Environmental

  • January 17, 2020

    Energy Co. To Ask 5th Circ. For Arbitration In Trade Secret Suit

    Newfield Exploration Co. will ask the Fifth Circuit to undo a ruling that it can't arbitrate a $40 million trade secrets dispute brought by an energy-industry waste management company.

  • January 17, 2020

    Calif. Jumps Into Fight With Feds Over Fracking Impact

    California on Friday joined environmental groups in accusing the federal government of failing to properly assess the environmental and health impacts of hydraulic fracturing on more than 1 million acres of land in the Golden State now open for oil and gas development.

  • January 17, 2020

    US Chamber Wants To 'Neuter' Judges, Sens. Tell 1st Circ.

    Rhode Island and Massachusetts senators fired back against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's arguments at the First Circuit that a climate change suit against Shell, ExxonMobil and other energy giants belongs in federal court, arguing that the chamber is self-interested and wants to "neuter the judicial branch" to benefit fossil fuel funders.

  • January 17, 2020

    US Steel Hit With More Fines Over Pa. Facility Emissions

    A Pennsylvania county announced nearly $745,000 in fines against U.S. Steel Inc. on Friday for alleged pollution control violations at the company’s Clairton Coke Works facility, adding to millions in penalties previously levied against the steelmaker by the county.

  • January 17, 2020

    Paving Co. Will Upgrade Facilities To End Water Pollution Suit

    A transportation construction company agreed to pay $60,000 for a project to improve the Los Angeles River and make upgrades to its facilities to settle an environmental group's claims that it violated the Clean Water Act by letting zinc, lead and other substances flow from the property.

  • January 17, 2020

    Environmental Group Of The Year: Manko Gold

    Manko Gold LLP continued its record of success in environmental matters in 2019, defending clients in toxic tort suits, helping shepherd a high-profile Sunoco pipeline project through various challenges in Pennsylvania and representing New York City in two huge Superfund site cleanup proceedings, earning it a spot in Law360’s 2019 Environmental Groups of the Year.

  • January 17, 2020

    No Standing For Kids In Climate Case, 9th Circ. Says

    The Ninth Circuit said Friday that although a group of children would have a strong enough case to go to trial on claims their future is endangered by the federal government's failure to act to curb climate change, courts simply don’t have the power to fix those policies.

  • January 16, 2020

    Exxon Says Mass. AG Timed Climate Suit With NY Trial

    ExxonMobil on Thursday suggested Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey timed the launch of her lawsuit accusing the oil giant of deceiving investors and consumers about business risks from climate change to coincide with a landmark climate fraud trial in New York. 

  • January 16, 2020

    2 States Accuse EPA Of Inaction Over Upwind Pollution

    New York and Connecticut told a federal court Thursday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had ignored its obligation to impose ozone emissions reductions on certain states whose pollution makes it harder for areas that lie downwind to comply with the Clean Air Act.

  • January 16, 2020

    Wash. Top Court Limits Scope Of State GHG Emissions Cap

    Washington state's highest court on Thursday ruled in a split decision that the state can't cap greenhouse gas emissions from refiners and other oil and gas companies that sell products that produce GHGs, saying state law only allows regulation of entities that directly emit such emissions.

  • January 16, 2020

    Sunoco Slapped With $2M Fine In Latest Pa. Pipeline Sanction

    Sunoco LP was slapped with the latest in a string of penalties over the troubled Mariner East natural gas pipelines on Thursday as Pennsylvania environmental regulators fined the company nearly $2 million for leaking drilling fluid into a Harrisburg-area lake.

  • January 16, 2020

    Garland, EPA Atty Clash Over Impact Of Past Pollution Ruling

    The D.C. Circuit’s chief judge on Thursday balked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s justification for denying requests by Delaware and Maryland to reduce air pollution blowing in from other states, contending that the agency relied on a regulation the appeals court contested in a similar dispute last fall.

  • January 16, 2020

    Justices Told $7B Pipeline Can't Cross Appalachian Trail

    Conservation groups told the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday that the Appalachian National Scenic Trail is clearly part of the National Park System, which means the U.S. Forest Service didn't have the authority to grant developers of the $7 billion Atlantic Coast gas pipeline a right-of-way across the trail.

  • January 16, 2020

    GM Truck Emissions-Cheating Cases Consolidated In Mich.

    A Michigan federal judge has consolidated 26 suits into existing litigation alleging General Motors conspired with auto parts maker Robert Bosch LLC to install emissions-cheating devices in Silverado and Sierra trucks, saying the cases largely involve overlapping racketeering and fraud claims.

  • January 16, 2020

    Judge Frees Navy From Firefighting Foam Medical Monitoring

    A Pennsylvania federal judge said the U.S. Navy doesn't have to pay for medical monitoring for two families claiming they were exposed to dangerous chemicals in firefighting foam the government used because the chemicals aren't classified as a hazardous substance.

  • January 16, 2020

    Harvard Students Threaten To Boycott Paul Weiss Over Exxon

    A Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP recruitment event Wednesday was interrupted by a group of Harvard Law students, who sang, chanted and threatened the global firm with losing future recruits if it continues to represent ExxonMobil Corp.

  • January 16, 2020

    K&L Gates Snags Experienced Enviro Atty In Seattle

    K&L Gates LLP has hired a former Plauché & Carr LLP attorney with environmental, land use and regulatory experience as a partner in Seattle.

  • January 16, 2020

    Senate Sends North America Trade Deal To Trump

    The Senate approved President Donald Trump's updated North American trade pact in a bipartisan 89-10 vote Thursday, more than a year after negotiations with Mexico and Canada concluded.

  • January 15, 2020

    5th Circ. Says BP Must Pay Walmart $15M For Oil Spill Losses

    The Fifth Circuit ruled on Tuesday that a lower court was right to refuse to take up BP PLC's challenge to Walmart's bid to collect $15 million from a settlement program linked to the 2010 explosion and spill aboard BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • January 15, 2020

    5th Circ. Tells FWS It Must Rethink Denial Of Warbler Delisting

    The Fifth Circuit on Wednesday ruled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service applied an "inappropriately heightened" legal standard in denying a petition to delist the golden-cheeked warbler as an endangered species, ordering the agency conduct a one-year review to determine if the Texas songbirds are still under threat.

  • January 15, 2020

    Tribe Seeks Confirmation It Signed 1855 Hunting Rights Treaty

    The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe has asked a Washington federal judge to affirm it's a signatory to an 1855 treaty that gives tribes the right to use hunting and fishing grounds off-reservation after the state said last year the tribe hadn't signed the treaty.

  • January 15, 2020

    VW Aims To DQ Ex-FBI Chief From 'Clean Diesel' Bellwether

    Volkswagen has told a California federal judge that former FBI director Louis J. Freeh cannot testify on behalf of plaintiffs in an upcoming bellwether trial because Freeh previously received confidential information when he was angling to represent Volkswagen in mounting litigation tied to its "clean diesel" emissions scandal.

  • January 15, 2020

    Skepticism Greets Bid To Hold Lender Liable In India Damage

    A D.C. federal judge seemed dubious about holding a private-sector lending arm of the World Bank solely accountable for environmental damages caused by a coal-fired power plant it financed in India, suggesting Wednesday that doing so would conflict with U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

  • January 15, 2020

    Electric Co-Ops Ditch Plans For $2.8B Coal Plant In Kansas

    A pair of electricity co-operatives on Wednesday pulled the plug on a long-planned $2.8 billion coal-fired power plant in Kansas despite a previous blessing from the state's highest court for the facility's construction.

  • January 15, 2020

    Maine's Tribes Push To Restore Authority Over Lands

    A task force of Native American and state leaders has handed recommendations to the Maine Legislature’s Judiciary Committee in a bid to give tribes greater decision-making powers over key issues such as gambling and fishing rights on Indian lands, according to local news reports.

Expert Analysis

  • Climate Law Brings Challenges For NYC Co-Ops And Condos

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    New York City's Climate Mobilization Act leaves several unanswered questions for co-ops and condos, such as what will happen to buildings with rent-regulated units, how buildings will pay for compliance costs, and how building owners will divide CMA responsibilities with tenants, says William McCracken of Ganfer Shore.

  • Ohio Tax Talk: Taking Advantage Of Sustainability Incentives

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    The state of Ohio is using its tax code and other financial incentives to promote sustainable business investment — which should be of interest to businesses facing pressure from regulators, investors and customers to focus on environmental impacts, say attorneys at Frost Brown.

  • NY State Flexes Muscles With Energy Service Co. Restrictions

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    The New York State Public Service Commission's new regulations for energy service companies — imposing enhanced eligibility criteria, price caps, and limitations on products and services — raise concerns about how the commission might impose similar restrictions in the broader distributed energy resource markets, say Thomas Puchner and Kevin Blake of Phillips Lytle.

  • How Associate Life Has Evolved Over The Past Decade

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    During the last 10 years, the need to embrace change was fundamental for law firms, and that change affected associates in many ways — most, but not all, for the better, says Brad Kaufman, co-president of Greenberg Traurig.

  • White House NEPA Overhaul Likely To Face Legal Challenges

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    The White House Council on Environmental Quality's recently proposed revisions to regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act are virtually certain to be challenged in the courts — especially a proposal to eliminate evaluations of projects' cumulative environmental impacts, say attorneys with Perkins Coie.

  • Liquefied Natural Gas: A Power Solution For Isolated Markets

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    A survey of recent liquefied natural gas power projects demonstrates that they are an excellent solution for reducing the carbon footprint of electricty generation activities in isolated markets, say David Lang and Carli Gish of King & Spalding.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Dyk Reviews 'Democracy And Equality'

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    In their new book "Democracy and Equality: The Enduring Constitutional Vision of the Warren Court," Geoffrey Stone and David Strauss provide valuable context for U.S. Supreme Court decisions under Chief Justice Earl Warren that have profoundly affected the country, but their overly protective attitude sometimes obscures reality, says Federal Circuit Judge Timothy Dyk.

  • Policy Push Yields Mixed Results For Biofuels Sector

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    Policymakers delivered a mixed bag to the biofuels industry at the end of 2019, with both a law retroactively extending the biodiesel and renewable diesel credit, and guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that could undercut the biofuels market, say Brandon Kirkham and Joshua Andrews of Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting.

  • 7 Insider Tips For Working With In-House Counsel

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    For outside firms wondering how to best support busy in-house lawyers, several practices can help navigate critical legal issues and novel business challenges while strengthening the working relationship, says Virginia Hudson, associate general counsel at Capital One.

  • The EPA's Most Significant Actions Of 2019

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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency repealed and replaced Obama-era rulemakings on energy and water in 2019, indicating a continued focus on deregulation, but also proposed new regulations on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, say Carol McCabe and Zachary Koslap of Manko Gold.

  • 50 Years Later, Interpretive Challenges Remain For RICO

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    In the 50 years since the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act was passed, courts' attempts to clarify the statute have had some success, but many interpretive dilemmas remain unresolved, says Randy Gordon of Barnes & Thornburg.

  • 7 Ethics Tips For Lawyers' Pretrial Social Media Use

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    As ethical constraints on pretrial social media use evolve, the American Bar Association's Model Rules and several court opinions provide guidance on avoiding violations when collecting evidence, researching jurors and friending judges, say Hilary Gerzhoy and Mark Davis at Harris Wiltshire.

  • Opinion

    States Should Not Follow ABA On Attorney Conduct Rules

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    Because the American Bar Association's new rule on diversity continues to use the Model Rules of Professional Conduct as a cultural bludgeon, states should create independent codes limited to constitutionally valid purposes of attorney regulation, says Bradley Abramson of Alliance Defending Freedom.

  • How Courts And Litigants Can Benefit From Special Masters

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    As we approach the first anniversary of the American Bar Association's adoption of guidelines for the appointment and use of special masters in civil litigation, retired U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, now at Stroock, explains how special masters can help parties and courts with faster decision-making and subject matter expertise.

  • Uber Policy Calls For Refresher On ABA Confidentiality Rules

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    Uber's recent policy update allowing drivers to audio-record passenger rides is a reminder for lawyers to observe the highest standard of care in protecting client information under the American Bar Association's confidentiality model rule, says Paul Boehm at Williams & Connolly.