Environmental

  • October 15, 2021

    US, Wind Farm Cos. Ask for Win in Okla. 'Mining' Suit

    The U.S government and a group of wind farm developers have asked a federal judge to grant summary judgment in their long-running battle over the excavation and use of minerals on Osage Nation land.

  • October 15, 2021

    Group Cuts Some Claims From Bison Hunt Suit At 9th. Circ.

    A community group that sued the federal government over bison hunting near Yellowstone National Park voluntarily dismissed two of its three claims in the Ninth Circuit on Friday, only continuing to request a deadline for an environmental review of bison hunting.

  • October 15, 2021

    DOJ Wants AECOM Worker Deposed On Time For Katrina Suit

    The U.S. Department of Justice urged a Louisiana federal court in a letter Friday to greenlight the scheduled deposition of a former AECOM project officer accused of falsifying reports to defraud FEMA's Hurricane Katrina relief fund, despite opposition from the company.

  • October 15, 2021

    Texas Justices To Hear Houston Drainage Fee Dispute

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether to revive a proposed class action against Houston and its leaders brought by property owners who say they are owed reimbursement for a drainage fee that was misleadingly imposed on residents of the city.

  • October 15, 2021

    Biden Officials Say Tracking Is Key To Enviro Justice Efforts

    The Biden administration is working on ways to keep track of its progress on environmental justice objectives, including through a scorecard for the various arms of the federal government, senior officials said Friday.

  • October 15, 2021

    Sacramento County Is Hit With $42.9M Sewage Discharge Suit

    A nonprofit environmental group has hit the County of Sacramento and its sewage and water departments with a $42 million suit alleging that the county has been improperly discharging sewage into surrounding U.S. waterways since 2018.

  • October 15, 2021

    DOL Plan Could Make ESG Retirement Investing Hip — Again

    A new U.S. Department of Labor proposal would rip down Trump-era barriers that discouraged ESG investing by employee retirement funds, but it may only be the latest volley in a fiery debate over whether such investments are economically relevant — and whether they benefit or harm investors.

  • October 15, 2021

    High Court Won't Pause Ruling Axing Spire Pipeline Permit

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday denied gas pipeline operator Spire's request for the high court to pause a D.C. Circuit order vacating a key permit for the now-completed $286 million, 65-mile pipeline that serves the St. Louis area.

  • October 15, 2021

    Solar Developer Fights Insurer On Pollution Policy Trigger

    A renewable energy company told a Rhode Island federal court that its insurer shouldn't be able to trigger an exemption on a pollution claim based on the company's decision to pivot away from building a solar facility.

  • October 15, 2021

    DuPont, Others Must Face NJ Water Co.'s Pollution Suit

    A New Jersey federal judge won't let Corteva Inc., DuPont de Nemours Inc. and others escape a suit from Suez Water New Jersey Inc. alleging they allowed per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, into the state's waterways, saying the utility has sufficiently alleged injuries resulting from contamination.

  • October 15, 2021

    FERC Commissioner Splits Ramp Up Confirmation Pressure

    Tuesday's Senate confirmation hearing on President Joe Biden's choice to fill the last vacant spot at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has taken on new stakes after stalemates among FERC's four current commissioners allowed two controversial power market changes to take effect.

  • October 15, 2021

    5 Key Environmental Issues Facing Georgia

    As Georgia's population continues to grow, environmental issues including water use, environmental justice and the tensions between rural and urban interests will also increase in importance.

  • October 14, 2021

    EPA Unveils Plan To Address Native Water Challenges

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled an action plan Thursday aimed at bolstering its partnerships with tribes to tackle critical water issues and provide vital water protections on native lands.

  • October 14, 2021

    Biden Officials Say Environmental Justice Is Top Priority

    Environmental justice will be a centerpiece of the Biden administration's environmental enforcement priorities, top officials from the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Transportation said during a virtual conference on Thursday.

  • October 14, 2021

    Fed. Circ. Backs $5M Atty Fees In Fracking Patent Case

    The Federal Circuit on Thursday stood by a North Dakota federal judge's holding that Heat On-The-Fly LLC must pay $5 million in attorney fees for infringement litigation where it asserted a fracking patent it knew was invalid.

  • October 14, 2021

    FAR Council Ponders Rule To Mitigate Contract Climate Effect

    The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council on Thursday said it may propose a rule aimed at minimizing the climate impact of major federal procurements, aimed especially at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by contractors. 

  • October 14, 2021

    Corteva, Dow To Pay $3.35M For Texas Pollution Complaint

    Corteva unit E.I. du Pont de Nemours and a Dow Chemical subsidiary have agreed to pay a $3.35 million penalty to put away allegations they polluted the water and air at a manufacturing facility in southwest Texas along the Louisiana border.

  • October 14, 2021

    Citigroup Dodges Part Of Illinois Superfund Cleanup Suit

    A developer can advance most of its suit looking to force Citigroup to clean up a Superfund slag pile, but its claims for contribution and strict liability can't proceed, an Illinois federal judge said Wednesday.

  • October 14, 2021

    Tribal Partnerships Could Supercharge Grid Development

    A recently completed California transmission upgrade project partly financed by a tribe whose land it crosses may serve as a template for future tribal-private partnerships that can accelerate the transmission development needed to get more clean energy on the grid, experts say.

  • October 14, 2021

    Gov't Says Bison Hunt Suit Targets The Wrong Agencies

    The federal government told the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday that a community group has wrongfully targeted its agencies with a suit over bison hunting near the Yellowstone National Park, arguing that those agencies don't authorize the bison hunting being sued over.

  • October 14, 2021

    Biden Admin. Doesn't Have To Roll Back Owl Protections

    A Washington, D.C., federal court won't force the Biden administration to immediately implement a Trump-era rule cutting a significant portion of the northern spotted owl's designated habitat in the Pacific Northwest, saying the challengers hadn't identified imminent harms.

  • October 14, 2021

    US Solar Cos. Warn Of China Blowback If Anonymity Dashed

    U.S. solar companies urged the U.S. Department of Commerce to investigate whether their Chinese rivals were bypassing steep solar tariffs, but also to shield their names from the public out of fear of potential blowback from Beijing.

  • October 14, 2021

    McDermott Continues Energy Hiring With Baker McKenzie Atty

    McDermott Will & Emery LLP continued snapping up lateral hires in the energy space with the recent addition of the former head of Baker McKenzie's North American energy transition practice.

  • October 13, 2021

    Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas Trump DOJ Civil, Enviro Leader

    The U.S. House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has issued a subpoena to the former head of the U.S. Department of Justice's civil and environment divisions during the Trump administration in an effort to understand apparent attempts to overturn the 2020 election, the committee announced Wednesday.

  • October 13, 2021

    Biden Admin. Plans 'Ambitious' Wind Farms On US Coastline

    U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Wednesday said her agency is working on an "ambitious roadmap" to develop wind farms along almost the entire U.S. coastline, as part of the Biden administration's goal to increase renewable energy production.

Expert Analysis

  • Proposed Mass. Enviro Regs Prompt Compliance Questions

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    The proposed amendments to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act would introduce new assessments for determining unfair or inequitable environmental burden on marginalized populations, but the lack of guidance and a looming implementation deadline leave developers in the dark on how to apply new regulatory concepts, say attorneys at Holland & Knight.

  • How Canceling The Border Wall Affects Gov't Contractors

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    President Joe Biden's cancellation of the border wall project has left some federal contractors in the lurch, but including protective flow-down termination clauses in their contracts can guard against subcontractor liability and ensure recovery, says Adrien Pickard at Shapiro Lifschitz.

  • 4 Antitrust Risk Areas To Watch For Government Contractors

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    To plan for the increased likelihood of detection and stiff penalties for antitrust violations following the anticipated passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, compliance efforts should focus on joint bidding, dual distribution, legal certifications, and hiring and compensation, say Andre Geverola and Lori Taubman at Arnold & Porter.

  • 9th Circ. Chromium Ruling May Expand Water System Liability

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    The Ninth Circuit's recent opinion in California River Watch v. City of Vacaville, affirming a city's liability for trace amounts of chromium in drinking water, could increase risk for water providers that transport water found to contain molecules of solid waste — even if that water meets applicable regulatory limits, says David Fotouhi at Gibson Dunn.

  • Girardi Scandal Provides Important Ethics Lessons

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    The litigation and media maelstrom following allegations that famed plaintiffs attorney Thomas Girardi and his law firm misappropriated clients' funds provides myriad ethics and professional responsibility lessons for practitioners, especially with regard to misconduct reporting and liability insurance, says Elizabeth Tuttle Newman at Frankfurt Kurnit.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: Jabil GC Talks Compliance Preparation

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    Tried-and-true compliance lessons from recent decades can be applied to companies’ environmental, social and governance efforts, especially with regard to employee training and consistent application of policies — two factors that can create a foundation for ESG criteria to flourish, says Robert Katz at Jabil.

  • 3 Ways CLOs Can Drive ESG Efforts

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    Chief legal officers are specially trained to see the legal industry's flaws, and they can leverage that perspective to push their companies toward effective environmental, social and governance engagement, says Mark Chandler at Stanford Law School.

  • How Law Firms Can Rethink Offices In A Post-Pandemic World

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    Based on their own firm's experiences, Kami Quinn and Adam Farra at Gilbert discuss strategies and unique legal industry considerations for law firms planning hybrid models of remote and in-office work in a post-COVID marketplace.

  • Opinion

    Next Fed Supervision Vice Chair Must Restore Bank Oversight

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    President Joe Biden's upcoming pick for vice chair of supervision at the Federal Reserve must undo deregulation of the banking industry carried out since 2017, and address emerging threats with an eye toward racial economic inequality, climate-related risks, fintech, liquidity requirements and more, says Phillip Basil at Better Markets.

  • 5th Circ. Ruling Aids Policyholder Deductible Calculations

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    In its recent McDonnel Group v. Starr Surplus Lines Insurance decision, the Fifth Circuit held that the policy's flood deductible language was ambiguous, providing a win for policyholders and a helpful mathematical interpretation for insureds with similar deductible language in their property insurance policies, says Tae Andrews at Miller Friel.

  • Shippers Face Risk Even From Voluntary GHG Reductions

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    As the global shipping industry prepares for mandates to cut maritime greenhouse gas emissions, some shippers are touting voluntary GHG reductions that exceed international requirements — but these efforts are not without potential legal and compliance risks, say attorneys at Winston & Strawn.

  • DC Circ.'s Exploratory Data Ruling Is A Win For Transparency

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    The District of Columbia Circuit's recent decision in Pavement Coatings v. U.S. Geological Survey, holding that the Freedom of Information Act's deliberative process exemption cannot be invoked to shield exploratory research data, will help hold government scientists accountable and deter federal agencies from manipulating data, say Lawrence Ebner at Capital Appellate Advocacy and David Kanter at Swanson Martin.

  • When Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Standard And ESG Collide

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    The recent debate over antitrust law’s so-called consumer welfare standard means that — depending on how the principle is defined — company collaborations can be viewed as either pro- or anti-competitive, which is relevant for evaluating environmental, social and corporate governance agreements as climate issues take center stage in American and European policy, says Joshua Sherman at Charles River Associates.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: Baker Hughes CLO Talks Sustainability Team

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    For businesses focused on addressing environmental, social and governance considerations, a legal team that can coordinate sustainability efforts across the company can help to manage risk and compliance issues, anticipate and prepare for change, and identify new opportunities, says Regina Jones at Baker Hughes.

  • What Mainstreaming Of Litigation Finance Means For Industry

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    The rush of new capital and investors into the litigation funding space is expected to bring heightened competition on price and other key deal terms, but litigants will need to be more in tune with individual financiers' proclivities, says William Weisman at Therium Capital Management.

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