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Environmental

  • October 25, 2018

    Donziger Is Thumbing His Nose At Injunction, Chevron Says

    Chevron Corp. has asked a New York federal judge for strong sanctions against attorney Steven Donziger, saying he has been selling interests in a fraudulent $9.5 billion judgment in Ecuador over pollution in the Amazon for his own gain despite court judgments prohibiting him from profiting from the judgment.

  • October 25, 2018

    Youths Lack Standing In Climate Suit, Feds Tell Justices

    The federal government has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to halt trial proceedings in a suit brought by a group of young people accusing the government of setting policies that worsen climate change, saying the plaintiffs lack standing and the matter is political in nature.

  • October 25, 2018

    NY AG Seeks Judge's Recusal In Exxon Climate Fraud Suit

    New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood on Wednesday asked a state judge to recuse himself from overseeing her lawsuit accusing ExxonMobil of concealing climate change-related business risks from investors, arguing that he owns stock in the oil giant and can’t be impartial.

  • October 24, 2018

    Chevron Agrees To $160M Upgrade, $3M Fine In Gov't Deal

    Chevron USA Inc. reached a settlement under which it will pay $150 million for upgrades to its refineries, $10 million on improvements to nearby communities and nearly $3 million in fines to end California federal court claims that it violated the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday.

  • October 24, 2018

    Wash. Official Ducks Coal Permit Suit On Immunity Grounds

    Washington’s commissioner of public lands on Tuesday escaped a federal lawsuit over the decision to deny permits Lighthouse Resources Inc. needed for a planned coal export facility, after a Washington federal judge found the court lacked jurisdiction because of the state’s sovereign right to control its own lands.

  • October 24, 2018

    Acting EPA Boss Touts Deregulatory Push At Gas Conference

    Speaking to a room full of oil and gas industry boosters in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency’s acting administrator said that President Donald Trump’s push to roll back regulations would help companies shift financial resources into developing new technologies to independently curb carbon dioxide and other emissions.

  • October 24, 2018

    Offshore Oil And Gas Drilling In Alaska Gets OK From DOI

    U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said Wednesday that oil and gas drilling in the federal waters off Alaska can move forward following conditional approval by the department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to Hilcorp Alaska LLC for its Liberty Project development and production plan.

  • October 24, 2018

    Chatterjee Replaces Ailing McIntyre As FERC Chairman

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Kevin McIntyre said late Wednesday that he was relinquishing his chairmanship due to health problems and will simply serve as a commissioner, and President Donald Trump tapped Commissioner Neil Chatterjee to take McIntyre's place leading the agency.

  • October 24, 2018

    Enviros Ask High Court Not To Take Up CWA Authority Fight

    A coalition of environmental groups has asked the Supreme Court not to accept a petition from Hawaii’s Maui County to review a Ninth Circuit decision that said wastewater injection wells that discharged pollution into groundwater that then reached U.S. waters were subject to Clean Water Act permitting rules.

  • October 24, 2018

    NY AG Sues Exxon Over Hiding Climate Risks From Investors

    New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood on Wednesday launched a lawsuit accusing ExxonMobil of defrauding investors by concealing climate change-related risks to its business, the culmination of a three-year, publicly contentious investigation of the oil giant by the Empire State.

  • October 24, 2018

    NJ Water Agency Hits Back At Trenk DiPasquale Judgment Bid

    A defunct Newark water agency has urged a New Jersey bankruptcy judge to deny a bid from Trenk DiPasquale Della Fera & Sodono PC for summary judgment in a suit accusing the firm of enabling corruption in the organization, saying the law firm has no standing to challenge the agency's ability to sue.

  • October 24, 2018

    Enviros Say FERC Pa. Pipeline Approval Fight Is Valid

    An environmental group insisted Tuesday that it didn't waive its right to challenge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of a Kinder Morgan unit's $144 million Pennsylvania pipeline project, telling the D.C. Circuit that the agency clearly performed an environmental review previously deemed unlawful by the appeals court.

  • October 23, 2018

    Bosch Must Face RICO Suit Over Chevy Cruze Emissions

    Bosch must face an amended proposed class action alleging it schemed with General Motors to install emissions-cheating devices on Chevrolet Cruze diesel vehicles, a Michigan federal judge ruled Tuesday, saying consumers sufficiently backed their Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act claims.

  • October 23, 2018

    Grain Co. Gets Initial OK For $50M Deal In Air Quality Suit

    An Iowa state judge has granted preliminary approval to an approximately $50 million settlement agreement between Grain Processing Corp. and residents living near its facility in Muscatine who alleged the company's air emissions caused them harm. 

  • October 23, 2018

    Ex-Balch & Bingham Atty Gets 5 Years In Ala. Bribery Case

    A former Balch & Bingham LLP environmental partner and a former coal company executive were sentenced Tuesday to five and two-and-a-half years imprisonment, respectively, for bribing an Alabama legislator for his help in dodging cleanup liability with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, prosecutors said Tuesday.

  • October 23, 2018

    Enviros Ask 6th Circ. To Rethink Decision On CWA's Reach

    Environmental groups on Monday requested that the entire Sixth Circuit review a panel’s decision that set up a circuit split and favored the Tennessee Valley Authority by concluding the Clean Water Act does not regulate pollutants that travel from a source to navigable waters through groundwater.

  • October 23, 2018

    Green Groups Ask High Court To Sink CWA Groundwater Suit

    Environmental groups on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Fourth Circuit’s ruling that the Clean Water Act prohibits pollution to groundwater that’s connected to other waterways, arguing the decision is consistent with both the law and high court precedent.

  • October 23, 2018

    Monsanto Bid To Uproot Farmers' Class Claims Rejected

    Monsanto must face several proposed class actions by farmers who accuse the agriculture giant of producing an herbicide that drifted across farmlands, damaging crops and ultimately forcing growers to buy seeds that resist the weedkiller, a Missouri federal judge ruled Tuesday.

  • October 23, 2018

    Enviro Group Blasts Trump's Pick For FWS Director

    An environmental group focused on endangered species issues on Tuesday slammed President Donald Trump's intended pick to lead the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, saying she favored policies adverse to wildlife preservation.

  • October 23, 2018

    Pa. Justices Told Town Had Good Reason To Block Gas Well

    A Pennsylvania municipality told the state’s Supreme Court during arguments in Pittsburgh on Tuesday that testimony about bad experiences with hydraulically fractured gas wells in a neighboring community sufficiently backed its decision to deny EQT Production Co. permission to drill.

Expert Analysis

  • 10 Ways To Prevent E-Discovery Woes

    Debbie Reynolds

    E-discovery is not easy, but employing these 10 strategies may help minimize future headaches, say Debbie Reynolds and Daryl Gardner of EimerStahl Discovery Solutions LLC.

  • Affordable Clean Energy Rule: A New Path To GHG Reduction

    Jane Montgomery

    The Affordable Clean Energy rule, proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week, is already controversial. Critics focus on limited greenhouse gas reductions from efficiency projects, but the rule works in concert with market forces and existing law, says Jane Montgomery of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • 4 Key Components To New Firm Partnership Agreements

    Russell Shinsky

    A well-drafted partnership agreement protects a law firm's founders, establishes a process for new and outgoing partners, and sets forth guidelines for navigating conflict along the way. Startup firms can begin with something less complex, but there are important elements that every agreement should include, says Russell Shinsky of Anchin Block & Anchin LLP.

  • Why Lead Paint Litigation May Go To The Supreme Court

    Catherine Connors

    The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to review ConAgra Grocery Products Co. and NL Industries v. People of California, a case that concerns whether companies that manufactured lead paint long ago can still be held liable for creating a public nuisance — and there's a decent chance cert will be granted, says Catherine Connors of Pierce Atwood LLP.

  • Opinion

    Open The Federal Courthouses

    David Oscar Markus

    Forget about cameras, reporters in the Manafort trial were not even permitted in the courtroom with their phones, tablets or computers. That meant no live reporting on Twitter and no emails to the newsrooms with updates. In a world focused on information and news as it happens, this is unacceptable, says trial attorney David Oscar Markus.

  • Calif. Gas Storage Rules Impose New Burdens On Operators

    William Rice

    In June, the California Conservation Commission adopted strict new regulations addressing the safety of underground natural gas storage facilities. Compliance with the rules’ highly detailed data requirements may be a daunting process for natural gas operators in the state, say William Rice and James Bowe Jr. of King & Spalding LLP.

  • Brexit: Bracing For A No-Deal Scenario

    Ross Denton

    Once considered the “cliff edge,” the possibility of the United Kingdom exiting from the European Union without agreeing on a trade deal has moved from unthinkable to increasingly likely. Both sides are ramping up preparations for a no-deal scenario, which would have significant implications for businesses in all sectors, say attorneys with Baker McKenzie LLP.

  • IRS Takes Uncharitable View Of Property Donation Deductions

    Ronald Levitt

    In the evolution of the ongoing IRS attack on conservation easements, the cases discussed in this article demonstrate that the IRS will attack charitable gifts of property with contentions of quid pro quo consideration, receipt of enhancement value and the substantial benefit analysis in U.S. v. American Bar Endowment — and the Tax Court appears receptive to such arguments, say Ronald Levitt and Tucker Thoni at Sirote & Permutt PC.

  • Exxon Investors' Climate Suit Turns Up The Heat On Oil Cos.

    Mike Biles

    A Texas federal judge's decision last week in Ramirez v. Exxon Mobil — the first climate change-related securities class action against a major oil and gas company — is strikingly pro-shareholder and departs from opinions of numerous federal courts, say Mike Biles and Jessica England of King & Spalding LLP.

  • 'High Availability' — A Key Term In Law Firm IT Strategy

    Jeff Norris

    While most law firm executives and partners may instinctively want to tune out terms like "high availability" and "disaster recovery" — concepts that IT managers usually worry about — there are five reasons you should lean in and wrestle with the vocabulary, say Jeff Norris of Managed Technology Services LLC and Greg Inge of information security consulting firm CQR.