Environmental

  • February 23, 2018

    Judge Nixes BLM's Delay Of Obama Methane Flaring Rule

    A California federal judge on Thursday lifted the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s block of an Obama-era rule limiting methane venting and flaring from natural gas wells on public and tribal lands, saying the agency’s rationale isn’t likely to pass muster.

  • February 22, 2018

    Drivers Slam Fee Bids By 'Ghost Lawyers' In $10B VW Deal

    Hundreds of “ghost lawyers” who showed up at the $10 billion resolution of multidistrict litigation over Volkswagen AG’s diesel-emissions scandal shouldn’t get a cut of the awarded fees and costs since their work didn’t benefit the whole class, the vehicle owners told the Ninth Circuit on Thursday.

  • February 22, 2018

    More Yellowstone Bison Illegally Freed, Park Service Says

    For the second time this year, dozens of bison were released from a holding area in Yellowstone National Park before officials could process them for slaughter or test them for disease, according to a statement from the park that characterized the incident as an act of "sabotage."

  • February 22, 2018

    Feds Escape Enviros' Suit Over Yuba River Endangered Fish

    A California federal judge on Wednesday tossed environmentalists' lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Marine Fisheries Service alleging they failed to properly protect at-risk fish that live near two dams in the northern part of the state.

  • February 22, 2018

    NJ Sens. Move Bill To Raise $300M In Nuke Plant Subsidies

    A New Jersey legislative committee on Thursday released a bill that would establish a $300 million nuclear plant subsidy from ratepayers in what advocates say will ensure the viability of two Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. power plants and advance the state’s clean energy goals.

  • February 22, 2018

    Feds Have To Search For More Keystone Docs, Judge Says

    A Montana federal judge on Wednesday said the federal government must take a look at what documents it has pertaining to the Keystone XL pipeline to see if it has produced everything it is required to for two suits brought by activist groups challenging the pipeline’s revival.

  • February 22, 2018

    Locke Lord Hires Ex-Curtis Enviro Group Chair In NY

    The former head of Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle LLP’s environmental group, whose clients have included a Glencore Ltd. affiliate, has joined Locke Lord LLP in New York.

  • February 22, 2018

    Montana Forest Wildfire Project Gets 9th Circ.'s Blessing

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday gave the go-ahead to the U.S. Forest Service’s plan to reduce the wildfire threat in Montana’s Gallatin National Forest, overruling environmentalists’ arguments that the project would imperil the threatened Canada lynx.

  • February 22, 2018

    DC Circ. Weighs ‘Perfectly Neutral’ EPA Reason In Bias Row

    A D.C. Circuit judge on Thursday signaled rough terrain ahead for a former Environmental Protection Agency manager who is accusing the EPA of age discrimination and retaliation, with the judge noting the agency has a “perfectly neutral” explanation for a reorganization the former manager alleges was retaliatory.

  • February 22, 2018

    7th Circ. Wants US Input On Ill. Nuke Subsidies

    The Seventh Circuit on Wednesday asked the U.S. government to weigh in on whether Illinois' plan to subsidize nuclear power plants usurps federal authority over wholesale electricity markets, a sign that the appeals court is still struggling to decide the issue.

  • February 22, 2018

    Energy Transfer Wants Enviros' Sanctions Bid Quashed

    The Energy Transfer entities that operate the Dakota Access pipeline urged a North Dakota federal court Wednesday not to sanction them over allegations that they didn’t do their homework before suing an environmental group they're accusing of organizing violent protests against the pipeline.

  • February 22, 2018

    Commerce Finalizes Argentine, Indonesian Biodiesel Duties

    The U.S. Department of Commerce unveiled a final set of tariffs on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia late Wednesday, affirming its earlier finding that the merchandise had been sold in the U.S. at unfairly low prices.

  • February 21, 2018

    EPA's Pruitt Faces House Oversight Inquiry Into Flights

    The House oversight committee has joined the chorus of investigators seeking details from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt about his travel expenses, according to a letter Tuesday questioning the administrator’s use of first-class travel accommodations for government business.

  • February 21, 2018

    Uncertainty Abounds After DC Circ. Slices EPA Ozone Regs

    The D.C. Circuit’s recent decision scrapping parts of a 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that outlined how geographic areas could meet 2008 ozone standards not only creates uncertainty for cities, counties and businesses, but could force the EPA to overhaul a pending rule meant to aid compliance with newer ozone standards. Here, experts identify three key takeaways from the appellate court’s ruling.

  • February 21, 2018

    EPA Says Fuel Retailers Can't Fight Renewable Mandates

    A trade group representing small fuel retailers can't challenge U.S. Environmental Protection Agency benchmarks for renewable fuels blended into the nation's gas and diesel supply because its members aren’t subject to the rule, the agency told the D.C. Circuit Tuesday.

  • February 21, 2018

    Carbon-Related Tax Unlikely Under Int'l Rules, Prof Says

    A border-adjusted tax aimed at imports with large carbon footprints could theoretically comply with World Trade Organization rules, but mandates requiring consistent treatment of items from different countries could make the policy difficult to carry out in reality, a law professor said at a conference in Houston on Wednesday.

  • February 21, 2018

    Canadian Salmon Co. Threatens NAFTA Arbitration Over Ban

    A Canadian aquaculture company embroiled in controversy after it accidentally released as many as 263,000 Atlantic salmon into the waters off Washington state threatened Tuesday to file a claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement if a proposed Atlantic salmon farming ban is enacted.

  • February 21, 2018

    Enviros Say Pa. DEP Wrongly OK'd Brownfield Development

    A Pennsylvania environmental group on Wednesday challenged an agreement between the Department of Environmental Protection and a developer for a proposed townhouse project on a suburban Philadelphia brownfield site, telling the Environmental Hearing Board the state hid key details from the public.

  • February 21, 2018

    US, Others Caution High Court On Utility's Immunity Bid

    The U.S. government, public interest groups and others urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday not to let an Arizona utility immediately challenge a lower court's finding that it’s not immune from an antitrust suit brought by a subsidiary of Tesla Inc.

  • February 21, 2018

    FERC Wants DC Circ. To Put $3.5B Pipeline Fight On Hold

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asked the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday to put litigation fighting the approval of the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley gas pipeline on hold so that the agency can first consider activists' requests that it revisit the decision.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    EPA In The Trump Era: The DOJ's 3rd-Party Payment Policy

    Raymond Ludwiszewski

    The U.S. Department of Justice's 2017 memo ending the previous administration's common practice of paying various nongovernmental, third parties as a condition of settlement with the U.S. is an important change of course that will meaningfully impact the contours of future judicial civil consent judgments with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, says Raymond Ludwiszewski, former EPA general counsel and partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Series

    EPA In The Trump Era: Settling Mandatory Duty Lawsuits

    Avi Garbow

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2017 "sue and settle” directive embraces a nascent process to post online notices of intent to sue, complaints and petitions for review. For some this is sufficient for planning purposes and strategic undertakings, but for others it provides interesting opportunities, says Avi Garbow, former EPA general counsel and partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • How FERC's New Rule Paves The Way For Energy Storage

    Levi McAllister

    Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued its long-awaited final rule that aims to remove barriers to electric storage resource participation in regional transmission organization and independent system operator markets. Market participants with an interest in energy storage are advised to focus closely on the tariff provisions being developed by each RTO/ISO, say attorneys with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Series

    EPA In The Trump Era: The Superfund Enforcement Initiative

    Donald Elliott

    When it comes to climate change, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Administrator Scott Pruitt is undeniably less aggressive than under its immediate predecessor. However, for the current EPA, one area that sharply conflicts with this pattern is Superfund, says Donald Elliott, former EPA general counsel and chairman of the environmental practice group at Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Series

    EPA In The Trump Era: Making Sense Of Waters Of The US

    Larry Jensen

    In one of his first official acts, President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to rescind and replace the Obama administration's Clean Water Rule. Regardless of the outcome of Trump’s effort, the controversy over the meaning of the phrase “waters of the United States” is likely to continue for many years, says Larry Jensen, former EPA general counsel and shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • How Emerging Sources Of ESI Will Impact Discovery

    Charles McGee

    Late last year, the Sedona Conference released the third edition of its principles addressing electronic document production, updated to account for innovations like Snapchat and Twitter. It may be necessary for these principles to be updated more often in order to keep pace with technology, says Charles McGee III of Murphy & McGonigle LLP.

  • 3 Mass. Proposals Signal A New Wave Of Offshore Wind

    Tommy Beaudreau

    After the recent submission of three bids in response to Massachusetts electric distribution companies' request for proposals for offshore wind energy projects, the stage is set for 2018 to be a breakthrough year in U.S. offshore wind development, say attorneys with Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Put The Brakes On Acceleration Bay Litigation Funder Ruling

    David Gallagher

    Last week, the District of Delaware raised eyebrows by ruling that documents provided to a litigation funder and its counsel in connection with their due diligence are categorically not attorney work product. Acceleration Bay v. Activision Blizzard seems to be a case of bad facts making bad law, says David Gallagher, investment manager and legal counsel for Bentham IMF.

  • How Corporate Policyholders Can Prepare For Earthquakes

    Micah Skidmore

    With some predicting that 2018 will see a significant increase in the number and severity of earthquakes worldwide, corporate insureds may do well to accelerate their review and expansion of policy terms to address this important risk, says Micah Skidmore of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Considerations For Attorneys Using Artificial Intelligence

    Ben Allgrove

    Artificial intelligence tools can empower attorneys to work more efficiently, deepen and broaden their areas of expertise, and provide increased value to clients, which in turn can improve legal transparency, dispute resolution and access to justice. But there are some common pitfalls already apparent in the legal industry, say Ben Allgrove and Yoon Chae of Baker McKenzie.