Environmental

  • April 24, 2018

    US Energy Firm Targets Poland Over Nixed Wind Farm Deals

    Invenergy LLC made good Tuesday on its threat to mount an arbitration claim against Poland for allegedly orchestrating the unlawful termination of the American energy company's long-term wind farm contracts with several state-owned utilities, saying efforts to amicably resolve the dispute have failed.

  • April 24, 2018

    MarkWest Strikes Deal With EPA, Pa. Over Alleged Emissions

    MarkWest Liberty Midstream Resources LLC will pay a $610,000 civil penalty, spend $2.6 million on minimizing emissions from its facilities and take on environmentally beneficial projects worth $2.4 million to settle claims it flouted air pollution laws, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday.

  • April 24, 2018

    Pruitt Floats Overhaul To EPA Scientific Review Process

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Tuesday proposed a rule that would prevent the agency from promulgating regulations using research that isn't publicly available, mirroring legislation that's advanced in the GOP-controlled Congress but hasn't yet made it into law.

  • April 24, 2018

    EPA Tells DC Circ. New Renewable Fuel Mandates Are Proper

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told the D.C. Circuit on Monday that refiners and a biodiesel trade group were wrong to attack a rule that set the levels of renewable fuel that must be blended into the fuel supply, defending its discretion to calculate mandates.

  • April 24, 2018

    In Turnabout, Judge Erases Challenge To NM Drilling Permits

    A New Mexico federal judge on Monday rejected all challenges by environmental groups and a Navajo tribal group seeking to block the Bureau of Land Management from allowing further drilling in New Mexico’s Mancos Shale, after originally saying the groups' National Historic Preservation Act allegations had merit.

  • April 24, 2018

    Low Bidder Won't Get Contract For NJ Enviro Cleanup

    The disqualified low bidder on a contract with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for emergency response services should have already had a subcontractor in place that had a valid license in asbestos removal, a state appellate panel ruled Tuesday in upholding the state’s rejection of the bid.

  • April 23, 2018

    Timber Co. Asks High Court To Reverse Frog Habitat Ruling

    Weyerhaeuser Co. and other forest land owners on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Fifth Circuit ruling upholding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to declare 1,500 acres of private property in Louisiana as protected habitat for the endangered dusky gopher frog.

  • April 23, 2018

    EU, Mexico Agree To Broader Trade Deal Nixing Tariffs

    Trade officials with the European Union and Mexico announced that they have struck a bilateral free trade agreement that would eliminate virtually all duty payments between the two economies and further open government contracts by the North American nation to European companies.

  • April 23, 2018

    GM Slams Consumers' Bid To Expand Diesel Emissions Suit

    General Motors LLC on Friday slammed an attempt by consumers to expand their putative class action accusing the Detroit auto giant of installing so-called defeat devices on Chevrolet Cruze diesel cars to cheat emissions tests, saying their eleventh-hour bid comes too late.

  • April 23, 2018

    Activists Can Make Case For Pipeline Shutoff, Panel Says

    Four climate change activists charged with tampering with an Enbridge Inc. tar sands pipeline can present evidence at their trial that their actions were necessary to prevent environmental harm caused by fossil fuel use, a Minnesota appeals court said Monday in upholding a lower court ruling.

  • April 23, 2018

    New GM, Mich. Residents Dispute Provisions Of 2009 Sale

    General Motors told a New York bankruptcy court on Friday that a group of Michigan residents cannot pursue the carmaker for groundwater contamination, saying GM's 2009 bankruptcy sale agreement did not assign the so-called New GM liabilities related to common law environmental claims.

  • April 23, 2018

    EPA Says Forest Biomass Energy Is 'Carbon Neutral'

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday said it will treat as "carbon neutral" the burning of wood and wood byproducts at power plants and other facilities, a policy declaration that pleased the forestry industry and dismayed environmental groups.

  • April 23, 2018

    DC Circ. Asked To Rethink Decision On 2008 Ozone Rule

    The Los Angeles-area air quality regulator on Friday asked a D.C. Circuit panel to reconsider its decision partially vacating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2008 ozone standards implementation rule.

  • April 23, 2018

    NY Pollution Permit Could Violate CWA, Enviros Say

    The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation flouted federal and state environmental law by issuing a statewide general water pollution permit that authorizes the discharge of industrial stormwater into waters already designated as “impaired,” two environmental organizations alleged Friday in New York state court.

  • April 23, 2018

    5th Circ. Rejects Citgo's Bid For Redo On $81M Spill Penalty

    The Fifth Circuit said Friday it would not rethink its recent confirmation of an $81 million Clean Water Act penalty against Citgo Petroleum Corp. stemming from a 2006 oil spill, despite the company’s protests.

  • April 23, 2018

    Alleged Atty Conflict Not Enough To Doom Biofuel Indictment

    A Pennsylvania federal judge refused Friday to throw out a criminal fraud case against a former biofuel company executive who had alleged the government was aware his attorneys at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP had a conflict of interest but did not intervene.

  • April 23, 2018

    Energy Co. Tells 9th Circ. To Reject Mine Ruling Challenge

    An energy company urged the Ninth Circuit on Friday not to rethink a panel ruling backing a lower court decision that rejected a challenge to a uranium mining project near the Grand Canyon, saying the appeal from a coalition of environmental groups doesn't present any especially important questions.

  • April 23, 2018

    2nd Circ. Nixes Feds' Delay Of Fuel Economy Penalty Boost

    The Second Circuit on Monday vacated the Trump administration’s indefinite delay of higher penalties for automakers that don’t meet certain fuel efficiency standards, the latest court to rebuff efforts by the administration to delay implementation of Obama-era energy and environmental rules.

  • April 20, 2018

    11th Circ. Affirms Sewage Not Pollution In Insurance Row

    The Eleventh Circuit upheld an Alabama federal court's ruling that a pollution exclusion in an insurance policy doesn’t apply to property damage and injuries from a sewage leak, saying Friday the lower court rightly drew comparisons to a past case that reached the same conclusion.

  • April 20, 2018

    Monsanto Appeal Can't Keep Herbicide Off Calif. Cancer List

    A California appeals court on Thursday refused to revive Monsanto Co.’s lawsuit challenging a state agency’s inclusion of the herbicide glyphosate on a list of carcinogens, which could require the company to put warning labels on its popular Roundup weed killing products because glyphosate is an active ingredient.

Expert Analysis

  • State Electric Generator Subsidies Challenge FERC Markets

    Richard Drom

    In recent weeks, regional transmission organizations have attempted to amend their Federal Energy Regulatory Commission tariffs to protect their energy and capacity markets from state subsidies for certain types of power generation. Such subsidies challenge FERC’s authority to effectively operate competitive wholesale markets, says Richard Drom of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC.

  • Another Take On 'Take-Home' Asbestos Exposure In Calif.

    Theresa Mullineaux

    A California appellate court recently upheld a trial court’s summary judgment in a secondary exposure asbestos case where the plaintiffs could offer no admissible evidence that the decedent’s father worked around asbestos-containing materials. While this opinion is unpublished and uncitable under California rules, its legal theory can apply to other cases, says Theresa Mullineaux of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • Big Changes Ahead For Renewable Fuel Standard

    Joel Beauvais

    The Renewable Fuel Standard has been the center of sustained policy discussion and resulting uncertainty during the first year of the Trump administration. Joel Beauvais and Steven Croley of Latham & Watkins LLP analyze recent developments with a focus on the legal framework and implications for the RFS program.

  • Rule 23 Changes: Avoid Delays In Class Settlement Approval

    Shandarese Garr

    Among the proposed amendments to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which are scheduled to take effect Dec. 1, are specific requirements related to “front-loading.” They outline the process for seeking preliminary court approval of class action settlements and related notice plans, say Shandarese Garr and Niki Mendoza of Garden City Group LLC.

  • Battery Supply Chain: A Unique Growth Opportunity

    Rebecca Campbell

    Battery materials and electric vehicles offer something unique to today’s commodity producers and investors: a sustainable growth story that is not just China-dependent. The exponential growth in demand is creating a scramble for resources not seen since the last great commodity supercycle, say attorneys with White & Case LLP.

  • Earth Day Review Of 'Green Guide' False Advertising: Round 2

    David Kluft

    Earth Day is almost here, and companies may be looking to capture some environmentally minded consumers with nifty green-themed advertising campaigns. To help sort through the Federal Trade Commission requirements for environmental marketing, David Kluft of Foley Hoag LLP assesses recent disputes involving the agency's “Green Guides” in his second annual review.

  • Must FERC Weigh GHG Emissions In Pipeline Reviews?

    Jay Costan

    The additional analysis on downstream greenhouse gas emissions required by the D.C. Circuit's recent ruling in Sierra Club v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has the potential to further delay an already burdened FERC pipeline approval process, says James Costan of Dentons.

  • Best Practices For Building A Better Meeting

    Nicholas Cheolas

    How can we improve meetings in the legal industry, which tends to evolve with the speed of a tranquilized water buffalo mired in quicksand? Breaking it down to three phases can yield significant benefits, says Nicholas Cheolas of Zelle LLP.

  • Spending Bill Includes Unique Path To Conservation Goals

    John Andrews

    Buried deep inside the recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act, legislation reviving the formerly expired Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act offers opportunities for potential purchasers of federal public lands, while also creating a source of funding for important conservation transactions, says John Andrews of Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • Status Update On 'One Federal Decision' Project Reviews

    Raya Treiser

    Last week, a dozen federal agencies signed a memorandum of understanding committing to a more coordinated and streamlined federal review process. But because there have been no changes to underlying statutory requirements, each agency will still have to determine that a project review meets its respective legal obligations, say Raya Treiser and Nathaniel Custer of WilmerHale.