Environmental

  • May 3, 2018

    Class Cert. Denied In $1B Toxins Suit Against Pratt & Whitney

    Pratt & Whitney scored a big win as a Florida federal judge denied a bid to certify a class of property owners claiming $1 billion in damages from contamination from the company's rocket and aerospace testing and manufacturing plant in western Palm Beach County.

  • May 3, 2018

    States, Auto Groups Weigh In On Fuel Economy Penalties

    A group of states and an environmental organization on Wednesday asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration not to block an increase in penalties for automakers that don’t meet fuel efficiency standards, while industry groups backed the agency’s decision to nix the increase.

  • May 3, 2018

    Ky. Agency Urges Dismissal Of Coal Ash Suit At 6th Circ.

    The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet pressed the Sixth Circuit on Wednesday to cement the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by environmental groups over alleged coal ash pollution at a Kentucky Utilities Co. power plant that sits on the banks of Herrington Lake.

  • May 3, 2018

    $639M Calif. Pipeline Unneeded, Judge Tells State Regulator

    An administrative law judge on Wednesday urged a California utility regulator to reject San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s proposed $639 million natural gas pipeline project, saying the project isn't needed in light of declining demand and the Golden State's apparent intent to move away from fossil fuel use.

  • May 3, 2018

    W.Va. Regulators Lift Block On $4.2B ETP Pipeline Work

    West Virginia environmental regulators on Wednesday said Energy Transfer Partners LP could resume construction of a portion of its $4.2 billion Rover natural gas pipeline after the company submitted a plan to correct violations of its water pollution control permit.

  • May 3, 2018

    Ex-Volkswagen US Exec Wants Bondholders' Fraud Suit Nixed

    The former CEO of Volkswagen’s U.S. unit told a California federal judge Wednesday that a proposed class of bondholders cannot establish that he knowingly helped issue misleading bond offering documents concealing the 2015 diesel emissions scandal.

  • May 3, 2018

    Ex-VW CEO Indicted Over Emissions Scandal

    The former chief executive officer of Volkswagen AG, Martin Winterkorn, has been charged with conspiring to mislead the U.S. government over the automaker’s emissions-cheating scandal, according to an indictment unsealed in Michigan federal court Thursday.

  • May 3, 2018

    Hanergy Wins Bid For $7.2M In PSEG Solar Contract Row

    Hanergy America Solar Solutions' bid to be paid about $7.2 million under a contract for a solar power project it developed and sold to a PSEG Inc. unit has been approved by a California federal judge, who said there's no dispute that Hanergy lived up to its side of the deal.

  • May 3, 2018

    Slawson To End North Dakota Drilling Suit After Permit Win

    Slawson Exploration Co. Inc. on Thursday notified a North Dakota federal court it was ending its suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior after an administrative hearing favored the company and allowed it to continue oil and gas drilling in the state in the face of a challenge by the Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara Nation.

  • May 3, 2018

    Pa. PUC Restarts Sunoco Pipeline After Sinkhole Worries

    The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission voted Thursday to allow a Sunoco Inc. unit to restart operations on the Mariner East 1 natural gas pipeline two months after it was shut down for an investigation into sinkholes that were discovered along a portion of its route outside of Philadelphia.

  • May 3, 2018

    Enbridge Unit Sues To End Mass. Town’s Pipeline Holdup

    A division of Canadian energy provider Enbridge Inc. is looking to put an end to an ongoing squabble with a Massachusetts town so it can build a federally approved natural gas compressor station there, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

  • May 3, 2018

    ND Levee Work Can Resume Amid $2B Flood Project Dispute

    A Minnesota federal judge on Wednesday approved a request to allow construction of flood mitigation measures in North Dakota while a legal dispute regarding the legality of a $2.2 billion project aiming to calm part of the Red River located between Minnesota and North Dakota continues.

  • May 2, 2018

    Ex-KFC La. Site Buyer Wants Cleanup Suit To Stay Out Of Ill.

    The holding company used in the purchase of a former KFC restaurant site in the Louisiana town of Metairie urged a Louisiana federal judge Tuesday not to move to Illinois a lawsuit alleging that the company failed to clean up property pollution, arguing that its environmental consultant has no right to push for a change of venue.

  • May 2, 2018

    States Ask NY Judge To Nix EPA's Clean Water Rule Delay

    A group of states on Tuesday asked a New York federal judge to invalidate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s move to delay implementation of the Obama-era Clean Water Rule, saying the agency failed to follow proper notice-and-comment protocol, among other reasons.

  • May 2, 2018

    Hopi Tribe Says Ariz. Water Agency Can't Drop Coal Power

    The Hopi Tribe, a coal company and a labor group representing miners urged an Arizona federal judge Tuesday to force a state water agency to keep buying power from the Navajo Generating Station until it closes, saying that the agency’s statements that it won’t do so are putting the future of the plant at risk.

  • May 2, 2018

    9th Circ. Backs DOI’s Land Acquisition For Calif. Tribal Casino

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that rejected challenges to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s decision to acquire land for a California tribe’s casino project, saying the government properly decided the tribe was eligible to have the land taken into trust and did enough to address the environmental impact of the plan.

  • May 2, 2018

    Enbridge Energy Will Pay $1.9M For Violating Spill Deal

    Enbridge Energy LP on Wednesday agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Justice $1.9 million for violating a 2017 settlement agreement related to oil pipeline spills in Illinois and Michigan.

  • May 2, 2018

    Hawaii First To Ban Pesticide Linked To Brain Damage

    A bill approved by Hawaii’s Legislature Tuesday made the state the first in the U.S. to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has linked to brain damage in children but declined to ban in 2017.

  • May 2, 2018

    Dominican Gov't Can Visit Contested Park Site, Tribunal Says

    A Permanent Court of Arbitration tribunal has refused to walk back a decision to let the Dominican Republic visit property owned by a U.S. couple who say the country improperly claimed the land for a national park, but said the couple’s experts must be allowed to visit other properties being developed for ecotourism.

  • May 2, 2018

    DHS Prevails In Greenpeace Suit For Chem Facilities Info

    A D.C. federal judge has found that in the name of keeping the public safe from potential terrorist attacks, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security properly refused under the law enforcement exemption of an open-records law to give Greenpeace information on facilities that had reduced their chemical holdings.

Expert Analysis

  • FERC Has Options If Court Pulls Pipeline Certificates

    Randall Rich

    The D.C. Circuit recently denied petitions for rehearing filed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and a group of pipeline companies, and might soon vacate FERC’s orders authorizing the Florida Southeast Connection pipelines. FERC and the pipeline operators face the question of how and whether the pipelines could keep operating without certificates, says Randall Rich of Pierce Atwood LLP.

  • 3 Lessons From Sinovel's Trade Secret Theft Conviction

    Justus Getty

    One of the key takeaways from a Wisconsin federal court's recent decision in U.S. v. Sinovel Wind Group is that the most serious threats to a company’s trade secrets can often be internal rather than external, says Justus Getty of Duane Morris LLP.

  • Cannabis’ CEQA Challenge

    Tyler Welti

    Regulating cannabis raises California Environmental Quality Act review obligations of unprecedented scale. Focusing primarily on commercial cannabis cultivation, Tyler Welti of Venable LLP looks at some emerging CEQA risks facing both cannabis businesses seeking permits and public agencies seeking to permit or ban commercial cannabis.

  • West Coast 'Super Tort' PCB Suits Have Staying Power

    Gary Smith

    Increasingly, municipalities and states are pursuing public nuisance theories against product manufacturers and distributors. Actions filed by West Coast municipalities and states over the past three years against polychlorinated biphenyl manufacturer Monsanto continue to progress through the courts, say Gary Smith and Casey Clausen of Beveridge & Diamond PC.

  • 10 Tips For Working With IT To Preserve Data

    John Tredennick

    Increasingly, when courts impose a “legal hold” they require legal supervision of the preservation process, meaning lawyers must rely heavily on information technology professionals to execute the mechanics. John Tredennick of Catalyst Repository Systems and Alon Israely of TotalDiscovery offer insights on how legal and IT can work together to make the process more efficient and fulfill the company’s legal obligations.

  • Protecting Privilege In Litigation Financing Negotiations

    Eric Robinson

    Multiple courts have held that discoverable material from negotiations with a litigation funder, when executed properly, can be attorney work product and immune from disclosure in the later litigation. The recent Acceleration Bay decision is indicative of what happens when difficult facts conflict with best practices, says Eric Robinson of Stevens & Lee PC.

  • How Tax Reform Affects Gov't Environmental Enforcement

    Timothy Webster

    The 2017 tax reform law casts into doubt the federal income tax deductibility of costs companies incur in connection with government settlements and court orders. This new provision applies to all settlements of any kind with any government entity, say Timothy Webster and Thomas Yancey of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • TSCA Regulatory Action Raises Retailers' Litigation Risk

    Alexandra Cunningham

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a final rule regulating formaldehyde in consumer products under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and is now evaluating other chemicals. There may be increased litigation after such regulatory action — even in the absence of noncompliance — so manufacturers and retailers should stay alert, say Alexandra Cunningham and Merideth Daly of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Why Machine Learning Should Matter To Lawyers

    Dan Puterbaugh

    Legal leaders who want to meet their clients' expanding expectations should start moving their documents to future-ready document management solutions now if they want to stay competitive in the next few years, says Dan Puterbaugh of Adobe Systems Inc.

  • Roundup

    EPA In The Trump Era

    EPA In The Trump Era - Thumbnail

    In this series, former EPA general counsels and agency members discuss some of the most significant recent developments at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and what they mean for the future of U.S. environmental law.