Environmental

  • January 23, 2020

    EPA Narrows Federal Oversight Of Water Pollution

    The Trump administration on Thursday officially narrowed the federal government's permitting authority under the Clean Water Act, in a final rewrite of a rule that replaces a controversial and broader Obama-era policy the president already rescinded.

  • January 23, 2020

    FERC Commissioner McNamee Won't Seek New Term

    Bernard McNamee, a Republican commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said Thursday that he won't seek another term at the agency when his current term expires June 30, which raises the possibility that the agency will lack a quorum of commissioners for the second time in three years.

  • January 22, 2020

    DC Circ. Won't Reconsider EPA Pollution Policy Ruling

    The D.C. Circuit on Wednesday rejected a request by environmentalists and California to reconsider a split panel's ruling that courts can't review a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency memorandum rescinding its "once in, always in" air pollution permitting policy.

  • January 22, 2020

    VW Can Ask 9th Circ. To Weigh Bondholder Fraud Suit

    Volkswagen AG can ask the Ninth Circuit to consider hearing its appeal of a ruling preserving claims that it tricked investors into buying overpriced bonds by hiding its emissions defeat devices, a California judge ruled Wednesday.

  • January 22, 2020

    Judge Confused By 11th Circ.'s Mandate In Biofuel Bankruptcy

    A Florida federal judge on Wednesday told former biofuel business partners fighting over what one claims was a bad faith involuntary bankruptcy that he’s not sure how to proceed in the case after the Eleventh Circuit vacated his ruling but gave no explanation why.

  • January 22, 2020

    5th Circ. Asked To Revisit OK Of Wind Investors' $63M Award

    The American arm of China's state-run aerospace corporation has urged the Fifth Circuit to reconsider its decision to enforce a $62.9 million arbitral award in favor of fellow investors in a failed wind energy joint venture, saying the decision threatens to "eviscerate" safeguards essential to ensuring fairness.

  • January 22, 2020

    Energy Cos. Tell 1st Circ. Climate Case Belongs In Fed. Court

    Energy giants including Chevron and Shell have again urged the First Circuit to find federal courts have jurisdiction over Rhode Island's suit seeking to force the companies to pay for climate change-related costs, arguing the dispute doesn't belong in state court.

  • January 22, 2020

    Keystone Pipeline Gets Crucial Federal Permit In Montana

    The U.S. Department of the Interior on Wednesday gave TC Energy's Keystone XL pipeline a boost by opening up a path for the controversial project across federal land in Montana.

  • January 22, 2020

    More Navajo Landowners Can't Join NM Anti-Fracking Suit

    Nearly 200 Navajo landowners can't join a group of tribe members backing the Bureau of Land Management in a challenge from environmental groups over oil and gas drilling permits in the Mancos Shale, a New Mexico federal court has ruled.

  • January 22, 2020

    Ex-Nuke Site Worker Adds $300K To $1.5M Retaliation Suit Win

    A South Carolina federal court has awarded a former nuclear cleanup manager $295,000 in front pay and interest after a jury awarded her $1.48 million last year, including $1 million in punitive damages, over an employer's retaliation for reporting workplace racism.

  • January 22, 2020

    Former Eversheds Litigator Shaping IRS Enforcement Efforts

    As the IRS ramps up its enforcement on syndicated conservation easements, cryptocurrency transactions and microcaptive insurance arrangements, the efforts will be guided by a veteran Eversheds Sutherland litigator who once squared off against the agency over tax shelter transactions.

  • January 22, 2020

    FERC Faces Heat Over State Clean Energy Subsidies Order

    Regional grid operator PJM Interconnection has headlined an onslaught of arguments that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stretched its authority too far in its recent order restricting the presence of state electricity programs in PJM's wholesale electricity auctions.    

  • January 22, 2020

    Environmental Group Of The Year: Western Enviro Law Center

    The Western Environmental Law Center has won several court cases in different jurisdictions over the past year that have forced the federal government to reassess how it accounts for climate change when considering leases for fossil fuel exploration and production on public lands, earning the nonprofit a spot in Law360’s 2019 Environmental Groups of the Year.

  • January 22, 2020

    Class Counsel Gets $36.5M In Navistar Engine Settlement

    An Illinois federal judge has approved $36.5 million in attorney fees as part of a $135 million settlement that ends litigation against Navistar alleging the company sold diesel engines with defective emissions systems.

  • January 22, 2020

    Pa. Justices Preserve Rule Of Capture For Fracking

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday affirmed that the so-called rule of capture, a century-old precedent shielding drillers from trespassing liability when a well drilled on one property taps into oil and gas beneath a neighboring property, can be applied to hydraulically fractured wells.

  • January 21, 2020

    4th Roundup Trial Kicks Off On Monsanto’s Home Turf

    Tuesday marked the start of the fourth trial alleging the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup causes cancer. Monsanto has lost every verdict so far, but these jurors will be drawn from the company’s backyard. Will Monsanto enjoy a hometown advantage?

  • January 21, 2020

    Chemical Co. To Take Tribal Waste Permit Case To High Court

    FMC Corp. urged the Ninth Circuit on Friday to put a hold on a ruling that the chemical maker must pay $1.5 million in yearly permit fees to store hazardous waste on the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes' reservation, saying the company might have trouble getting its money back if it ultimately wins its case.

  • January 21, 2020

    Army Corps Withdraws Contentious Water Supply Rule

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will withdraw a proposed rule covering the use of water from its reservoir projects after states, tribes and lawmakers raised concerns that the rule would “federalize” the control of water in many rivers, it announced Tuesday.

  • January 21, 2020

    Federal Suit Over Fish Protection Plan Not Ripe, Calif. Says

    The U.S. government can't sue California in federal court over its plan to provide more water for native fish, the state claims, arguing the one claim that makes the case a federal matter is not yet able to be challenged.

  • January 21, 2020

    Law Preserves FERC Role In PG&E Bankruptcy, 9th Circ. Told

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has told the Ninth Circuit that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. can't argue around the Federal Power Act barring bankruptcy courts from determining FERC's role in any effort by the utility to use restructuring to ditch power purchase agreements.

  • January 21, 2020

    5th Circ. Says Insurer Needn't Cover Crushed Rock Cleanup

    The Fifth Circuit has affirmed that Great American Insurance Co. is not responsible for a concrete company's costs to remove crushed rocks accidentally dumped in a stream from a New Jersey quarry, agreeing with a lower court that the rock particles are contaminants subject to a pollution exclusion in the policy.

  • January 21, 2020

    Migrants Fleeing Enviro Danger Can't Be Deported, UN Says

    A United Nations panel has said that refugees can't be deported to countries where they would face life-threatening dangers from climate change, opening a door for people who can show they are at risk of climate-induced danger to win protection.

  • January 21, 2020

    Enviro Groups Say Gov't Dragging Feet On Turtle Status

    The federal government has missed a deadline by several years to determine whether a pair of turtle species in Louisiana and Mississippi are under threat and fall under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in D.C. federal court.

  • January 21, 2020

    Calif. Water Utility Sues Feds For $1.3M Water Treatment Cost

    A California water utility said in a lawsuit Tuesday the government should pay for a $1.3 million water treatment system it installed to clean up a well near a former U.S. Air Force base it blames for contaminating the well's water.

  • January 21, 2020

    5th Circ. Tosses La. Suit Asking Army To Maintain Waterway

    The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday affirmed the dismissal of Louisiana's attempt to hold the United States liable for maintaining the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, which the state says is now encroaching on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area.

Expert Analysis

  • Why Justices Declined Review Of Scientist's Defamation Case

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent certiorari denial allowing climate scientist Michael Mann’s defamation case to proceed against the Competitive Enterprise Institute and others was solidly grounded in precedent, since the defendants' statements against Mann could reasonably be viewed as relying on facts, says Phillip Zisook of Schoenberg Finkel.

  • Nissan Ex-CEO Illustrates Do's And Don'ts Of Image Repair

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    Lawyers can draw a number of useful lessons about reputation management from the efforts of former Nissan executive Carlos Ghosn — who recently escaped house arrest in Tokyo — to restore his sullied reputation, says Elizabeth Ortega at ECO Strategic Communications.

  • 3 Concerns If Your Witness Becomes Flippant At Deposition

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    In light of a recent Delaware Supreme Court case in which a litigator was rebuked for failing to control his evasive witness during a deposition, attorneys should consider when they may be held responsible for client misconduct and what to do if a client crosses the line, says Philip Sechler of Robbins Russell.

  • Energy Storage As A Transmission Asset In Regional Markets

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved energy storage as a generation asset, but regional markets, including the Midcontinent Independent System Operator and ISO-New England, would benefit from rules for compensating storage as a transmission asset, say Derya Eryilmaz and Caroline Heilbrun of Charles River Associates and Rao Konidena of Rakon Energy.

  • 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.