Environmental

  • April 9, 2018

    EPA, Corps Fight Restart Of States' Clean Water Rule Row

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday objected to a recent ruling that resumed a lawsuit with which a North Dakota-led coalition of states is challenging a controversial Obama-era rule defining the Clean Water Act’s reach, saying the case should instead be halted for another year.

  • April 9, 2018

    Court Ruling May Change Pa.'s Enviro Enforcement Approach

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recent ruling axing a method used by state environmental regulators to calculate fines for ongoing contamination of waterways may force the agency to use tools other than fines, such as criminal penalties or compliance orders, to address violations, experts say.

  • April 9, 2018

    8th Circ. Revives Mo. City's Pollution Limit Suit Against EPA

    A Missouri city has standing to challenge pollution limits approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a wastewater treatment plant, the Eighth Circuit ruled Monday, reviving a suit aimed at halting guidelines the city said would be costly to implement.

  • April 9, 2018

    ND Police Look To Nix DAPL Protesters' Excessive Force Suit

    Three North Dakota law enforcement officers and their respective jurisdictions urged a federal judge on Friday to nix a group of Dakota Access pipeline protesters’ proposed class action accusing them of using excessive force when responding to protests, saying the group’s constitutional claims are not viable.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Series

    EPA In The Trump Era: Making Sense Of Waters Of The US

    Larry Jensen

    In one of his first official acts, President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to rescind and replace the Obama administration's Clean Water Rule. Regardless of the outcome of Trump’s effort, the controversy over the meaning of the phrase “waters of the United States” is likely to continue for many years, says Larry Jensen, former EPA general counsel and shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • How Emerging Sources Of ESI Will Impact Discovery

    Charles McGee

    Late last year, the Sedona Conference released the third edition of its principles addressing electronic document production, updated to account for innovations like Snapchat and Twitter. It may be necessary for these principles to be updated more often in order to keep pace with technology, says Charles McGee III of Murphy & McGonigle PC.

  • 3 Mass. Proposals Signal A New Wave Of Offshore Wind

    Tommy Beaudreau

    After the recent submission of three bids in response to Massachusetts electric distribution companies' request for proposals for offshore wind energy projects, the stage is set for 2018 to be a breakthrough year in U.S. offshore wind development, say attorneys with Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Put The Brakes On Acceleration Bay Litigation Funder Ruling

    David Gallagher

    Last week, the District of Delaware raised eyebrows by ruling that documents provided to a litigation funder and its counsel in connection with their due diligence are categorically not attorney work product. Acceleration Bay v. Activision Blizzard seems to be a case of bad facts making bad law, says David Gallagher, investment manager and legal counsel for Bentham IMF.

  • How Corporate Policyholders Can Prepare For Earthquakes

    Micah Skidmore

    With some predicting that 2018 will see a significant increase in the number and severity of earthquakes worldwide, corporate insureds may do well to accelerate their review and expansion of policy terms to address this important risk, says Micah Skidmore of Haynes and Boone LLP.