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Environmental

  • September 20, 2018

    Calif. Tribe Launches Environmental Review For New Casino

    The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Tule River Indian Tribe are moving forward with plans to begin a preliminary environmental review process for a proposed 40-acre casino and tribe housing project in California, according to a notice filed Thursday.

  • September 20, 2018

    Energy Storage Must Fully Reap Tax Credit, Sens. Say

    Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Tim Scott, R-S.C., on Thursday pressed Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin to confirm that energy storage technologies qualify for the federal investment tax credit when used to retrofit existing solar projects and other technologies receiving the ITC.

  • September 20, 2018

    Mont., Wyo. Defend DOI Order Lifting Coal Leasing Ban

    Wyoming and Montana teamed up Wednesday in Montana federal court to oppose suits challenging an order from the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior lifting a moratorium on federal coal leasing, arguing the secretary is validly exercising administrative discretion to implement President Donald Trump’s policy goals.

  • September 20, 2018

    Korean Wind Co. Can't Get Turbine Removal Order Overturned

    A Minnesota federal judge has refused a South Korean wind turbine manufacturer’s bid to alter arbitrators’ order requiring it to pay the cost of dismantling a community wind farm, saying it’s not up to the court to second-guess their decision to undo its contract with an American clean energy company.

  • September 20, 2018

    Eckert Seamans Adds To Philly Mass Tort, Litigation Groups

    Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC welcomed to its Philadelphia office this month a pair of new members with experience in mass torts, commercial litigation and bankruptcies.

  • September 20, 2018

    Enviros Fight Revamped Federal Permits For $5B Pipeline

    Environmental groups have launched Fourth Circuit challenges to revised permits issued by U.S. Department of Interior agencies for the $5 billion Atlantic Coast gas pipeline, claiming the new permits suffer from similar flaws as the ones previously invalidated by the appeals court.

  • September 20, 2018

    DOT Says Hazmat Regs Override Calif. Trucker Break Rules

    The U.S. Department of Transportation determined Thursday that federal law preempts California's meal and rest break requirements for all motor vehicle operators transporting hazardous materials, granting a request from a trucking group to harmonize what it viewed as inconsistent regulations.

  • September 20, 2018

    4th Circ. Ruling Dooms Ky. Coal Ash Suit, 6th Circ. Hears

    Kentucky Utilities Co. told the Sixth Circuit that a recent ruling from the Fourth Circuit that certain coal ash ponds were not point sources subject to the Clean Water Act bolstered a push to have the court uphold the dismissal of environmental groups’ suit over alleged coal ash pollution.

  • September 19, 2018

    Fla. Enviros Want Order Freeing Land Buying Funds Enforced

    Environmental groups that won a state court judgment in June finding Florida misspent hundreds of millions of dollars in conservation land acquisition funds asked the Tallahassee circuit court Wednesday to lift a stay on the judgment while the state appeals.

  • September 19, 2018

    Costa Rica Prevails In $97M Real Estate Project Row

    An international tribunal has rejected several U.S. investors' $97 million claim accusing Costa Rica of improperly shutting down their beachfront villa project, while also accepting jurisdiction over but ultimately rejecting the Central American nation's counterclaim seeking to hold the investors accountable for alleged environmental damage.

  • September 19, 2018

    Fenwick & West Guides Proterra's $155M Funding Round

    Proterra Inc., which makes heavy-duty electric transportation equipment for the North American mass transit market, said on Wednesday that it has closed a $155 million funding round led by Daimler AG and family investment firm Tao Capital Partners, which was guided by Fenwick & West LLP.

  • September 19, 2018

    Trump Methane Rollbacks Hand Regulatory Reins To States

    The rollback of Obama-era restrictions on venting and flaring from gas wells on federal and tribal lands is the latest sign the Trump administration intends to hand off the job of regulating methane emissions to states, some of which are expected to be lax while others may craft more stringent methane rules, experts say.

  • September 19, 2018

    Some Claims In BP Deepwater Suits Time-Barred, Judge Says

    A Texas federal judge on Tuesday dismissed some claims against BP PLC from more than a dozen of the investor suits in multidistrict litigation related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, finding that a 2017 U.S. Supreme Court ruling clarified that certain claims based on company statements from before the spill are time-barred.

  • September 19, 2018

    Alaska Natives Back Feds In Row Over Hovercraft Ban

    Alaska Native tribes and groups have urged the U.S. Supreme Court haveto uphold the National Park Service’s right to apply its hovercraft ban on an Alaska river, saying that taking away the federal government’s power to regulate certain waters in the state could destroy Alaska Natives' traditional subsistence fishing.

  • September 19, 2018

    EPA Asks 5th Circ. To Uphold Effluent Rule Delay

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has asked the Fifth Circuit to uphold its decision to postpone parts of an Obama-era rule that set limits on how much toxic metal can be discharged with power plants’ wastewater, an action environmental groups have said is illegal.

  • September 19, 2018

    Alaska Tells DC Circ. Not To Halt 'Roadless Rule' Case

    Alaska asked the D.C. Circuit not to pause an appeal in the state’s long-running challenge to the 2001 “roadless rule” aimed at limiting road construction in national forests, arguing that a rulemaking effort by the U.S. Department of Agriculture can’t address all its concerns.

  • September 19, 2018

    3rd Circ. Asked To Weigh In On Nuverra’s Ch. 11 ‘Gifting’

    A Nuverra Environmental Solutions Inc. noteholder who challenged the company’s confirmed Chapter 11 plan last year asked the Third Circuit on Wednesday to weigh in on claims that the plan did not treat unsecured creditors fairly and equitably by permitting “gifting” that led to more recovery for some.

  • September 19, 2018

    States Fight To Keep EPA In Suit Over Landfill Emissions

    A group of states on Tuesday asked a California federal judge not to dismiss their lawsuit alleging that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Air Act by failing to impose Obama-era regulations limiting emissions from municipal landfills.

  • September 19, 2018

    NJ Enviro Agency Beats Developer's Suit Over Wetlands

    A New Jersey appeals court on Wednesday sided with the state's Department of Environmental Protection in a challenge to a bar on development for three residential lots, saying the developer could not show how the agency’s designation of the property as wetlands constituted trespass and ejectment.

  • September 19, 2018

    Chevy Drivers Aren't Victims In Emissions Suit, Bosch Says

    A proposed class action against General Motors and electronics engineering firm Robert Bosch LLC alleging the two conspired to design auto systems that eluded emissions test standards fails because it never establishes the consumer as a victim, according to Bosch’s reply brief in support of a motion to dismiss the case.

Expert Analysis

  • Congressional Forecast: July

    Layth Elhassani

    While Senate hearings on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court will draw much attention during July, Congress remains very busy with fiscal year 2019 appropriations bills. The chambers may go to conference this month on the first of several appropriations "minibuses," says Layth Elhassani of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • What Kavanaugh's Writing Tells Us About His Personality

    Matthew Hall

    People with certain personality traits tend to use certain words. A computer analysis of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s D.C. Circuit opinions reveals that he is highly extraverted, which means that he would be a prominent voice on the U.S. Supreme Court, says Matthew Hall, a professor at the University of Notre Dame.

  • Opinion

    3 Pros, 3 Cons Of Litigation Finance

    Ralph Sutton

    An educated guess puts the number of new litigation funders launched in the past 18 months at 30 — an astonishing number, with more to come. Is this a blessing to our legal system or something more akin to tulip mania? Maybe both, says Ralph Sutton, founder and CEO of litigation funding firm Validity Finance LLC.

  • A Lawyer's Guide To Genomics In Toxic Tort Cases: Part 1

    Kirk Hartley

    Genomic data and technologies can assist both plaintiffs and defendants in toxic tort and personal injury cases in uncovering the underlying causes of disease. In coming years, the influence of genomics in civil law will be even broader than its influence in criminal law, say attorney Kirk Hartley and scientific consultant David Schwartz of ToxicoGenomica.

  • Modern Communication Brings E-Discovery Challenges

    Thomas Bonk

    As new communications platforms displace email, the legal industry is awkwardly grappling with complex e-discovery questions. Fortunately, this environment provides a very fertile ground of incentives for innovation in both e-discovery technology and service offerings, says Thomas Bonk of Epiq.

  • Opinion

    It's Not All About The Benjamins, Baby (Lawyer)

    J.B. Heaton

    Notwithstanding the latest salary war among prominent law firms, I urge my middle-aged and older colleagues to help the recent graduates we know focus on the long term. Even if the salary is the same, there is a big difference between an institutional firm and the relatively younger firms matching BigLaw, says J.B. Heaton, a University of Chicago business law fellow and former partner at Bartlit Beck.

  • Investment Tax Credit Guidance Means Sunny Days For Solar

    Jon Nelsen

    Notice 2018-59, issued last month by the Internal Revenue Service, confirms that standards and safe harbors previously defined for wind energy projects can be used with solar energy projects. Project sponsors can now act with greater certainty in making solar investments, say Jon Nelsen, Michael Didriksen and Peter Farrell of Baker Botts LLP.

  • Asbestos Transparency Laws Can Stop Double Recovery

    Scott Hunsaker

    Some asbestos plaintiffs have obtained full recovery from viable defendants and simultaneously, or later, recovered more money for the same injury from asbestos bankruptcy trusts established by those same entities. Recognizing this problem, more and more states are turning to asbestos transparency laws as a solution, say Scott Hunsaker and Karl Borgsmiller of Tucker Ellis LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Hood Reviews 'Lawyering From The Inside Out'

    Judge Denise Hood

    Law professor Nathalie Martin's new book, "Lawyering From the Inside Out: Learning Professional Development Through Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence," can be of value to any lawyer aiming to achieve greater productivity, relieve the stress of the legal profession and focus on goals, says U.S. District Chief Judge Denise Page Hood of the Eastern District of Michigan.

  • A Path To New York's Energy Storage Goal

    Danielle Mettler-LaFeir

    New York state's recently issued Energy Storage Roadmap identifies the actions and initiatives that can help New York meet its energy storage goal of 1,500 megawatts by 2025. Danielle Mettler-LaFeir of Barclay Damon LLP looks at the road map’s recommendations and the opportunities they create.