Environmental

  • November 21, 2019

    Judge Kills Oil Industry Group's Calif. Oil Spill Claims

    A California federal judge said a group of individuals and businesses in the oil industry didn't have the required "special relationship" with Plains All American Pipeline LP that would allow them to pursue negligence claims against the company stemming from a 2015 oil spill.

  • November 21, 2019

    Enviros Sue EPA Over Drilling Wastewater In Calif. Aquifer

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency illegally exempted a California oil field from Safe Drinking Water Act protections in order to allow the injection of oil and natural gas wastewater into an aquifer for a Freeport-McMoRan project, the Center for Biological Diversity said Thursday in a new lawsuit.

  • November 21, 2019

    Verizon Sues NY Town Over Rejected Telecom Facility Permit

    Verizon Wireless asked a New York federal court Thursday to overturn a Putnam County town's decision denying its request for permission to build two public utility wireless facilities, arguing that denials of the necessary zoning variances and wetlands permit are "unreasonable and unsupportable."

  • November 21, 2019

    FERC's Glick Says Pipeline OK Has Whiff Of A 'Rubber Stamp'

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday refused to reconsider its approval for a gas pipeline in Illinois and Missouri, a decision that Commissioner Richard Glick said justifies criticism that the agency acts as a “rubber stamp” for gas projects.

  • November 21, 2019

    10 Firms Vie For Lead Status In Ford Fuel Economy MDL

    Consumers represented by Hagens Berman, Lieff Cabraser, The Miller Law Firm and others are jockeying for lead status in consolidated multidistrict litigation in Michigan alleging Ford overhyped the fuel economy of its F-150 and Ranger pickup trucks.

  • November 21, 2019

    T-Mobile Says 'No Legitimate Objection' To Steeple Antennas

    T-Mobile has asked a Massachusetts federal judge for a quick win in its suit against a coastal town for rejecting its request to install six wireless antennas, asserting the steeple of the church where it wants to erect the equipment is “the only feasible location that can remedy” a significant gap in cell service.

  • November 21, 2019

    Texas Court Won't Revisit Fight Over Injection Well Permit

    A Texas appeals court declined to revisit a split decision that upheld a state environmental regulator’s approval of an individual waste disposal facility despite concerns raised late in the process by Texas energy regulators about the project's impacts on nearby oil and gas deposits.

  • November 21, 2019

    RI Climate Suit Is No State Court Matter, 1st Circ. Told

    A Rhode Island suit seeking to hold 21 fossil fuel companies responsible for the effects of climate change belongs in federal court, the companies told the First Circuit on Wednesday, arguing the nation’s interests are not best served by allowing each state to apply its own laws.

  • November 21, 2019

    Jury Says Ore. Owes Counties $1B For Lost Forest Income

    An Oregon state jury on Wednesday awarded $1 billion to 14 counties and more than 100 other government entities that alleged the state has failed to extract the maximum monetary value from forests in their jurisdictions, a portion of which goes to the local governments.

  • November 21, 2019

    FERC Has A Role In PG&E Bankruptcy, 9th Circ. Told

    A California bankruptcy judge had no right to rule that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission doesn't have a say in whether Pacific Gas and Electric Co. can ditch power purchase agreements in Chapter 11, the agency told the Ninth Circuit.

  • November 21, 2019

    Tribes Say EPA Shouldn't Revisit Decision On Maine Waters

    The Penobscot Nation and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians have pressed a federal judge to halt the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's review of its 2015 decision on Maine water rules, saying remanding the case to the agency could “reignite disputes that have been put to rest” in the litigation.

  • November 20, 2019

    9th Circ. Will Let Calif. ESA Suit Move Forward In Fed. Court

    The Ninth Circuit overturned a lower court and will let an Endangered Species Act claim brought by a recreation advocacy group proceed against California state officials, deciding that a related matter the group brought in state court didn't stand in the way of the federal suit.

  • November 20, 2019

    EPA Says Regulation Of 'Forever Chemicals' Coming Soon

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it will soon move toward regulating two substances that belong to the family of "forever chemicals" that has sparked waves of litigation across the country.

  • November 20, 2019

    Pa. Bills Would Require OK Of Gov.'s Carbon Tax Agreement

    Pennsylvania lawmakers have filed legislation seeking to require the General Assembly's approval of the governor's proposal to enter the state into a regional greenhouse agreement that could result in carbon taxes being levied on power plants.

  • November 20, 2019

    NY Asserts Immunity To Tribal Fishing Rights Suit

    New York has told a federal judge that its sovereign immunity should defeat three Shinnecock Indian Nation members’ suit claiming the state and a county have illegally prosecuted them for fishing near the tribe’s Long Island reservation, while the tribe members argued that state officials aren't entitled to such protection.

  • November 20, 2019

    Pa. Judge Stays On Wetlands Case Handled By Former Clerk

    A Pennsylvania federal judge once again declined to step down from handling a long-running Clean Water Act lawsuit over concerns that an attorney for the government was once one of her law clerks and remained close.

  • November 20, 2019

    Enbridge Loses $45M Leaky Water Line Verdict On Appeal

    An Enbridge Inc. unit didn't present enough evidence to support a $45.4 million verdict against a concrete product maker over a leaky water line that caused a pipeline spill that cost $40 million to remediate, an Illinois appellate panel said Tuesday.

  • November 19, 2019

    18 Insurers Sue Feds Over National Park Fire Response

    In two separate suits filed Monday and Tuesday in Tennessee federal court, 18 insurers alleged the federal government contributed to damage caused by a 2016 fire in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park through a lack of communication and poor fire monitoring.

  • November 19, 2019

    PG&E Says Private Ownership Saves It From Wildfire Liability

    Facing billions of dollars in wildfire liability, Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. urged a U.S. bankruptcy judge in San Francisco on Tuesday to find that it's not on the hook under the state's inverse condemnation doctrine because it's investor-owned rather than a public entity.

  • November 19, 2019

    Power Co. Can Press Pollution Cleanup Coverage Suit

    A Wisconsin appeals court revived a power company’s suit seeking to force Lloyd’s of London insurers to cover the cost of cleaning up groundwater contamination at a former gas storage site, finding Tuesday that a lower court applied too narrow an interpretation of a key policy term.

  • November 19, 2019

    New Legislation Aims To Restore Buffalo To Indian Country

    A bipartisan group of Congress members introduced legislation Monday aimed at assisting Native American tribes in the protection and conservation of buffalo.

  • November 19, 2019

    Grid Policy Shuts Out Offshore Wind Lines, FERC Told

    A power line developer on Monday told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that regional grid operator PJM Interconnection wrongly bars transmission projects serving planned Atlantic offshore wind farms from hooking up with the grid and could stymie the ambitious clean energy goals of coastal states.

  • November 19, 2019

    9th Circ. Leaves Door Open To Go After Chemical Safety Rule

    Green groups notched only a limited win when the Ninth Circuit agreed with part of their claim that a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chemical safety regulation isn't strict enough, but the court left clues that another attack on the rule could have legs.

  • November 19, 2019

    Enviros Say Mont. Coal Mine Expansion Ignores Climate Risk

    Environmental groups have sued the U.S. Department of the Interior, accusing it of ignoring the impact on water quality and climate change of expanding coal mining at a Montana site that fuels a large coal-fired power plant.

  • November 19, 2019

    California Pumps Brakes On New Fracking Permits

    California on Tuesday paused the approval of permits for new fracking wells in a step to achieve its goals of becoming carbon-neutral by 2045 and reducing oil production in the state.

Expert Analysis

  • Okla.'s New Facility Audit Law Offers Limited Protections

    Author Photo

    Oklahoma's new Environmental, Health and Safety Audit Privilege Act is designed to encourage voluntary compliance with environmental and occupational health and safety laws, but businesses should understand the limited scope of the immunity and privilege it offers, say Ashlyn Smith and Jake Krattiger of GableGotwals.

  • Removing Reopeners May Speed Up Superfund Settlements

    Author Photo

    Reopener provisions in natural resource damages settlements under the federal Superfund law are meant to protect the public from post-settlement discoveries, but by undermining the corporate desire for finality in managing liabilities, they make settlements harder to reach, say Amanda Halter and Ashleigh Acevedo of Pillsbury.

  • The Force (Majeure) May Be With ND Oil And Gas Lessees

    Author Photo

    The North Dakota Supreme Court's recent ruling in Pennington v. Continental Resources, applying force majeure to both primary and secondary oil and gas lease terms, is good news for lessees, as courts in other states have disagreed on this issue in recent years, say attorneys at K&L Gates.

  • How To Hire Lateral Partners More Effectively

    Author Photo

    Although lateral partner hiring is the preferred method of inorganic growth among law firms, the traditional approach to vetting does not employ sufficient due diligence by the hiring firm, says Michael Ellenhorn at executive search firm Decipher Competitive Intelligence.

  • France Pollution Verdict Increases Business Litigation Risk

    Author Photo

    The European Court of Justice's recent ruling against France for excessive carbon dioxide pollution shows that European authorities will strictly interpret environmental legislation, which could invite increased litigation against businesses, says Sylvie Gallage-Alwis of Signature Litigation.

  • State Net

    Wildfire Responses Resonate Beyond California

    Author Photo

    Firefighting practices are often shared between states, so what California does, or doesn't do, to prevent and combat wildfires has impacts beyond its borders. One lesson learned this year is that power shutoffs to prevent fires cause more problems than they solve, says Lou Cannon of State Net Capitol Journal.

  • Justices' Maui Ruling Could Change Groundwater Permitting

    Author Photo

    Oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund raise the possibility that the national permitting system for discharging wastewater into the ground will need to be retrofitted, says Marcia Greenblatt of Integral Consulting.

  • Engaging With International Carcinogen Evaluations

    Author Photo

    Defense-oriented attorneys and corporations should be aware of the International Agency for Research on Cancer's list of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other exposures slated for review over the next five years, and begin preparing for eventual hazard evaluations by IARC working groups, say Eric Lasker and John Kalas of Hollingsworth.

  • 4 Months After Kisor V. Wilkie, Auer Deference Survives

    Author Photo

    Recent federal appellate and district court rulings suggest that the predicted radical curtailing of Auer deference in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Kisor v. Wilkie has not come to fruition, say Jeffrey Karp and Edward Mahaffey at Sullivan & Worcester.

  • Wis. PFAS Proposals Present Challenges For Businesses

    Author Photo

    Businesses with a presence in Wisconsin should be aware of the state's proposals for regulating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — in particular, its plans to set extremely low allowable levels of PFAS in drinking water, say George Marek and Lauren Harpke of Quarles & Brady.

  • FERC Orders Advance Grid Operators' Energy Storage Plans

    Author Photo

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently approved two regional transmission organizations' energy storage proposals. But full integration of storage resources into the wholesale market will be complex — and ongoing litigation could force FERC to change its approach, say attorneys at Greenberg Traurig.

  • Texas Could Take Page From Mass.'s Judicial Selection Book

    Author Photo

    As Texas and other states review their judicial election processes, they would be well served by taking guidance from Massachusetts' Governor’s Council system, which protects the judiciary from the hazards of campaigning, says Richard Baker of New England Intellectual Property.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: McKeown Reviews 'Conversations With RBG'

    Author Photo

    Reading Jeffrey Rosen’s "Conversations With RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law" is like eavesdropping on the author and his subject while they discuss how the restrained judicial minimalist became the fiery leader of the opposition, says Ninth Circuit Judge M. Margaret McKeown.

  • Justices Seek Balance In Clean Water Act Case Arguments

    Author Photo

    In last week’s U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, justices searched for a standard for controlling indirect discharges to navigable waters that could prevent evasion of water quality protections without significantly expanding federal permitting requirements, say Ashley Peck and Alison Hunter of Holland & Hart.

  • How Pipeline Cos. Should Respond To EPA Pigging Alert

    Author Photo

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently took aim at air emissions from "pigging," a natural gas pipeline maintenance procedure. Midstream oil and gas operators must balance the need for internal emissions reviews and the legal and compliance issues they can produce, says David McSweeney of Hunton.