Environmental

  • February 21, 2020

    Breaking Down Volkswagen's First US 'Clean Diesel' Trial

    Volkswagen is slated to face off Tuesday in a bellwether damages trial with drivers who opted out of a $10 billion settlement the German automotive giant struck over its "clean diesel" emissions scandal, marking the first U.S. trial for the carmaker since it admitted to fraud in 2015. Here, Law360 takes a closer look at the case ahead of trial.

  • February 21, 2020

    PennEast Urges High Court To Undo 3rd Circ. Pipeline Ruling

    Developers of the $1 billion PennEast pipeline have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Third Circuit’s ruling that PennEast can’t seize New Jersey-owned land for the project, slamming the decision as “exceptionally wrong” and pointing to a recent declaratory order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission supporting PennEast’s position.

  • February 21, 2020

    Trump Can’t Reverse Ocean Drilling Ban, Profs Tell 9th Circ.

    The Trump administration can’t undo former President Barack Obama's block on oil and gas drilling in large areas of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans because Congress didn’t explicitly provide the president with the power to revoke these protections, environmental law professors have told the Ninth Circuit.

  • February 21, 2020

    Russia Can't Escape Ukraine Claims Over Crimea Annexation

    An international tribunal on Friday rejected many of Russia's jurisdictional objections to Ukraine's allegations that Moscow has stolen its energy and fisheries resources in the waters surrounding Crimea following the larger nation's 2014 annexation of the disputed peninsula.

  • February 21, 2020

    Enviros Ask NC To Nix $7B Pipeline Before High Court Review

    Scores of environmental and justice groups have urged North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to stop the $7 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, saying just days before the U.S. Supreme Court hears a related case that the project threatens low-income groups as well as the climate.

  • February 21, 2020

    NY Gov.'s Bill Aims To Jumpstart Green Energy Project Siting

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday unveiled sweeping legislation aimed at accelerating the siting and development of renewable energy projects in order to meet the Empire State's ambitious climate change and decarbonization goals.

  • February 21, 2020

    Senate Dems Protest Trump's Drilling 'Giveaway' For Alaska

    Seven Democratic senators have lodged a protest over the Trump administration's approach to oil and gas drilling in the Alaskan Arctic's National Petroleum Reserve, denouncing "a large-scale giveaway of America's public lands" that discards a 2013 compromise.

  • February 21, 2020

    Enviros Say Feds Must Act To Protect Ancient Lake Sturgeon

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is illegally dragging its feet on deciding whether to protect a fish species that dates back to the dinosaurs, environmentalists have alleged in Illinois federal court.

  • February 21, 2020

    Veterans, Ex-Lawmakers Join 9th Circ. Border Wall Fund Fight

    Veterans, former lawmakers and ex-federal government officials have called on the Ninth Circuit to stop President Donald Trump from pulling defense funds to finance a border wall, warning that the funding diversion puts soldiers at risk and undermines Congress’ intent.

  • February 21, 2020

    SEC And Ex-Exec Of Navistar Reach $500K Partial Settlement

    The former CEO of Navistar International Corporation has reached a $500,000 agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to partially settle claims that he hid the company’s struggles to meet federal environmental standards, government attorneys told an Illinois federal judge Friday.

  • February 21, 2020

    Calif. Says FAA's Enviro Review Of Air Cargo Facility Flawed

    California has challenged the Federal Aviation Administration's finding that a recently approved air cargo facility at the San Bernardino airport would not have a significant environmental impact, telling the Ninth Circuit the government looked past air quality concerns.

  • February 21, 2020

    Texas Communities Challenge FERC Approval Of LNG Project

    Community and environmental groups are challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of a liquefied natural gas project on the Texas Gulf Coast, claiming the agency ignored the project's pollution impacts on nearby and largely low-income Latino communities.

  • February 21, 2020

    Industry, Enviro Groups Blast EPA's 2019 Biofuel Mandates

    Biofuel, fossil fuel and environmental groups have attacked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's defense of its 2019 renewable fuel standard from different angles, telling the D.C. Circuit on Thursday it will harm industry and wildlife.

  • February 21, 2020

    Bid To DQ Judge On Eve Of VW 'Clean Diesel' Trial Tossed

    A California federal judge denied a motion to disqualify him from overseeing the first U.S. trial over Volkswagen's "clean diesel" emissions scandal set to begin on Monday, saying Friday the drivers’ bid was a delay tactic and failed to show the required degree of favoritism or antagonism to justify disqualification.

  • February 21, 2020

    Calif. Sues Over Trump's Effort To Divert More Water To Farms

    California on Thursday sued the Trump administration over its efforts to divert more water from the state's Central Valley for agricultural purposes, arguing it had based the decision on a faulty analysis that failed to protect endangered species.

  • February 20, 2020

    ​​​​​​​Morgan Lewis, SoCalGas Sanctioned $525K In Gas Leak Case

    A California judge overseeing thousands of suits over the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak on Thursday ordered Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Sempra Energy and Southern California Gas to pay $525,000 in sanctions, finding that the law firm and its clients violated court orders and repeatedly withheld discovery information.

  • February 20, 2020

    BASF Gets Chance To Fight $250M Dicamba Punitive Award

    A Missouri federal judge said Thursday he's willing to consider BASF Corp.'s argument that only Monsanto Co. should be on the hook for a $250 million punitive damages award handed down in the first trial over alleged harm caused by the weedkiller dicamba.

  • February 20, 2020

    Activists Sue DOD Over PFAS Foam Burning Contracts

    The U.S. Department of Defense didn't run a proper environmental review before awarding contracts for burning millions of gallons of firefighting foam that could contaminate communities, several nonprofits claimed in a lawsuit in California federal court on Thursday.

  • February 20, 2020

    EPA Says 2 Chemicals Could Be Regulated In Drinking Water

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday it's moving toward setting a drinking water health standard for two common "forever chemicals," a step environmentalists immediately slammed as "too little, too late."

  • February 20, 2020

    3M To Pay Wolverine $55M For Cleanup Of 'Forever Chemicals'

    Scotchgard maker 3M said Thursday that it has agreed to pay $55 million to shoemaker Wolverine World Wide Inc. to help with Wolverine’s cleanup of Michigan groundwater contaminated by “forever chemicals” known as PFASs.

  • February 20, 2020

    Enviros Push To Consolidate Yellowstone Bison Hunt Suits

    An environmental group has asked a Montana federal court to consolidate two lawsuits that claim the state and federal governments mishandle Native American tribes' bison hunting on public land near Yellowstone National Park, saying the suits aim to make the hunts safer and more open for tribes.

  • February 20, 2020

    FERC Sows Confusion With Oregon LNG Project Non-Vote

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday opted not to vote on a $10 billion liquefied natural gas project in Oregon, but did so in a disjointed fashion that raised more questions than it answered.

  • February 20, 2020

    Volkswagen Slams Drivers Trying To DQ Judge On Eve Of Trial

    Volkswagen on Thursday blasted a last-minute bid to disqualify the judge overseeing the first U.S. trial over Volkswagen's "clean diesel" emissions scandal, set to start in days, saying the attempt to oust the judge is a “frivolous tactic.”

  • February 20, 2020

    Wildfire Victims Blast FEMA And Calif. Claims Against PG&E

    Victims of the wildfires that scorched California in 2017 and 2018 are calling billions in bankruptcy claims filed against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. by federal and state emergency agencies for reimbursement for disaster spending unprecedented and unsupported by the law.

  • February 20, 2020

    3rd Circ. Blasted For Not Booting Judge From Ex-Clerk's Case

    A Pennsylvania woman waging a decadeslong battle with environmental regulators over wetlands on her property blasted the Third Circuit's curt refusal to boot the case's judge from the matter, arguing that a panel didn't even say why the jurist should stay put despite the fact that her ex-clerk is prosecuting the matter.

Expert Analysis

  • Climate Ruling May Help Future Plaintiffs Establish Causation

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    The Ninth Circuit's recent decision in Juliana v. United States blocked private litigants from using the courts to force climate change action by the federal government, but it may have laid a trail of breadcrumbs for future climate plaintiffs to establish injury in fact and causation, say attorneys at WilmerHale.

  • Rebuttal

    AI Can't Accurately Predict Case Length And Cost — Yet

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    A recent Law360 guest article argued that artificial intelligence can precisely estimate the length and cost of a new case, but several limitations will likely delay truly accurate predictions for years to come, says Andrew Russell at Shaw Keller.

  • Boardroom Hot Topics: ESG, Purpose And Stakeholders

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    Public company boards of directors should recognize environmental, social and governance issues as a growing priority for investors, identify the purpose of their corporation, and consider focusing on a broader set of stakeholders, say Valeska Pederson Hintz and James O'Grady at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • How Enviros Will Challenge Trump's NEPA Update

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    The Trump administration's recently proposed updates to National Environmental Policy Act regulations — which forgo analysis of climate change impacts — are certain to draw litigation attacking the changes as arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of regulatory discretion, say Marcella Burke and Cason Hewgley of King & Spalding.

  • Europe's New 'Right To Repair': Key Points For Manufacturers

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    The European Union’s new repairability standards, set to affect many household electronic appliances as soon as April, will be challenging to manufacturers because they are outcome-based, and not just specification-driven — but this may be the new model of environmental product compliance, says Jonathan Cocker of Baker McKenzie.

  • Prop 65 Chemical Labeling Litigation: Trends And Predictions

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    Product safety litigation brought under Proposition 65, California's chemical disclosure law, shows no signs of slowing down in the coming year — with short-form labels and manufacturers' responsibility for product warnings likely to be key areas of contention, says Anne Marie Ellis of Buchalter.

  • A Good Year Ahead For Energy Infrastructure M&A

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    Recent policy developments and investment trends in China, Europe and the United States offer a number of compelling reasons to expect that energy infrastructure M&A deals will be strong in 2020, say attorneys at Hogan Lovells.

  • Lawyers Can Build Trust Through The Spoken Word

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    As attorneys, we may prefer the precision of written communication, but a phone call or an in-person conversation builds trust by letting others see and hear our authentic selves, rather than something constructed or scripted, says mediator Sidney Kanazawa of ARC.

  • Bat Species Status Ruling Leaves Cos. Hanging

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    A D.C. federal court's recent overturning of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to list the northern long-eared bat as threatened rather than endangered creates regulatory uncertainty for those developing, constructing or operating projects within the species' range, say Brooke Wahlberg and Rebecca Barho of Nossaman.

  • Opinion

    Legal Prediction Is Demanding But Not Impossible

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    The New Jersey Supreme Court’s recent decision in Balducci v. Cige incorrectly concluded that predicting the length and cost of a case is nearly impossible, and overlooked artificial intelligence's ability to do so, says Joseph Avery with Claudius Legal Intelligence.

  • EPA Renewable Fuel Shift May Increase Cost Of Compliance

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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new 2020 rules for renewable identification numbers — which function as receipts attached to batches of renewable fuels — are inconsistent with the agency’s earlier policy and may make compliance more expensive, say Deanna Reitman and Jeffrey Bourdon of DLA Piper.

  • SEC Exam Priorities Highlight Flexible, Holistic Compliance

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's recently released exam priorities encourage firms to emphasize investor protection and consider compliance in light of evolving business and market demands, say attorneys at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • Ruling On FERC’s Tolling Orders Could Slow Pipelines

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    If the D.C. Circuit reins in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s use of tolling orders — which delay court challenges to FERC directives — landowners might be gratified, but interstate pipeline construction projects could face added delays, says Richard Drom of Eckert Seamans.

  • FERC Issues For Natural Gas Cos. To Watch In 2020

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's use of tolling orders, its position on eminent domain authority and its makeup after the presidential election could have a big impact on participants in interstate natural gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas projects this year, say attorneys at K&L Gates.

  • Malpractice Landscape Is Becoming Riskier For BigLaw

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    A recent survey of lawyers’ professional liability insurers revealed an increase in malpractice claims against law firms, suggesting clients will demand more accountability in the coming decade, say Gerald Klein and Amy Nguyen at Klein & Wilson.

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