Environmental

  • March 13, 2017

    San Onofre Owners Net $125M In Nuke Plant Shutdown Row

    Southern California Edison Co. and others were awarded $125 million on Monday by an International Chamber of Commerce arbitration panel against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for supplying allegedly defective steam generators for the now-closed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. 

  • March 13, 2017

    Washington Says Monsanto PCB Suit Belongs In State Court

    Washington state on Friday asked a federal judge to remand its lawsuit against Monsanto over the alleged contamination of waterways with polychlorinated biphenyls.

  • March 13, 2017

    Dakota Access Says Tribe Is Too Late To Halt 'Black Snake'

    Dakota Access LLC urged a D.C. district judge Monday to reject the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s bid to halt construction on the company’s pipeline, claiming the tribe waited far too long to raise its claims that the oil pipeline threatens the religious purity of a North Dakota lake.

  • March 13, 2017

    Groups Tell Court EPA Failed To Fulfill Civil Rights Obligations

    The Sierra Club and other citizen groups led by Earthjustice and Yale Law School’s Environmental Justice Clinic asked a California federal court on Monday for a quick win in a civil rights lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming that the EPA has for decades “shamelessly” ignored racial discrimination complaints from communities located near projects that they say harmed the environment.

  • March 13, 2017

    Valero Gets Corpus Christi Water Litigation Moved To MDL

    The Texas Multidistrict Litigation Panel on Friday ordered cases against Valero Energy Corp. alleging potential contamination of drinking water in Corpus Christi, Texas, be consolidated for pretrial proceedings.

  • March 13, 2017

    DC Circ. Pauses EPA 2017 Biofuel Standards Challenge

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday put on hold the American Petroleum Institute’s challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2017 renewable fuel volume requirements, saying the panel will first rule on another challenge to the agency’s 2016 biofuel standards.

  • March 13, 2017

    Clean Energy Financier Hit By 'Deceptive Loan' Class Action

    Ygrene Energy Fund Inc., which provides homeowners with financing for clean energy projects, pushed risky loans with undisclosed fees and deceived consumers about government support for the transactions, a proposed class action has alleged in California federal court.

  • March 13, 2017

    McCain Asks EPA OIG For Info On Gold King Criminal Probe

    Sen. John McCain on Monday asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of the Inspector General to turn over information related to whether the EPA and Justice Department should pursue criminal charges against EPA employees involved in the Gold King Mine spill disaster.

  • March 13, 2017

    Investors Press Case In $97M Costa Rican Real Estate Row

    U.S. investors who claim that Costa Rica owes them $97 million for shutting down their beachfront villa project have questioned why the Central American nation failed to produce any witnesses from the country's environmental authority, telling a World Bank tribunal that this "gaping hole" in the record speaks volumes.

  • March 13, 2017

    Trump Orders Review Of Fed. Programs In Bid To Shrink Gov't

    President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday requiring a program-by-program examination of every federal agency, taking another step in his push to reorganize and downsize the federal government.

  • March 13, 2017

    Pa. Justices Urged To Preserve Fracking Rule Injunction

    An energy industry group urged Pennsylvania’s highest court on Friday to uphold a preliminary injunction it won barring state environmental regulators from beginning to enforce controversial new regulations governing surface activities near gas drilling sites.

  • March 13, 2017

    Enviros Seek Quick Win In Suit Over FWS' Bison Range Plans

    The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and nine retired National Wildlife Refuge System employees moved for a quick win Friday in their suit over the management of the National Bison Range, control over which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering transferring to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

  • March 13, 2017

    Monsanto Can’t Keep Glyphosate Off Calif. Cancer List: Court

    A California state judge on Friday tossed Monsanto Co.’s lawsuit alleging a state agency has no authority to list the herbicide glyphosate, a key ingredient in the company’s Roundup product, on a list of cancer-causing chemicals.

  • March 13, 2017

    9th Circ. Should Say If Kids’ Climate Suit Is OK: Industry

    Industry groups on Friday asked an Oregon federal judge to certify her order and allow the Ninth Circuit to determine whether a lawsuit accusing the federal government of failing to protect future generations from the threat of climate change is barred by the political question doctrine, which forbids claims that are a matter of politics and not law.

  • March 13, 2017

    Wildfires Prompt Govs. To Seek Grazing Restrictions Pause

    The Republican governors of Texas, Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma on Friday asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for an emergency pause to the Conservation Reserve Program's grazing restrictions in their states, saying the ongoing wildfires that burned more than 1.5 million acres in the past week have led to grazing shortages.

  • March 13, 2017

    Feds Get Tribes' Claims Trimmed In Calif. Highway Project Suit

    A federal judge trimmed two Native American tribes’ claims against the federal government on Friday in a suit they brought to challenge a highway project in Northern California out of concern for cultural sites and sensitive wetlands.

  • March 13, 2017

    Kinder Morgan Unit Says Nashville Playing Games With Permit

    The government of Nashville, Tennessee, can't now claim that a Kinder Morgan unit hasn't adequately analyzed emissions controls in order to receive air permits for a portion of a $400 million natural gas pipeline upgrade project after never telling the company its application filed over two years ago was incomplete, the D.C. Circuit heard.

  • March 13, 2017

    FEMA Housing Contractors Get Katrina FCA Suit Tossed

    A Fifth Circuit panel on Friday refused to revive two would-be whistleblowers' False Claims Act lawsuit accusing Federal Emergency Management Agency contractors of bilking the government on temporary housing contracts after Hurricane Katrina, finding nothing “null” about underlying subcontracts or bills submitted for them in an unpublished opinion.

  • March 13, 2017

    Okla. House Approves Ending Wind Tax Credit In July

    Oklahoma’s House passed a controversial bill that eliminates tax credits for electricity generated by zero-emission facilities, such as wind turbines, four years earlier than expected.

  • March 10, 2017

    Railroads Ask 9th Circ. To Keep Block On Calif. Hazmat Fee

    BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad Co. pressed the Ninth Circuit on Thursday to uphold a federal court’s ruling that blocked California’s tax board and regulators from implementing a new law that slaps a fee on rail cars transporting hazardous materials such as crude oil and chemicals.

Expert Analysis

  • Wind Power In Texas: Not Just Hot Air

    Cody Vasut

    Last fall, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that in 2015, Texas lagged far behind states in the Midwest, Plains, Northwest and Northeast regions in utilizing wind energy as a percentage of total net electricity generation. But Texas is still the highest wind electricity-producing state in the nation, making up 24 percent of the national total in 2015, and is on track to grow even further, says Cody Vasut of BakerHostetler.

  • A Look At New EPA Composite Wood Formaldehyde Limits

    Winston Stomberg

    Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published the final Formaldehyde Standards For Composite Wood Products Rule. The Trump administration has postponed the effective date of the rule, creating the potential that it will be amended or further delayed. But many in the industry are looking forward to a consistent national standard, say attorneys from Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Opinion

    Love And Law In The Age Of Trump

    Kevin Curnin

    Love is not a subject that lawyers typically devote themselves to professionally. But as we witness this historic transition to a new administration, lawyers in particular are reminded that love is tied, however imperfectly, to our cherished founding ideals, says Kevin Curnin, president of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Calif. Forges Ahead With Sweeping Climate Change Regs

    William M. Sloan

    California's new "2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan Update" proposes a 10-year extension of the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program, in addition to new greenhouse gas emission regulations aimed at the refinery sector. But confronted with a pending lawsuit and linkage obstacles with other carbon trading systems, the Golden State’s cap-and-trade program is not without its own challenges, say attorneys at Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • The State Of The Litigation Finance Industry In 2017

    Christopher P. Bogart

    In the United States, the number of lawyers whose firms have used litigation finance has quadrupled since 2013. Even so, too many remain poorly informed, leaving them at a competitive disadvantage and prone to oddly persistent “alternative facts” about litigation finance, says Christopher Bogart, CEO of Burford Capital.

  • Regulating Unprotected Texas Groundwater: The Final Frontier

    Vanessa Puig-Williams

    During a time of unparalleled pressure on groundwater resources across Texas, the lack of groundwater protection in some areas of the state is undermining important areas of law and policy. However, while a lack of groundwater regulation causes a number of inequities and management dilemmas, existing state regulations have their own share of controversies as well, says water and conservation law attorney Vanessa Puig-Williams.

  • Understanding Trump Pipeline Memo On US-Sourced Materials

    James Bowe, Jr.

    Among the executive orders and presidential memoranda focused on pipeline projects that President Donald Trump signed on Monday was one that called for any future pipeline work to use "materials and equipment produced in the United States." The memorandum provides some interpretive guidance, but leaves other important terms unclear, say attorneys from King & Spalding LLP.

  • 6 Ways To Get More From A Limited Budget For Trial Graphics

    Marti-Martin-Robinson.jpg

    With so many possibilities and variables, it can be difficult to adhere to a strict graphics budget when preparing effective visuals for trial. There are several things you can do to limit the cost of your visuals without sacrificing quality, says Marti Martin Robinson of Litigation Insights Inc.

  • Late Innings: Top Enviro Decisions From Final Days Of 2016

    Anthony B. Cavender

    December 2016 saw several major environmental decisions made by federal and state courts. Anthony Cavender of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP offers insight into these important cases and the impact they could have in 2017 and beyond.

  • Federal Whistleblower Protections May Face Greatest Test Yet

    Debra S. Katz

    In its first days, the Trump administration has ordered media and social media blackouts at several federal agencies. This moment provides an important opportunity for federal employees, along with members of the legal profession, media and general public, to become better acquainted with federal employee whistleblower protections, say Debra Katz and Aaron Blacksberg at Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.