Environmental

  • April 10, 2017

    Monsanto Hit With False Labeling Suit Over Roundup

    Two nonprofit organizations on Friday hit Monsanto Co. with a lawsuit in Washington, D.C., court, alleging that the company intentionally mislabels its popular weed killer Roundup as targeting an enzyme found only in plants, calling that statement false and deceptive.

  • April 10, 2017

    Judge Nixes Keystone Permit Challenge After Trump’s Order

    In the wake of the pro-pipeline actions of President Donald Trump’s administration, TransCanada’s two subsidiaries building the Keystone XL pipeline have had their case objecting to the government's prior permit denial dismissed, formally ending the company's challenge to the government and cementing a win in its yearslong effort to complete the project.

  • April 10, 2017

    Senate Dems Want Proof Pruitt Was OK’d To Address CPP

    A group of Senate Democrats on Friday demanded that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt prove he was cleared by the agency’s ethics officer to pursue actions related to rolling back the Clean Power Plan, a rule he opposed as Oklahoma attorney general.

  • April 10, 2017

    Enviro Groups Sue To Block Santa Ana River Water Plan

    Environmental conservation groups have moved to block a proposed plan by San Bernardino, California, to divert water releases to basins instead of the Santa Ana River, citing harmful impacts to the river and its ecosystems, according to a petition filed in state court.

  • April 10, 2017

    NJ Sierra Club Appeals South Jersey Gas Pipeline Approval

    The New Jersey Sierra Club on Monday appealed the New Jersey Pinelands Commission's February approval of a 21.6-mile natural gas pipeline that would traverse the state’s environmentally sensitive Pine Barrens, saying the pipeline would destroy land and threaten the water supply.

  • April 10, 2017

    Wind Farm Cos.’ Tax Liability Wrongly Assessed, Court Says

    A set of contracts regarding how much each member of a group of wind farm managers was to pay a local school district in taxes was improperly interpreted, a Texas appeals court ruled Friday, finding the latest power production data had to be used to determine the payment share.

  • April 10, 2017

    NY Denies Permits To $455M Gas Pipeline Over Wetlands

    New York State blocked the $455 million Northern Access Pipeline over the weekend, saying the proposed project, which would carry fracked gas from Pennsylvania to Canada via New York, has not met the state’s water quality standards.

  • April 10, 2017

    Pharmaceutical Co. Gets Quick Win in PCB Contamination Suit

    A Massachusetts federal judge Friday gave Pfizer-owned Pharmacia Corp. a quick win in the town of Westport’s lawsuit alleging one of its schools was contaminated with products made by Pharmacia and installed in the building more than 40 years ago, saying the pharmaceutical company can’t be liable when there was no known alternative product at the time.

  • April 10, 2017

    Monroe Energy Slapped With Fine Over Pa. Air Emissions

    Pennsylvania environmental regulators announced Monday that a Delta Air Lines Inc. unit has been slapped with nearly half a million dollars worth of civil penalties for air quality violations at its Philadelphia-area petroleum refinery.

  • April 10, 2017

    DynCorp Denies Liability For Contractor Chem Spray Pilots

    Defense contractor DynCorp and plaintiffs suing it for allegedly poisoning farmers in Ecuador with herbicide while trying to eradicate drug crops in Colombia sparred in midtrial briefs filed in Washington, D.C., federal court Sunday over whether the company could be held liable for actions of pilots employed by subcontractors and Colombian police.

  • April 10, 2017

    3rd Circ. Won’t Halt Pennsylvania Pipeline Construction

    The Third Circuit on Friday denied a request by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network to halt construction on a Pennsylvania pipeline project while it seeks to overturn a Clean Water Act permit for a Kinder Morgan Inc. unit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, saying the environmental group is unlikely to win on the merits.

  • April 10, 2017

    16 States Urge 4th Circ. To Uphold Coal Jobs Analysis Order

    West Virginia and 15 other states on Friday asked the Fourth Circuit to uphold a district judge’s order compelling the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate the consequences of its air pollution regulations on jobs.

  • April 10, 2017

    NJ Feedstock Processor Gets 5 Years In Biofuel Fraud Case

    A New Jersey biofuel company owner was sentenced Friday in Ohio federal court to 60 months in prison for participating in a fraudulent scheme that reaped more than $7 million in tax and renewable fuels credits connected to the purported production of biodiesel fuel, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

  • April 10, 2017

    Calif. Enviros Win Review Of Asphalt Plant Permit Appeal

    A California appeals court has ruled that a state air quality management district hearing board’s tie vote on an environmental group’s appeal of an asphalt production facility’s construction permit did, in fact, result in the appeal’s denial, making the denial subject to judicial review.

  • April 7, 2017

    Calif. Cap-And-Trade Ruling Won't Settle Program’s Fate

    A California appeals court ruling upholding the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program put the initiative on firmer ground, but a possible appeal to the state Supreme Court and potential actions by the Legislature and regulatory agencies still obscure its future.

  • April 7, 2017

    Calif. AG Seeks Docs On EPA Head's Ethics Rules Compliance

    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seeking records relating to compliance with federal ethics standards by agency head Scott Pruitt.

  • April 7, 2017

    Donziger Asks High Court To Weigh In On Chevron Judgment

    Attorney Steven Donziger has asked the Supreme Court to hear his appeal of a finding that a $9.5 billion oil pollution judgment against Chevron in Ecuador was fraudulently produced and could not be enforced, saying that key international jurisdiction and racketeering law questions needed to be addressed.

  • April 7, 2017

    Mining Co. Fights Fla. Homeowner's Pollution Class Action

    A mining company is looking to put a swift end to a Florida homeowner's putative class action claiming it concealed contamination in two Polk County communities built on a former phosphate mine it owned, arguing that residents were fully informed in advance and the lawsuit lacks needed specifics.

  • April 7, 2017

    Dakota Access Mostly Loses Bid To Shield Suit Documents

    A D.C. federal judge on Friday mostly rejected a request by the Energy Transfer Partners unit behind the Dakota Access pipeline to shield parts of certain documents in litigation challenging the controversial project out of concern that the information could be used by terrorists seeking to target it.

  • April 7, 2017

    Sungevity Gets OK On $20M DIP Loan Over Trustee Objections

    Bankrupt rooftop solar panel firm Sungevity Inc. received court approval Friday in Delaware to gain access to its $20 million postpetition financing package after a judge asked for some changes to the final order and overruled the objections of the U.S. trustee.

Expert Analysis

  • Environmental Outlook Under EPA Administrator Pruitt

    E. Lynn Grayson

    While environmental issues don't seem to be a priority for the Trump administration at this time, the initial positions and actions taken by recently confirmed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt may provide insight into the administration’s thinking around environmental matters and whether it will decide to escalate more aggressive action, say Lynn Grayson and Allison Torrence of Jenner & Block.

  • How 401(k) Benefits Can Attract Millennial Legal Talent

    Nathan Fisher

    If today’s law firms are willing to rethink their perceptions of millennials, they may see greater success in attracting and retaining new talent by giving the younger generation the kind of retirement planning benefits they want and need, says Nathan Fisher of Fisher Investments.

  • How The Courts Review Executive Orders

    Steven D. Gordon

    The cases challenging President Donald Trump’s executive orders fit within the established legal framework that limits, but does not preclude, judicial review of such orders, says Steven Gordon of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Opinion

    Indian Country And Climate Change After DAPL

    Matthew L.M. Fletcher

    Considering the Trump administration's support for the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, Native Americans are at the vanguard of challenging government and business acts that worsen climate change. One wonders if it is only a matter of time before Native Americans and their resources are in the administration's crosshairs, says Matthew Fletcher of Michigan State University College of Law.

  • FERC's Pipeline Review Process Is Working As Intended

    Jay Costan

    Outgoing Commissioner Norman Bay surprised the natural gas industry on his last day at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this month, advocating a more cautious approach to pipeline approvals in light of environmental controversies. But FERC is fulfilling all its pipeline review responsibilities under the law, and has no authority to make the changes Bay suggests, says James Coston of Dentons US LLP.

  • In Congress: Gorsuch, CR, Trump's 1st Speech To Congress

    Richard Hertling

    Both chambers are set to return on Monday after a weeklong recess, kicking off a six-week session of legislative business. The issues expected to dominate this work period include the confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court and negotiations over how to keep the government funded beyond the scope of the current continuing resolution, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • What Lawyers Can Learn From Kellyanne Conway

    Michelle Samuels

    Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway's TV appearances provide some examples of what lawyers should and shouldn't do when speaking to the media, says Michelle Samuels, a vice president of public relations at Jaffe.

  • The Uncertain Future Of PURPA, A Key To Renewable Energy

    Larry Eisenstat

    The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act was enacted in 1978 to encourage development of alternative energy resources. But PURPA's opponents want to see it amended or repealed. With the law’s supporters staying relatively quiet, calls for reform may gain traction with the new Congress and the Trump administration, say attorneys from Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • The Mistakes Lawyers Make When Copying And Pasting

    Robert D. Lang

    We all recognize that cutting or copying text from earlier works and pasting it into new documents saves attorneys time. However, with this increase in speed comes an increased risk of making, or not catching, errors, says Robert Lang of D’Amato & Lynch LLP.

  • Opinion

    Calif. Court Gets Automatic Funding Disclosure Right

    Matthew D. Harrison

    Detractors of litigation funding have strained to characterize a recent decision from a California federal court as significant headway in their crusade against the litigation funding industry. However, in truth, this is a victory for both the industry and those in need of capital to bring meritorious claims against wrongdoers in an often prohibitively expensive legal system, say Matthew Harrison and Priya G. Pai of Bentham IMF.