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Environmental

  • July 27, 2018

    DC Circ. Upholds FERC's Approval Of $971M Pipeline Project

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of an Enbridge Inc. unit's $971 million natural gas pipeline improvement project in the Northeast, rejecting challenges from green groups that said FERC inadequately assessed environmental impacts.

  • July 27, 2018

    BP's Federal Bid To Escape Tribal Enviro Suit Tossed As Moot

    A Nevada federal judge has tossed as moot a suit from two BP units that sought to bar the Yerington Paiute Tribe from suing them in tribal court over environmental damage at an abandoned copper mine, noting that the underlying tribal court suit had been dismissed.

  • July 27, 2018

    4th Circ. Nixes Forest Service, BLM OKs For W.Va. Pipeline

    The Fourth Circuit on Friday struck down U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management approvals for portions of the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley pipeline, giving a win to environmentalists who said the government improperly deferred to the pipeline developer without explaining itself.

  • July 27, 2018

    Minn. Tribe Says Lake Pollution Suit Steps On EPA’s Toes

    The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa urged a Minnesota federal judge Thursday to toss claims by an environmental group that the tribe’s wastewater treatment facility has been polluting a nearby lake, saying the suit can’t go forward because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is already tackling the problem.

  • July 27, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Vacates $207M Win For Wind Farms In Grant Case

    The Federal Circuit on Friday vacated and remanded a decision by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that found the government owed the owners of California-based wind farms nearly $207 million in cash grants after the U.S. Department of Treasury undervalued their cost basis.

  • July 27, 2018

    EU Approves €500M German Green Rail Investment

    European Union antitrust authorities announced Friday that they had given the all-clear, under EU state aid rules for environmental projects, to a German plan to spend €500 million ($583 million) compensating electric rail companies for energy efficiency investments.

  • July 27, 2018

    9th Circ. Hands Win To Enviros In Mont. Logging Project Suit

    The Ninth Circuit has handed a win to an environmental group challenging a logging project on national forest land in Montana by finding that the U.S. Forest Service didn't examine if the project would increase the amount of permanent roads beyond a certain limit in an area where Cabinet-Yaak grizzly bears can be found.

  • July 27, 2018

    Near-Extinct Porpoise Prompts CIT Seafood Import Ban Order

    The Trump administration has been ordered by the U.S. Court of International Trade to ban seafood imported from Mexico when it is caught in a certain area with an all-encompassing net that kills the world's smallest, most endangered porpoise.

  • July 27, 2018

    EPA Chief Reverses Truck Emissions Rollback Under Pruitt

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Thursday reversed a decision made in the waning hours of former agency head Scott Pruitt’s tenure to cease enforcement of Obama-era emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks outfitted with engines from older trucks.

  • July 26, 2018

    Monsanto's Toxicology Figures Don't Hold Up, Jury Hears

    A toxicologist took the stand Thursday in a landmark California jury trial over claims Monsanto’s herbicides gave a groundskeeper lymphoma, saying 10 percent of the products' active ingredient can be absorbed through the skin — more than 10 times what Monsanto claims.

  • July 26, 2018

    BLM Wildlife Protection Shift Opens Door To Lawsuits

    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s recent decision to stop requiring developers like oil and gas companies to undertake projects to protect wildlife in exchange for permission to use public land could translate to a rise in litigation as nature and industry collide, experts say.

  • July 26, 2018

    Klamath Tribes Can't Force Feds To Maintain Lake Levels

    A California federal judge on Wednesday rejected the Klamath Tribes' bid to force the federal government to maintain water levels in the Upper Klamath Lake in Oregon this irrigation season sufficient to protect two endangered fish species vital to their culture, and sent their suit to the Beaver State.

  • July 26, 2018

    New York City To Appeal Climate Suit Dismissal To 2nd Circ.

    New York City told a federal court Thursday that it would appeal a recent ruling throwing out its suit seeking to hold ExxonMobil, BP and other oil giants accountable for the cost of climate change-related infrastructure damage.

  • July 26, 2018

    Texas Plant To Pay $3.5M To Settle Enviros' Emissions Suit

    Pasadena Refining System Inc. has agreed to pay $3,525,000 and make pollution reduction upgrades at its petroleum refinery in Texas to settle Environment Texas and the Sierra Club's lawsuit alleging it exceeded emission limits at the facility, according to a deal the parties proposed Thursday.

  • July 26, 2018

    EPA Changes Tune As FERC Pipeline Comment Window Ends

    The public comment period on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's potential revision of its 20-year-old gas pipeline approval policy ended Wednesday, and highlights of the last-day submissions include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency backtracking on earlier recommendations of tools FERC could use to evaluate the climate change impacts of projects.

  • July 26, 2018

    Lloyd's Insurer Can't Ditch Coverage Fight Over Oil Spill

    A Louisiana federal judge on Thursday declined to dismiss oil and gas producer Apollo Energy LLC’s complaint seeking coverage from a Lloyd’s of London underwriting group for the cleanup costs of an oil spill, giving Apollo the chance to amend the suit to assert a new theory supporting its claim.

  • July 26, 2018

    Wash. Tribes Urge Supreme Court To Rebuff Fishing Petition

    The Quileute Indian tribe and the Quinault Indian Nation on Wednesday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a bid by another Washington state tribe to revisit a ruling on the tribes' fishing areas, saying the Ninth Circuit properly interpreted tribal treaty rights in its decision.

  • July 26, 2018

    NJ Meadowlands Authority Not Liable For Landfill Cleanup

    A New Jersey appeals court on Thursday agreed that an agency overseeing the zoning and regulatory efforts of the state’s Meadowlands region should not be required to shoulder any burden that may be placed on the town of Kearny in association with the cleanup of a landfill in the area.

  • July 26, 2018

    EPA Wants Navajo, States' Gold King Mine Claims Tossed

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asked a New Mexico federal court to dismiss claims brought by New Mexico, Utah and the Navajo Nation over the 2015 Gold King Mine spill, arguing that the agency had been acting under its Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act authority.

  • July 26, 2018

    Activist Seeks 2nd Circ. Redo Over Cravath's Shell Docs

    A Nigerian environmental and human rights advocate has asked the Second Circuit to reconsider its decision blocking her from accessing Royal Dutch Shell documents held by Cravath Swaine & Moore, which were produced in discovery in a New York case, for use in a similar suit she is now pursuing in the Netherlands, saying the ruling ignored established precedent.

Expert Analysis

  • Congress’ Overlooked Environmental Legislation

    Rachel Jacobson

    The House recently passed — and now the Senate is considering — the most important piece of energy and environmental legislation it will consider all year. It isn’t a revision to the Endangered Species Act or the Clean Water Act. It's the National Defense Authorization Act, say attorneys with WilmerHale.

  • Impediments To Legal Industry's 'Inevitable' Future: Part 2

    Craig Levinson

    I agree with the legal pundits speculating that NewLaw’s present and future disruptors will radically change the legal services industry, but that change may not come quite as rapidly as predicted. Regardless, now is the time for both the incumbents and the challengers to best position themselves for the eventual shakeup, says Craig Levinson, founder of Levity Partners.

  • Legal Risks For Consumer Products Cos. In 2018: Part 2

    Erin Bosman

    A recent survey of companies in the consumer products space reveals caseloads and issues of concern, the growing influence of the Federal Trade Commission, and trends in corporate legal departments’ budgeting, say Erin Bosman and Julie Park of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • Will Your Business Be Ready For The New Calif. Prop 65?

    Jodi Smith

    The revised California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, better known as Proposition 65, will require companies to use new product warnings by September. The new warning scheme is considerably more complicated, but provides more clarity as to what will be considered a clear and reasonable warning, says Jodi Smith of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP.

  • Legal Risks For Consumer Products Cos. In 2018: Part 1

    Erin Bosman

    Running a successful consumer products company has never been easy. Rapidly evolving technologies, an uncertain economy and changing government regulations appear primed to complicate the already challenging task of navigating legal issues, say Erin Bosman and Julie Park of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • Impediments To Legal Industry's 'Inevitable' Future: Part 1

    Craig Levinson

    Legal pundits continue to make predictions that newer entrants into the industry — NewLaw firms, the Big Four and alternative legal service providers — will progressively seize greater amounts of market share from traditional law firms. But the BigLaw response has been underwhelming at best, and a glimpse at the market forces puts its lack of urgency into perspective, says Craig Levinson, founder of Levity Partners.

  • 7 Common Mistakes In Company Witness Prep

    Matthew Keenan

    Too often as attorneys, we focus on the facts of the case and assume the witnesses will be ready for the scrutiny of our adversaries. Based on my 30 years defending companies in national product liability cases, here are seven mistakes often made in witness preparation, says Matthew Keenan of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP.

  • Opinion

    We Need A Federal Plan To Combat Sea Level Rise

    Michael Parker

    Climate resiliency measures to abate future disasters in coastal cities like Boston need to be taken now to avoid disasters and save hundreds of billions of dollars in the future. But climate change needs a master plan; it cannot be left to thousands of cities to coordinate efforts — that is what our federal system is for, says Michael Parker of Rackemann Sawyer & Brewster.

  • Opinion

    Why Widespread Use Of Live Video Testimony Is Not Justified

    Geoffrey Wyatt

    Despite the partiality some courts have shown to live video testimony, it provides no advantages — and several disadvantages — over the tried-and-true method of videotaped depositions, say attorneys with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • Tips For Solar Power Operators Facing Reliability Audits

    Ashley Cooper

    As solar power developments spread across the country, more of them are triggering mandatory reliability standards and related reliability audits. These audits are intense, lengthy and often a foreign concept to solar and other renewable developers who own or operate generating facilities, says Ashley Cooper of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP.