Environmental

  • July 17, 2017

    Ill. Nuke Subsidy Ruling Boosts States' Clean Energy Push

    A federal judge's Friday dismissal of challenges to Illinois' plan to subsidize struggling nuclear power plants is another endorsement of the broad authority of states to craft clean energy policies and will further inspire states to ramp up their renewable power requirements in the face of a fossil fuel-friendly Trump administration, experts say.

  • July 17, 2017

    Judge Gives Final OK To NM Water Rights Deal

    A New Mexico federal judge issued a final judgment Friday on a water rights deal between the state, four pueblos and the city and county of Santa Fe, closing out a suit that had run for more than five decades.

  • July 17, 2017

    USTR Releases Wishlist For New NAFTA Talks

    The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Monday released its lengthy list of priorities for the looming reboot of the North American Free Trade Agreement, offering the first glimpse of its plans for the agreement’s rules of origin, services, arbitration, the environment and numerous other areas.

  • July 17, 2017

    VW Emissions Suits Not Preempted, NJ Appeals Court Says

    Volkswagen lost its bid to toss two consumer fraud lawsuits against the automaker over its emissions cheating scandal on Monday when a New Jersey appeals court rejected the company's argument that the federal Clean Air Act preempts such state court actions.

  • July 17, 2017

    Tree Ordinances Can Lead To Takings Claims, Texas AG Says

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday issued an advisory opinion concluding that in some circumstances, municipal tree preservation ordinances can be considered unconstitutional takings requiring compensation under the Texas Constitution.

  • July 17, 2017

    Wind Tower Group Asks Fed. Circ. To Revive Deflated Tariffs

    U.S. wind tower producers have urged the Federal Circuit to revive their bid to impose tariffs on a Vietnamese competitor, arguing Friday that the U.S. Department of Commerce was not given sufficient opportunity to adjust its calculations and that it bungled the handling of some data.

  • July 17, 2017

    Union, Enviros Blast Proposed EPA Cuts In House Bill

    Environmental groups and union officials on Monday slammed a U.S. House of Representatives funding bill for the Environmental Protection Agency, saying a 7 percent cut for the agency, while a smaller reduction than was proposed by President Donald Trump, will still make it difficult to fulfill its mission.

  • July 17, 2017

    Groups Can't Defend Ban On Frack Waste Wells: 3rd Circ.

    The Third Circuit ruled Monday that two environmental groups and the water provider for a northwestern Pennsylvania municipality could not step in to defend an ordinance — ultimately repealed — that prevented Seneca Resources Corp. from storing fracking waste in an underground well.

  • July 17, 2017

    Ex-Mich. DEQ Director Can't Escape Flint Residents' Claims

    The former director of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality can’t escape a lawsuit lodging constitutional claims against him for his alleged role in Flint’s water contamination crisis because he hasn’t presented fresh arguments as to why he should receive immunity, a Michigan federal judge said Friday.

  • July 17, 2017

    NJ Solar Co.'s Arbitration Clause Unclear, Court Says

    A New Jersey state court judge on Friday refused to dismiss a putative class action accusing a solar energy company of fraudulent marketing, ruling that the company’s arbitration clause didn’t clearly explain that customers would be forfeiting their right to sue.

  • July 17, 2017

    DOI Can't Dodge Challenge To Calif. Offshore Fracking OK

    A California federal judge on Friday refused to toss consolidated challenges to an environmental assessment by two U.S. Department of the Interior divisions that would allow acid well stimulation and fracking off Southern California’s coastline, determining that the findings constituted final agency actions that could be reviewed.

  • July 17, 2017

    SolarCity Call Recipients Seek Court OK Of $15M TCPA Deal

    A putative class alleging that members received unwanted sales calls from SolarCity Corp. in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act asked a California federal court on Friday to grant preliminary approval of a $15 million settlement agreement to end the suit.

  • July 14, 2017

    Law360 Names Top Attorneys Under 40

    We're pleased to announce Law360's Rising Stars for 2017, our list of 156 attorneys under 40 whose legal accomplishments transcend their age.

  • July 14, 2017

    'Phantom Frog' Fight Tries To Hop To High Court

    Weyerhaeuser Co. and other landowners have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Fifth Circuit’s July 2016 ruling upholding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to declare 1,500 acres of private property in Louisiana a refuge for the "phantom" endangered dusky gopher frog.

  • July 14, 2017

    DC Circ. Gives EPA 2-Week Delay On Methane Mandate

    A D.C. Circuit panel on Thursday agreed to delay for two weeks the issuance of a mandate requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to lift a stay on portions of methane regulations for new oil and gas infrastructure, saying it wants to give the agency time to decide on how to respond.

  • July 14, 2017

    ETP Demolished Historic House Near Pipeline, FERC Says

    Energy Transfer Partners LP told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission it wouldn’t harm a historic building while constructing its $4.2 billion Rover pipeline project, then bought it and demolished it without informing the commission, FERC said Thursday.

  • July 14, 2017

    Asarco Attorney To Be Witness, Not Counsel, For Co.

    A Nossaman LLP attorney with a dual role as witness and lawyer for a copper mining enterprise in an environmental damages liability case withdrew as the company's counsel a day after defendant Union Pacific Railroad Co. moved to disqualify her, according to a filing in Idaho federal court Thursday.

  • July 14, 2017

    Hudson Tunnel Draft EIS Could Spur More Expedited Reviews

    The federal government’s swift completion of the draft environmental review for the highly anticipated $13 billion Hudson Tunnel Project for New York and New Jersey is a welcome sign that officials are delivering on promises to more quickly vet crucial infrastructure projects and shave years off construction timelines.

  • July 14, 2017

    Trump To Nominate Jones Day Energy Attorney To FERC

    President Donald Trump on Thursday announced his intent to nominate the co-leader of Jones Day’s global energy practice to two terms as a commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

  • July 13, 2017

    Judge Greenlights Some BP Investor Holder Claims In MDL

    A Texas federal judge has allowed a small number of institutional investors to move forward in their efforts to recover an expanded scope of damages under English common law in multidistrict litigation against BP Plc related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to an order unsealed Thursday.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Determining OCS Jurisdiction For Lessees And Operators

    Grady Hurley

    Pending an appellate resolution of Island Operating v. Jewell, and due to the complicated nature of jurisdiction and regulation of the Outer Continental Shelf, all contractors should preserve their rights by appealing any incident of noncompliance issues within the delays mandated and seeking to stay the enforcement of pending appeals, says Grady Hurley of Jones Walker LLP.

  • Rebuttal

    After The BNSF Decision, There’s No Place Like 'At Home'

    Richard Dean

    In its recent BNSF Railway decision, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that a company cannot be sued in a state where it is not “at home.” Contrary to the claims of the plaintiffs bar, this finding does not deprive plaintiffs of the chance for a remedy: it restores balance between the parties, say Richard Dean and Michael Ruttinger of Tucker Ellis LLP.