Environmental

  • May 10, 2017

    Senate Fails To Advance Methane Rule Repeal

    Congress on Wednesday failed to advance a measure that would undo a rule from President Barack Obama’s term meant to curb methane emissions on federal lands, a surprise defeat for a Republican-controlled Congress that has passed measures to undo more than a dozen Obama-era regulations.

  • May 9, 2017

    La. Parish Reaches $45M Deal With BP Over Deepwater Spill

    A Louisiana parish has reached a $45 million settlement with BP regarding the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to an announcement Tuesday by the parish president, who will hold a Wednesday morning press conference to discuss further details.

  • May 9, 2017

    Crowell Tells Businesses To Take Lead On Regulatory Agenda

    Businesses must engage with the White House and Congress now if they want to influence the new regulatory agenda in Washington, D.C., instead of waiting for the government to propose and articulate new policy goals, according to a Tuesday publication from Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • May 9, 2017

    San Diego Fireworks Permit Doesn't Violate CWA, Court Says

    A California appeals court on Monday rejected an environmental group's challenge to a general fireworks permit issued by a San Diego-area water quality board, deciding the board used proper judgment in its attempt to comply with the Clean Water Act.

  • May 9, 2017

    EPA Gives Early OK To ND Regulatory Plan For CO2 Wells

    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Tuesday announced early approval of a first-of-its-kind plan from North Dakota to regulate its own underground wells for long-term storage of carbon dioxide.

  • May 9, 2017

    As Deal Nears, AIG Drops $3M Aerospace Co. Cleanup Suit

    A Kansas federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a $2.8 million suit AIG Specialty Insurance Co. brought against an aerospace parts finisher for contaminating a site owned by a manufacturer AIG insures, at the request of the parties that said they’re close to reaching a settlement with the state’s Department of Health and Environment.

  • May 9, 2017

    Lawmakers Seek Insider Trading, Manipulation Probe Of Icahn

    A group of Democratic senators called on federal regulators Tuesday to investigate whether activist investor Carl Icahn, special adviser to President Donald Trump and majority owner of an oil refinery operator, has flouted insider trading or anti-market manipulation laws through his activities in the market for renewable fuel credits.

  • May 9, 2017

    Calif. Asks 9th Circ. To Press On With CAA Waiver Case

    The California Air Resources Board asked the Ninth Circuit on Monday not to pause an industry suit challenging state emissions standards for certain off-road engines while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reviews an Obama-era Clean Air Act waiver it granted to the state.

  • May 9, 2017

    State Clean Power Policies Seen As Tough To Upend

    News that the Trump administration may try to override state clean energy policies has stoked concerns that it will boost fossil fuel-fired electricity generators at the expense of renewables, but experts say states are on solid legal ground, and any successful effort to overrule their policies would likely have to come from Congress.

  • May 9, 2017

    DC Circ. Says Fed. Agency Can Keep Well Locations Secret

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday upheld the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s decision not to disclose information relating to water-well construction, completion, depth and location that had been requested by a California environmental group.

  • May 9, 2017

    EPA Can't Escape Pesticide Honey Bee Suit

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can’t escape a suit brought by beekeepers, honey farmers and environmentalists alleging it failed to adequately regulate pesticides that are annihilating endangered honeybees, a California federal judge said on Monday.

  • May 9, 2017

    DTE Asks 6th Circ. To Pause EPA Suit For High Court Appeal

    Electric utility DTE Energy asked the Sixth Circuit on Monday to stay its decision reviving a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lawsuit alleging the company illegally modified Michigan’s largest coal-fired power plant until the Supreme Court determines whether it will hear the case.

  • May 9, 2017

    EPA Asks 4th Circ. To Delay W.Va. River Toxin Standards

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday asked the Fourth Circuit to pause a district judge's order directing the agency to set toxicity limits for West Virginia's rivers and streams while it appeals the ruling, saying the decision contravenes the Clean Water Act by “altering the balance” between the states and federal government.

  • May 9, 2017

    Mining Operations Disturbing Reservation, Ariz. Tribe Says

    The Gila River Indian Community has launched a lawsuit in Arizona federal court over sand and gravel mining operations that it says are encroaching on its reservation land and causing damage to cultural sites and the Gila River.

  • May 9, 2017

    Funds Rip VW Bid To Dodge Defeat Device Securities Suits

    Pension funds on Monday slammed bids by Volkswagen AG and the former head of its U.S. unit to partially dismiss amended class claims that are part of sprawling multidistrict litigation alleging that the embattled automaker knowingly misled investors about its diesel emissions-cheating scandal.

  • May 9, 2017

    Shareholders Say SunEdison Disclosure Statement Flawed

    An ad hoc committee of SunEdison shareholders Monday filed an objection to the company’s Chapter 11 plan, saying it fails to explain why one of the world’s largest energy companies went under or what creditors can expect now.

  • May 9, 2017

    Acting Pa. DEP Chief Sees Nomination Advance

    The acting secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection defended the agency’s efforts to implement a controversial new permit governing methane emissions from natural gas production in a state Senate hearing Tuesday that ended with him moving closer to removing “acting” from his title.

  • May 9, 2017

    EPA, Corps Ask Governors For Input On New Water Rule

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday that they've asked some state governors for their input on how to revise the controversial Clean Water Rule, which would clarify permitting authority for the federal government as well as states and tribes.

  • May 8, 2017

    EPA, DOI Join Congress' Push To Overhaul Science Panels

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Interior said Monday they intend to shake up some science advisory panels with an eye toward bringing in new blood, a move that’s in line with congressional Republicans’ recent efforts to change how federal regulators use science to make rules.

  • May 8, 2017

    Trump Picks Pa. Regulator, McConnell Aide For FERC Slots

    President Donald Trump tapped the chief of the national association of state utility regulators and the U.S. Senate majority leader's energy policy pointman on Monday night to fill commissioner vacancies on the currently quorumless Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Expert Analysis

  • Google, NASA, Planes And A Stronger Legal Team

    Nicholas Cheolas

    Why did minor mechanical issues bring down two airplanes, while a catastrophic engine explosion did not bring down a third? The answers lie, in part, in research conducted by NASA in the wake of those crashes and, more recently, by Google. And those answers can help organizations build better teams to meet today’s legal industry challenges, says Nicholas Cheolas of Zelle LLP.

  • Acquiring Midstream Assets And Gas Agreements: Part 2

    Greg Krafka

    Because the value of natural gas gathering systems, processing plants and related midstream assets depends on fees to be paid under associated gas gathering and processing agreements, terms and conditions of these agreements — with respect to acreage dedication, well connections, covenants running with the land, and other matters — must be scrutinized before asset purchases, say Greg Krafka and Jim Strawn of Winstead PC.

  • 10 Tips For Better Legal Negotiations

    Marc J. Siegel

    Like everything else, the art of negotiation starts by having a conversation. It’s about being respectful, finding common ground, knowing what you want and, most importantly, listening. A conversation between two lawyers can be complicated at best, but by employing a few techniques and tactics, it doesn’t have to be that way, says Marc Siegel of Siegel & Dolan Ltd.

  • Monthly Column

    Gray Matters: Decision Error

    Gray Matters

    Lawyers make hundreds of decisions during the course of advising a client, consummating a transaction or litigating a case. In this new column, dispute resolution experts Bob Creo and Selina Shultz explore the theory, science and practical aspects of how decisions are made in the legal community.

  • Acquiring Midstream Assets And Gas Agreements: Part 1

    Greg Krafka

    In the acquisition of natural gas gathering systems, processing plants and related midstream assets, a primary focus of legal due diligence will be the gas gathering and processing agreements associated with these assets. Terms and conditions governing service levels, fees, environmental costs, termination and other issues must be carefully reviewed before purchase, say Greg Krafka and Jim Strawn of Winstead PC.

  • Law Schools And Law Firms: Seeking Common Ground

    Randy Gordon

    What we don’t know is whether the teaching and practice of law are undergoing massive structural changes or we’re still digging out from the worst economic collapse since the Depression. But what we do know is that the missions of the most forward-looking law schools and law firms are converging in ways that were unimaginable 10 years ago, says Randy Gordon, a partner at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP and executive professor of law at Te... (continued)

  • The Quadrennial Energy Review And Generation Development

    Linda Walsh

    The latest installment of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review recommends several ways to enhance power generation development, including focusing on renewable energy for underserved communities, advancing innovation in generation technologies, and incentivizing new hydropower and nuclear development. These recommendations present both opportunities and risks for generation developers and investors, say attorne... (continued)

  • Why We Need The Fairness In Class Action Litigation Act

    Alexander R. Dahl

    The polarized reaction to H.R. 985 indicates that class action and multidistrict cases are in trouble. It was a good idea to revise Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and to create the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in the 1960s, but now these mechanisms are exceeding their limits and should be reined in, says Alexander Dahl of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • Regulatory Pathways Emerge For Gene-Edited Products

    Emily Marden

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency have finally indicated how they plan to regulate emerging genetic technologies. Their respective proposals differ in scope and approach, but each one has the potential to significantly influence how gene editing is integrated into product development, say Emily Marden and Deepti Kulkarni of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Killing Class Actions Means Everybody Loses

    Daniel Karon

    Congress is trying to kill class actions again. H.R. 985 would impose a host of impossible requirements on the certification of class members, and close the courtroom doors to countless victims of serious fraud, negligence and other abuses. But it would also cause well-behaving companies to lose market share, profits and sales to cheaters who aren’t policed, says Daniel Karon of Karon LLC.