Environmental

  • July 02, 2020

    FERC Seeks Hill's Help After DC Circ. Dumps Pipeline Policy

    Two Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners on Thursday urged Congress to extend the agency's administrative appeals process and give landowners more protection, two days after the D.C. Circuit blew a hole in FERC's ability to delay requests to reconsider gas project approvals.

  • July 02, 2020

    The Biggest Energy Rulings Of 2020: Midyear Report

    It's already been a blockbuster year for court decisions affecting the energy sector, with courts ruling on whether climate change-related litigation can proceed as well as weighing in on key permitting and liability issues. Here are some of the most significant energy-related court decisions from the first half of 2020.

  • July 02, 2020

    4th Circ. Grounds Challenge To Baltimore Airport Construction

    A Maryland county missed the deadline to challenge an updated plan for expanding cargo capabilities at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport by seven days and can't pin the delay on anyone other than itself, a Fourth Circuit panel has ruled. 

  • July 02, 2020

    Greens Win Challenge Against Montana Logging Project

    A Montana federal judge has vacated portions of a U.S. Forest Service plan for logging and prescribed burns near the city of Helena, saying the government had been deliberately misleading the public about the extent of road construction and other effects.

  • July 02, 2020

    7th Circ. Told Dynegy Ash Pits Subject To Maui Water Ruling

    Coal ash pits owned by Dynegy Midwest Generation LLC are illegally leaking pollution through groundwater that has turned an Illinois river orange-red and must be more strictly regulated under the Clean Water Act, environmentalists told the Seventh Circuit on Wednesday.

  • July 02, 2020

    DOJ Antitrust Chief Denies Staffer Claims Of Political Bias

    The head of the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division has hit back against allegations made by a division staffer that investigations into recent cannabis mergers and a car emissions deal were politically motivated.

  • July 02, 2020

    Transpo Regulation And Legislation To Watch: Midyear Report

    The transportation industry is keeping tabs on infrastructure funding legislation, potential reforms to the Federal Aviation Administration’s aircraft certification process and new consumer protection regulations covering air travel. Here, Law360 highlights legislation and regulation to watch in the latter half of 2020.

  • July 02, 2020

    Gov't Accuses Natural Gas Complex Of Air-Polluting Leaks

    Colorado and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have said a Western Midstream Partners LP unit's natural gas processing compound violated federal and state air pollution laws by failing to properly monitor and correct hazardous substance releases.

  • July 02, 2020

    Calif. Plastic Suit Belongs In State Court, Green Group Says

    An environmental group hoping to hold Nestle, PepsiCo, Clorox and others accountable for plastic pollution along California's coastline has slammed the companies' attempts to try the case in federal court, saying they have mischaracterized its state-specific arguments as national or international issues.

  • July 02, 2020

    Biggest Environmental Law Rulings So Far In 2020

    2020 has already been a huge year for environmental litigation, with the U.S. Supreme Court clearing up important unanswered questions in water and Superfund law, and an ambitious group of youths losing their effort to bring the federal government to trial over climate policy.

  • July 01, 2020

    Mont. Gov. Escapes Enviros' Yellowstone Bison Suit

    A Montana federal judge has let Montana Gov. Steve Bullock exit a suit brought by a conservation group claiming the state and federal governments mishandled Native American tribes' bison hunting on public land near Yellowstone National Park, finding that the governor is not a proper defendant in the dispute.

  • July 01, 2020

    Sailors Run Out Of Options At 9th Circ. In Fukushima Suit

    U.S. sailors said Wednesday the Supreme Court is the next stop for their $1 billion lawsuit against General Electric Co. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. over alleged radiation injuries suffered during their response to the Japanese nuclear disaster, after striking out in the Ninth Circuit.

  • July 01, 2020

    House Passes $1.5T Infrastructure Funding Bill

    The House on Wednesday passed an estimated $1.5 trillion surface transportation and infrastructure investment bill that aggressively tackles climate change and environmental reforms, advancing a measure that the Senate majority leader and the president have already declared dead on arrival. 

  • July 01, 2020

    Kinder Morgan Says Justices' Maui Decision Voids Water Case

    Kinder Morgan and environmental groups fought Wednesday in the Fourth Circuit over the correct interpretation of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the Clean Water Act sometimes covers pollution that first travels through groundwater.

  • July 01, 2020

    Chicken Plant Hit With Sanctions By 'Flabbergasted' Judge

    A Delaware state judge has imposed $28,320 in sanctions against chicken processing plant Mountaire Corp. for overredacting documents produced in discovery in a suit over alleged water pollution, saying he was already "flabbergasted" by the company's conduct but more recent revelations in the case show it's gone too far.

  • July 01, 2020

    ND High Court OKs Permit For Refinery Near National Park

    The North Dakota Supreme Court has upheld a state Clean Air Act permit for an oil refinery near a national park, finding that the state Department of Environmental Quality adequately responded to public concerns over pollution from the project.

  • July 01, 2020

    Composter Coverage Tiff Belongs In State Court, Judge Says

    A Massachusetts federal judge has thrown out a suit by Scottsdale Insurance Co. seeking to avoid defending the operator of a composting facility in a suit over alleged pollution at the facility, saying the dispute fits better in the same state court as the pollution suit.

  • July 01, 2020

    Innogy Delaying Wind Project To Avoid Paying $70M, Suit Says

    The seller of a wind farm project has told a New York federal court a former Innogy SE unit is purposely holding up the progress of the venture to avoid coughing up a nearly $70 million payment it owes upon completion of the project.

  • June 30, 2020

    Top Mexico Court Lets Renewable Power Stay On Grid

    Mexico's top court has refused to reinstate a plan by the country's energy ministry to prevent renewable power sources from connecting to the electric grid as an antitrust complaint against the idea moves forward.

  • June 30, 2020

    Wind Farm Owner Says Texas Co.'s Deception Cost It Millions

    A unit of Spanish energy conglomerate Acciona alleged on Tuesday that a Texas wind farm developer lied about securing land needed for a project to make it seem as if the venture was on track when it was actually falling way behind schedule, which cost $7 million to correct.

  • June 30, 2020

    Mining Groups Back Rosemont Copper Project To 9th Circ.

    Mining interest groups have filed a flurry of amicus briefs with the Ninth Circuit supporting a bid by Rosemont Copper Co. and its parent company to overturn a lower court ruling blocking a major copper mining project in Arizona.

  • June 30, 2020

    States Criticize EPA Push To Maintain Particulate Matter Regs

    A coalition of states including Maryland and New York told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that fine and coarse particulate matter pollution kills thousands of people each year and the agency is wrong not to tighten its rules to better protect public health.

  • June 30, 2020

    EPA Plans To End Controversial COVID-19 Enforcement Policy

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it would be ending its controversial policy that suspended monitoring and reporting requirements for certain entities during COVID-19, according to a memorandum from the agency.

  • June 30, 2020

    Feds And Conservation Group Pause Shark Overfishing Suit

    A Hawaii conservation nonprofit has reached an agreement with the federal government to stay its lawsuit over the government's alleged failure to designate the oceanic whitetip shark population as overfished, with an official designation expected in August.

  • June 30, 2020

    Baltimore Asks Justices Not To Bother With Climate Case

    Baltimore has told the U.S. Supreme Court it should not spend its time reviewing a narrow issue raised by Chevron Corp. and other energy giants in their bid to move to federal court the city's lawsuit over climate change-related infrastructure damage. 

Expert Analysis

  • Why Colo. Stay Of Trump's Water Rule Is Noteworthy

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    Following a Colorado federal court's statewide stay of the Trump administration's new Clean Water Act rule, it seems likely the rule will be invalidated in the state — further complicating a national patchwork of definitions of "waters of the U.S." and possibly influencing other courts considering injunction requests, say Christine Jochim and Michael Smith at Brownstein Hyatt.

  • Opinion

    Time To Consider Percentage Rental Agreements For Lawyers

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    It has long been the law that attorneys cannot use percentage rental agreements because doing so would constitute an impermissible sharing of fees with nonlawyers, but such arrangements can help lawyers match expenses with revenues in lean times like now, say Peter Jarvis and Trisha Thompson at Holland & Knight.

  • Rebuttal

    The Remote Jury Trial Is Not A Bad Idea

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    A recent Law360 guest article argued that the fundamental genius of the jury trial can only exist in a live setting in a courtroom, but the online process is at least as fair as its in-person counterpart, says Pavel Bespalko at Tricorne.

  • 'Settle And Sue' Malpractice Cases Have New Clarity In Calif.

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    A California state appellate court's recent decision in Masellis v. Law Office of Leslie F. Jensen provides a road map for proving causation and damages in settle-and-sue legal malpractice cases — an important issue of long-standing confusion, says Steven Berenson at Klinedinst.

  • What You Say In Online Mediation May Be Discoverable

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    Mediation conducted online with participants in different states makes it harder to determine where communications were made, increasing the risk that courts will apply laws of a state that does not protect mediation confidentiality, say mediators Jeff Kichaven and Teresa Frisbie and law student Tyler Codina.

  • EPA Limits On States' Project Reviews Likely To Face Lawsuits

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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recently announced rule limiting the scope of states' reviews of planned energy infrastructure projects will likely mean more litigation between states and the federal government — and more uncertainty for businesses and other stakeholders, says Philip Sholtz at Goldberg Segalla.

  • 10 Tips For A Successful Remote Arbitration Hearing

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    As I learned after completing a recent international arbitration remotely, with advance planning a video hearing can replicate the in-person experience surprisingly well, and may actually be superior in certain respects, says Kate Shih at Quinn Emanuel.

  • 10 Key Changes In EPA Fuel Regulation Overhaul Plan

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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recently proposed overhaul of fuel regulations deserves close review, given the breadth of its coverage, the potential implications of revised emissions compliance mechanisms, and new enforcement questions, says Sarah Grey at Arnold & Porter.

  • Opinion

    To Achieve Diversity, Law Firms Must Reinvent Hiring Process

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    If law firms are truly serious about making meaningful change in terms of diversity, they must adopt a demographically neutral, unbiased hiring equation that looks at personality traits with greater import than grades and class rank, says Thomas Latino at Florida State University College of Law.

  • Cybersecurity Steps For Law Firms Amid Heightened Risks

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    With large swaths of the population indoors and primarily online, cybercriminals will be able to exploit law firms more easily now than ever before, but some basic precautions can help, says Joel Wallenstrom at Wickr.

  • 4 Tips For Defending Consolidated Cases

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    Consolidation of plaintiffs may be a trend we'll see more of in the aftermath of COVID-19 court closures, with added risks for those defending such cases before a jury, but running a targeted voir dire and incorporating a strong case theme could go a long way, says Christina Marinakis at Litigation Insights.

  • Opinion

    Strict Calif. Vapor Intrusion Guidance Threatens Development

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    The conservative standards set by California's recently released draft guidance on vapor intrusion may require unnecessary and expensive testing and mitigation, hindering local economic development, say Charles White and Peter Duchesneau at Manatt.

  • Justices' Superfund Ruling May Change Settlement Process

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian, addressing the interplay of federal and state environmental statutes, may encourage homeowners and other interested parties to get involved in the Superfund settlement process, say Ed Cohen and Tim Briscoe at Thompson Coburn.

  • Opinion

    It's Time For Law Firms To Support Work-From-Home Culture

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    Now that law firms are on board with fully remote work environments, they must develop policies that match in-office culture and align partner and associate expectations, says Summer Eberhard at Major Lindsey.

  • Opinion

    Republicans Keep Confirming Unqualified Judicial Nominees

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    What emerges from the group of 200 federal judges confirmed by the Senate under President Donald Trump is a judiciary stacked with young conservative ideologues, many of whom lack basic judicial qualifications, says Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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