Environmental

  • January 31, 2018

    Trump Infrastructure Push Has Both Biz, Enviros Worried

    President Donald Trump gave passing mention in his State of the Union speech Tuesday to a potential legislative package designed to spur infrastructure development. Though the plan has yet to take shape, it’s already stoking concerns in the energy sector about how much federal funding will be available and has green groups up in arms over fears that environmental and judicial review of projects may be diminished or eliminated.

  • January 31, 2018

    DC Circ. Won't Review Ruling Nixing FERC Pipeline Approval

    The D.C. Circuit declined Wednesday to review a panel decision finding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission didn't adequately analyze the impact of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from a $3.5 billion natural gas pipeline the agency approved in the South.

  • January 31, 2018

    AGs Critical Of Proposed Offshore Drilling Safety Changes

    A coalition of attorneys general from Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Maine, Maryland and North Carolina objected this week to a proposal by the federal agency that oversees offshore drilling to tweak Obama-era safety regulations enacted in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.

  • January 31, 2018

    EPA, Army Corps Roll Out Delay Of Clean Water Rule

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday finalized a two-year postponement of the effective date of an Obama-era rule defining the federal government's authority under the Clean Water Act, a move that environmentalists vowed to challenge in court.

  • January 31, 2018

    9th Circ. Upholds Loss Test In First Solar Investor Suit

    The Ninth Circuit said in a published opinion Wednesday that a lower court picked the right test for determining economic loss causation in a shareholder class action claiming that First Solar Inc. fraudulently inflated stock prices by concealing defects in its solar panels.

  • January 31, 2018

    Dakota Access Fires Back At Landowners In Pipeline Suit

    Dakota Access LLC has urged the Eighth Circuit not to revive a suit by a group of landowners who claimed the company made various misrepresentations to them while negotiating easements for its controversial pipeline, saying the lower court properly tossed the case.

  • January 31, 2018

    ETP Takes FERC Fight Over $4.2B Pipeline Work To DC Circ.

    Energy Transfer Partners LP has asked the D.C. Circuit to overturn the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s refusal to give the company blanket approval for construction activities associated with its $4.2 billion Rover pipeline because the agency doesn’t trust ETP to honor that approval after hiding a historic building’s demolition.

  • January 31, 2018

    Calif. Regulator Seeks Atty Sanctions In 'Moot' Wildfire Suit

    The California Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday asked for sanctions in a suit targeting a $379 million wildfire cost reimbursement plan, saying the attorneys had continued to pursue the "obviously moot" case after the commission denied a bid to pass costs onto ratepayers.

  • January 31, 2018

    NE Pipeline Foes Tell DC Circ. FERC Ignored Enviro Risks

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unlawfully skimped on its environmental and safety review of the Atlantic Bridge natural gas pipeline project, and its approval of the Enbridge Inc. unit's project in New York and New England should be wiped out, opponents told the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday.

  • January 30, 2018

    NJ Withdraws From Suit Opposing Clean Power Plan

    New Jersey on Tuesday pulled out of a multistate lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seeking to undo Obama-era regulations that would limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, with Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy calling the suit “completely contradictory” to the state’s values.

  • January 30, 2018

    EPA Coal-Plant Effluent Rule Deadline Delay Draws Suit

    The Center for Biological Diversity on Tuesday sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for delaying implementation of the first federal limits on the levels of toxic metals in wastewater that can be discharged from coal-fired power plants, including mercury, lead and selenium.

  • January 30, 2018

    Enviros Ask To Kill Wood Product Co.’s Defamation Suit

    Greenpeace and other environmentalists asked a California federal court on Monday to toss an amended complaint by Resolute Forest Products Inc. alleging defamation and racketeering stemming from the activists’ anti-logging campaign, saying that the renewed effort “is old wine in a new bottle” and must go.

  • January 30, 2018

    Sierra Club Ends Fight Over DOE's Approval Of LNG Exports

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday granted the Sierra Club’s request to end its challenge to the U.S. Department of Energy’s approval of liquefied natural gas export levels for Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass LNG project, seeming to close the book on legal fights over the DOE’s export decisions.

  • January 30, 2018

    Calif. Waiver On Table, Pruitt Says At Senate Hearing

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Tuesday told senators the agency is in talks with California about establishing a national fuel economy standard, eliciting concerns that the agency may withdraw the state’s ability to regulate auto emissions on its own if no deal can be reached.

  • January 30, 2018

    India Looks To Head Off US Retaliation In WTO Solar Fight

    The Indian government has asked to convene a World Trade Organization panel that will decide whether it has removed its discriminatory solar energy rules in an effort to block the U.S. from imposing hefty tariff retaliation in a long-running trade dispute, the WTO announced Tuesday.

  • January 30, 2018

    Crowell & Moring Nabs Enviro Atty From Snell & Wilmer

    Crowell & Moring LLP has bolstered its environmental practice in California by bringing over a lawyer from Snell & Wilmer LLP with more than three decades of experience handling litigation and giving advice on environmental matters.

  • January 30, 2018

    Enviros Seek Halt Of La. Pipeline Work Amid Challenge

    Environmental groups say their argument that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wrongly permitted a crude oil pipeline connected to the controversial Dakota Access pipeline is strong enough to warrant blocking the project’s construction while their legal challenge plays out, but a Louisiana federal judge thought otherwise Tuesday.

  • January 29, 2018

    PE Firm Can't Get Quick Win In Honeywell Chem Cleanup Row

    Indianapolis-based private equity firm Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Co. Inc. on Monday was denied a quick win against Honeywell International Inc., despite HKW's insistence it wasn't liable for the millions the appliance conglomerate must pay to clean up a chemical spill on the former owner's property.

  • January 29, 2018

    Ore. Law Firm Must Face Logging Co.'s Malpractice Suit

    An Oregon federal court ruled that a log handling company could continue with its suit against the attorneys who represented prospective partners in a proposed joint venture, but blocked any claims based on the attorneys’ actions after the log handling service gained its own representation.

  • January 29, 2018

    Political Consultant To NJ Agency Pleads Guilty To Fraud

    A political consultant admitted in New Jersey federal court Monday to pocketing taxpayer dollars while providing little to no service to a Newark water agency, becoming the latest convict in a scheme that involved hundreds of thousands of dollars, multiple vendors and kickbacks to agency officials, authorities said.

Expert Analysis

  • A Look Back At 2017's Enviro And Energy Law Developments

    Stacey Mitchell

    2017 has been a year of dramatic shift in United States energy and environmental policy. As the year draws to a close, it’s an apt time to review the key steps taken to achieve President Donald Trump’s campaign goals, assess the impacts of the administration’s actions, and postulate on what may be coming next, say Stacey Mitchell and Kenneth Markowitz of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

  • EPA Maintains Renewable Fuel Standard Status Quo, For Now

    Joel Beauvais

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Renewable Fuel Standard program has been the subject of considerable controversy this year, with important developments across all three branches of government. Joel Beauvais and Steven Croley of Latham & Watkins LLP analyze key elements of two recent EPA actions in this area, and highlight one of the looming questions for the program.

  • How DOE's 'Grid Resiliency' Policy May Impact Gas Markets

    Chip Moldenhauer

    At the behest of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is soon expected to release an interim rule that subsidizes power plants that hold 90 days of fuel supply on site — i.e., coal-fired and nuclear plants — and effectively penalizes gas-fired plants. But FERC has an opportunity to mitigate the threat to gas-fired generators, says Chip Moldenhaeur of LawIQ.

  • Basic Human Rights: Whose Job Is Enforcement?

    Dan Weissman

    The cases of Jesner v. Arab Bank and Doe v. Cisco Systems pose different legal tests under the Alien Tort Statute. But these decisions could hold major consequences for environmentalists, human rights activists and even individuals who have turned to ATS to go after transnational corporations, says Dan Weissman of LexisNexis.

  • Opinion

    We Need A Green Amendment

    Maya van Rossum

    Instead of pleading with lawmakers to do the right thing, constitutional amendments would elevate environmental rights to the status of our most cherished liberties, says Maya van Rossum, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and director of the Environmental Law Clinic at Temple’s Beasley School of Law.

  • FERC Passive Interest Order May Streamline Approvals

    Seth Lucia

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently clarified that it will not treat certain passive tax equity interests in public utilities as voting securities that require transaction approval pursuant to the Federal Power Act. But firms may continue to file for approval out of an abundance of caution, say attorneys with Bracewell LLP.

  • The Billing Evolution: How Far Along Is Your Firm?

    Sharon Quaintance

    In a recent study, 20 out of 25 law firms surveyed have made billing process improvement a top priority for 2018. Firms can foster consistency and increase efficiency at all stages of their billing cycle by focusing on a few specific procedures, say Sharon Quaintance and Christine Indiano at HBR Consulting.

  • 10 Tips For Effective Practice Before The 5th Circ.

    Justin Woodard

    The Fifth Circuit is among the busiest federal circuit courts in the country. What can you do to increase your chances of reaching oral argument? And if given the opportunity, how can you present a persuasive argument? Former Fifth Circuit clerk Justin Woodard, an associate at Jones Walker LLP, shares some advice.

  • Clarifying CERCLA Allocation For Gov't Contractors

    Thomas Dimond

    Following the Ninth Circuit's recent decision in TDY Holdings v. U.S., government contractors and others whose property and equipment was used to support wartime production should be aware of several factors that could determine whether you obtain significant Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act contribution from the federal government, say Thomas Dimond and Kelsey Weyhing of Ice Miller LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Saris Reviews 'Locking Up Our Own'

    Judge Patti Saris

    Having just completed a six-year term as chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, I read Yale Law School professor James Forman's new book, "Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America," with particular interest, says Judge Patti Saris, chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.