate, it is difficult to predict whether the trend of Congress' declining role in the administration of federal environmental and natural resource laws will continue, or whether there will be a realignment of the balance of powers among the branches. But it's likely congressional Republicans will make a concerted effort to amend the Endangered Species Act, say Paul Weiland and Steve Quarles of Nossaman LLP.