Environmental

  • September 23, 2019

    Enviro Scolds Feds For Not Listing Fla. Lizard As Endangered

    The Center for Biological Diversity on Monday launched a challenge against the federal government's finding that a species of lizard found only on a few islands in the Florida Keys does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act, despite evidence that rising seas and real estate development are threatening the animal's limited habitat.

  • September 23, 2019

    Mass. Resort, Enviro Group Clash Over Groundwater Liability

    A Massachusetts resort said it shouldn't have to face water pollution claims under the Clean Water Act, arguing that because pollutants from its sewage system passed through groundwater before entering a harbor it's not subject to federal environmental law.

  • September 23, 2019

    Drilling Co. Urges Court Not To Block Mancos Shale Fracking

    An oil and gas drilling company urged a New Mexico federal court on Friday to reject environmental groups' bid to block fracking for oil and gas wells in the Mancos Shale, saying that the company’s technology prevents environmental harm and that an injunction would cost the company and Navajo landowners millions of dollars.

  • September 23, 2019

    Law Firm Rates Can Be Sealed In Claims Court Army Dispute

    A property owner can file under seal a comparison of law firm billing rates meant to help determine its attorney fees after winning a takings claim against the Army, as that comparison is a commercial document not based on public data, the Court of Federal Claims has ruled.

  • September 23, 2019

    9th Circ. Backs BIA Green Light Of Wind Farm Construction

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday upheld the Bureau of Indian Affairs' approval of the second phase of a California wind farm, saying the agency properly considered the project's potential to harm eagles before greenlighting a lease between the project developer and a California tribe.

  • September 23, 2019

    Enviros Say Colo. Mine Expansion Suit Not Barred

    Environmental groups challenging the planned expansion of Arch Coal's mine in western Colorado have told a federal court that, contrary to arguments put forward by the federal government, their bid to block the project is not precluded by prior litigation.

  • September 23, 2019

    House Dems Question Trump, DOJ On Car Emissions Probe

    House Democrats are launching a formal inquiry into whether the Justice Department’s antitrust arm has been politicized by the White House for use against automakers that struck a deal with deep-blue California over emissions standards for vehicles.

  • September 23, 2019

    BP, Koch Can't End Superfund Suit With 'Petroleum Exclusion'

    An Illinois federal judge on Friday said a "petroleum exclusion" in the federal Superfund law doesn't bar claims against Koch Industries, BP and other businesses over the release of hazardous substances near a crude oil factory in Illinois, but did dismiss some parts of the case.

  • September 23, 2019

    Maui County Votes To Settle High Court Clean Water Act Case

    The Maui County Council has voted to settle an important Clean Water Act case scheduled for oral arguments in November before the U.S. Supreme Court, potentially yanking from the docket a highly anticipated fight over whether the law covers pollution that travels through groundwater.

  • September 23, 2019

    Don't End Fight Over FERC Pipeline Approval, DC Circ. Told

    There's no reason why the Fourth Circuit's invalidation of a U.S. Forest Service authorization for the $7 billion Atlantic Coast gas pipeline should scuttle challenges to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of the controversial project, the D.C. Circuit has heard.

  • September 23, 2019

    Hunton's Boston Office Adds Its First Environmental Lawyer

    The former in-house counsel for a Fortune 500 natural gas company joined Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP this month, becoming the first environmental lawyer in the firm's Boston office.

  • September 23, 2019

    Attys Seek $15M In Fees From $74M SunEdison Settlement

    The lead counsel in a class action claiming SunEdison Inc. misled shareholders about its financial health before filing for bankruptcy is asking a New York federal court to approve more than $15 million in attorney fees for its work in reaching a $74 million settlement with the company.

  • September 23, 2019

    Banks, Insurers Commit To Global Climate Action

    Banks from 46 countries with more than $47 trillion in assets have adopted new United Nations-backed principles on “responsible banking” to fight climate change and increase focus on sustainable finance.

  • September 20, 2019

    King & Spalding Adds Former DOI Attorney In DC

    King & Spalding LLP brought on board a former U.S. Department of the Interior senior counselor who also has a background in private practice, adding an experienced partner to the firm's government matters group.

  • September 20, 2019

    FERC Says Its Authority Preempts New Hampshire Power Law

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has said a recently enacted New Hampshire law forcing utilities to purchase power from waste and biomass generators at a set rate infringes on its exclusive authority over wholesale electricity sales.

  • September 20, 2019

    FERC's Lone Dem Warns Of Climate Whitewashing On Orders

    The lone Democrat serving on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has suggested the agency is writing climate change out of its gas infrastructure project decisions, with the commission split along party lines in approving a Colorado gas pipeline and Florida liquefied natural gas project.

  • September 20, 2019

    EPA May Have Picked A Clean Air Fight With Calif. It Can't Win

    The Trump administration is on shaky legal ground and faces a difficult road ahead against a 23-state challenge to its bid to establish primacy over California in regulating greenhouse gas emissions from cars and other vehicles, experts say.

  • September 20, 2019

    FHWA Looks To Nix Tribe's Suit Over RI Bridge Project

    The Federal Highway Administration pressed a Rhode Island federal court Friday to toss the Narragansett Indian Tribe's $30 million suit over a highway construction project, saying the agency hasn't made a final decision about the cultural impacts of the plan that can be challenged in court.

  • September 20, 2019

    VW, Audi, Bosch Escape Sales Reps' Lost Commissions Suit

    A California federal judge on Friday dumped a proposed class action from individual salespersons claiming they lost out on commissions from unsold cars after Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal erupted in 2015, saying their fraud and racketeering claims were shaky and needed to be backed up with additional facts. 

  • September 20, 2019

    DOI Can't Stop Utah Oil Lease Challenge, Enviros Say

    Environmental groups said the U.S. Department of the Interior can't rid itself of a consolidated challenge to dozens of oil and gas leases even after it decided to reexamine their environmental impacts, arguing the suit targets more than what the DOI is addressing.

  • September 20, 2019

    Northrop Grumman Insurer Nabs Partial Win Over Enviro Suit

    Travelers Indemnity Co. is not responsible for part of coverage claims that Northrop Grumman Corp. made after facing a class action lawsuit over industrial waste because the aerospace and defense company waited too long to notify the insurer, a New York federal court said Friday.

  • September 20, 2019

    Pa. Judge Urged To OK $4M Foster Wheeler Cleanup Deal

    State and federal environmental regulators urged a Pennsylvania federal judge on Thursday to ensure that Foster Wheeler Energy Corp. lives up to its commitment to foot the at least $4.15 million bill for future remediation at a contaminated former industrial site in Luzerne County.

  • September 20, 2019

    States Launch Challenge To Trump Auto Emissions Policy

    California and 22 other states sued the Trump administration in D.C. federal court Friday over its elimination of the Golden State's right to create its own greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and other vehicles, the opening salvo in what will be a long and bitter legal fight.

  • September 19, 2019

    PG&E Bondholders, Wildfire Victims Propose $24B Reorg Plan

    PG&E Corp.’s bondholders have joined forces with wildfire victims to propose their own plan for California's largest utility to exit bankruptcy, one that puts more money — about $24 billion — toward wildfire claims, according to a motion filed Thursday in California bankruptcy court.

  • September 19, 2019

    Del. Justices Nix Energy Co.'s $28M Interest Award Appeal

    A wind and solar company that saw its claimed $1 contract debt balloon to $126 million as the result of a wronged investor's appeal lost a bid Thursday to invalidate most of a nearly $28 million interest charge on the total.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    Pursuing Wellness: Steps Toward A Supportive Firm Culture

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    As an early advocate of the American Bar Association's year-old well-being pledge, we launched an integrated program to create and sustain a supportive workplace culture with initiatives focused on raising mental health awareness, embracing creativity and giving back to the community, says Casey Ryan at Reed Smith.

  • Series

    Pursuing Wellness: Mental Health Education As A Firm Priority

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    Our firm drives a holistic concept of well-being through educational opportunities, such as a series of expert-led workshops intended to address mental health and substance abuse issues that we vowed to fight when we signed the American Bar Association's well-being pledge one year ago, says Krista Logelin at Morgan Lewis.

  • New Visa Means 1 Less Problem For Offshore Wind Projects

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    The U.S. State Department has updated the Foreign Affairs Manual to include a visa category for offshore wind projects, removing a regulatory hurdle that was causing significant logistical problems for the industry, say Jonathan Waldron and Stefanos Roulakis at Blank Rome.

  • Series

    Pursuing Wellness: A Firm's Work With Mental Health Experts

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    Signing the American Bar Association's well-being pledge last year was a natural progression of our firm's commitment to employee wellness, which has included developing partnerships with professionals in the mental health space to provide customized programming to firm attorneys and staff, say Annette Sciallo and Mark Goldberg at Latham.

  • Another Round In The Battle Over The Clean Water Act

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    The Obama-era Clean Water Rule used the full extent of federal power to protect the country's water under the Clean Water Act. Last week, that rule was repealed, giving more authority to states. At issue are questions of federalism and science, and a confusing U.S. Supreme Court case, says Allyn Stern of Beveridge & Diamond.

  • Series

    Pursuing Wellness: When A Firm Brings Counseling On Site

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    One year ago, our firm signed the American Bar Association's well-being pledge and embraced a commitment to providing on-site behavioral health resources, which has since become a key aspect of our well-being program, say Meg Meserole and Kimberly Merkel at Akin Gump.

  • Laying The Groundwork For Next-Generation Nuclear Energy

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    Nuclear energy enjoys bipartisan support, as evidenced by a range of recent and pending federal legislation that could help revive the U.S. nuclear industry, say attorneys with Morgan Lewis.

  • New Calif. Law Represents Strategic Shift In PFAS Regulation

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    California recently became the first state in the country to require public water suppliers to notify customers if their water contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which will undoubtedly set into motion more regulatory oversight, and more litigation, say Jeffrey Dintzer and Clynton Namuo of Alston & Bird.

  • Series

    Pursuing Wellness: Inside A Firm Meditation Program

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    After our firm signed the American Bar Association’s well-being pledge one year ago, we launched two key programs that included weekly meditation sessions and monthly on-site chair massages to help people address both the mental and physical aspects of working at a law firm, says Marci Eisenstein at Schiff Hardin.

  • Updated NJ Site Remediation Law Makes Public Outreach Key

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    New Jersey's newly updated Site Remediation Reform Act requires those responsible for conducting remediation to handle open records requests from the public, so companies should make public outreach strategy an integral part of site remediation planning, says Lori Mills of Duane Morris.

  • Early Sampling Of Electronic Info Is Underutilized In Discovery

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    The early and prompt provision of samples from all electronically stored information sources as a part of ESI protocol search methodology is consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and may allow for significant cost savings during discovery, says Zachary Caplan at Berger Montague.

  • Opinion

    PG&E Bankruptcy Will Test Shareholder Capitalism

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    If the Pacific Gas and Electric bankruptcy allows for the underestimation of tort creditors' claims to leave value for existing shareholders, it will represent an enormous failure that would call into question the fairness of our shareholder capitalism system, says researcher J.B. Heaton.

  • To Defer Or Not To Defer: Kisor's Impact On Tax Controversies

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    Three recent federal tax cases show how the U.S. Supreme Court's June decision in Kisor v. Wilkie, substantially restricting agency deference, is affecting interpretation of the many regulations and guidance issued post-tax reform, say Andrew Roberson and Kevin Spencer at McDermott.

  • 3 Lessons For Calif. Insureds From Late-Notice Rule Decision

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    The California Supreme Court's recent decision in Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor establishes that the notice-prejudice rule may protect California policyholders even if a contractual choice-of-law provision selects less favorable law, but such protection is not guaranteed, especially in the case of third-party policies, say Nathan Anderson and Tyler Gerking of Farella Braun.

  • Opinion

    Utilities Need Timely Project Review For Reliable Service

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    National Parks Conservation Association v. Semonite, in which a Virginia utility faces possibly having to dismantle a previously approved transmission line due to drawn-out litigation, points to the need for time limits on court review of infrastructure projects, say Alan Seltzer and John Povilaitis of Buchanan Ingersoll.