Environmental

  • November 15, 2019

    Donziger Still A Flight Risk, Judge-Appointed Prosecutor Says

    Embattled attorney Steve Donziger remains a flight risk and shouldn’t get his home confinement restrictions loosened as he faces contempt charges, a court-appointed prosecutor told a New York federal court in recent days.

  • November 15, 2019

    PwC Must Face Tobacco Co.’s $800M Suit Over Audits

    PricewaterhouseCoopers must face an $800 million negligence suit brought by a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, a London judge ruled on Friday, saying the accounting giant cannot escape in-depth scrutiny of claims that it gave bad advice to the company embroiled in an expensive environmental cleanup.

  • November 14, 2019

    Tribes Have Priority Over Water Rights, Fed. Circ. Says

    The Federal Circuit on Thursday ruled against a coalition of southern Oregon and Northern California farmers who argued they weren’t properly compensated when the federal government declined to release water to them, saying tribal water rights were first in line.

  • November 14, 2019

    8th Circ. Stands By Keeping Gas Royalties Out Of Tribal Court

    The Tenth Circuit has rebuffed a request by Three Affiliated Tribes court officials that it rethink a ruling that tribe members' suits seeking royalties for the flaring of natural gas on reservation lands can’t be heard in tribal court, despite the officials’ claims the decision flouted U.S. Supreme Court precedent and trampled on tribal court authority.

  • November 14, 2019

    Lummi Nation's Crab Fishing Blocked By Wash. Judge

    A Washington federal judge on Wednesday halted the Lummi Nation’s plans to take part in winter crab fishing in an area off the state’s coast, saying three other tribes that have long fished those waters had shown that letting the Lummi join in could hurt them economically and culturally.

  • November 14, 2019

    Energy Nominee Sticks To Perry's 'All Of The Above' Script

    President Donald Trump's nominee to head the U.S. Department of Energy told senators Thursday that he would continue to pursue the administration's pro-energy development policies, but distanced himself from the Ukraine impeachment controversy that has ensnared former Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

  • November 14, 2019

    9th Circ. Strikes Key Part Of EPA Toxic Substances Rule

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must consider outdated uses of a chemical when evaluating the substance's health and environmental risks, the Ninth Circuit said Thursday.

  • November 14, 2019

    Calif. Opens Investigation Into Utilities' Power Shutoffs

    California's utility overseer has announced that it will investigate whether Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric made the right decision when they shut off electric power to millions of people in an effort to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires.

  • November 14, 2019

    Gas Well Construction Effects Only 'Temporary,' Court Says

    A western Pennsylvania town didn’t have to give extra weight to the “temporary” effects of building and drilling hydraulically fractured gas wells when considering its zoning laws, a state appellate court said Thursday.

  • November 14, 2019

    PennEast Will Ask Justices To Undo 3rd Circ. Pipeline Ruling

    Developers of the $1 billion PennEast pipeline said Thursday they will seek U.S. Supreme Court review of the Third Circuit's ruling that PennEast can't seize New Jersey-owned land for the project, claiming the decision threatens to stymie gas development nationwide.

  • November 13, 2019

    SoCal Edison To Pay Cities, Counties $360M Over Wildfires

    Southern California Edison will pay $360 million to 23 cities, counties and special districts to settle claims of taxpayer losses caused by the 2017 Thomas and Koenigstein Fires, the 2018 Montecito Debris Flows and the 2018 Woolsey Fire, the utility and Baron & Budd PC announced Wednesday.

  • November 13, 2019

    Navajo Nation Won't Back Tribal Energy Co.'s New Coal Mines

    The leadership of the Navajo Nation said the tribe will not provide financial backing for bonds that a tribe-owned energy company needs to operate three mines it recently acquired from a bankrupt coal miner.

  • November 13, 2019

    Seattle Times, Insurer Get OK On $4M Cleanup Coverage Deal

    A Washington federal court has greenlighted a settlement that obligates General Insurance Co. of America to pay nearly $4 million to The Seattle Times Co. to cover environmental cleanup obligations it incurred after selling a property.

  • November 13, 2019

    Ore. Power Line Foes Fight BLM, Forest Service Approvals

    Opponents of a proposed long-distance power line in Oregon sued the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service over their authorizations for the project, which they say would permanently mar scenic areas that include portions of the historic Oregon Trail.

  • November 13, 2019

    SEC Urges 11th Circ. To Not Touch Its Win In $5M Fraud Row

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has urged the Eleventh Circuit not to overturn its win in a Georgia federal court case where an Alabama attorney was ordered to pay nearly $5 million for purportedly defrauding former NBA star Charles Barkley and other investors out of millions of dollars.

  • November 13, 2019

    Feds Must Act On Pangolin Protections, Enviros Say

    The federal government has for years failed to decide whether several varieties of the frequently poached pangolin deserved Endangered Species Act protections, several conservation groups said Wednesday in a notice of intent to sue.

  • November 13, 2019

    NJ Towns Can Enforce Pollution Cleanup Orders, Court Says

    New Jersey’s environmental regulator can use municipalities to crack down on polluters who haven’t complied with remediation orders, an appellate panel ruled Wednesday in a legal fight over Alsol Corp.’s oil spill near a Garden State lake.

  • November 13, 2019

    House Dems Skewer EPA Science Rule As Too Restrictive

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's top scientist tried to reassure the House Science Committee on Wednesday about a proposed rule that would change how science is used in EPA rulemaking, but unconvinced Democrats repeatedly slammed the rule as improperly limiting data that could be considered.

  • November 13, 2019

    More Info Needed To Stop $135M Navistar Deal, Judge Says

    The Walt Disney Co. and US Foods Inc. have briefed only in “superficial terms” their concerns with a $135 million deal to end multidistrict litigation over allegedly defective Navistar diesel engines, an Illinois federal judge said at a hearing Wednesday.

  • November 13, 2019

    UK Insurers Urge Next Gov't To Protect Flood Disaster Fund

    British insurance brokers have called on whoever forms the next government to promise to set money aside for protection against floods, as extreme weather washes across the North of England and the December general election looms.

  • November 12, 2019

    Trump Can't Take Wall Money From Military, 9th Circ. Told

    The Sierra Club, along with California and a number of other states, urged the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday to block President Donald Trump from using $2.5 billion in defense funds to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, arguing the president's decision to take the money was unconstitutional.

  • November 12, 2019

    NJ Judge OKs $12M For 2 Firms In Chemical Price-Fix Deal

    A New Jersey federal court gave its final approval to a $33 million settlement package over the alleged price-fixing and bid-rigging of certain water treatment chemicals, including more than $12 million in attorney fees and costs for Miller Law LLC and Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson PA.

  • November 12, 2019

    Texas Enviro Agency Slammed Over English-Only Meetings

    Environmental justice advocates on Tuesday accused the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality of violating the civil rights of Spanish speakers by publicizing meetings only in English and failing to provide interpreters, and asked the agency to change its rules.

  • November 12, 2019

    CIT Asks Commerce To Reexplain Duty On Chinese Solar Cells

    The U.S. Court of International Trade has asked the U.S. Department of Commerce for a second time to explain its countervailing duty on Chinese solar cell imports, saying that the agency has failed to address its concerns about how the duty was determined.

  • November 12, 2019

    Saudi Aramco Discloses Climate, Terrorism Risks In IPO Filing

    State-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco said risks ranging from climate change to terrorism to political instability could affect its operations, part of wide-ranging disclosures the Saudi Arabian company released as it prepares for an expected December initial public offering.

Expert Analysis

  • State Net

    Wildfire Responses Resonate Beyond California

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    Firefighting practices are often shared between states, so what California does, or doesn't do, to prevent and combat wildfires has impacts beyond its borders. One lesson learned this year is that power shutoffs to prevent fires cause more problems than they solve, says Lou Cannon of State Net Capitol Journal.

  • Justices' Maui Ruling Could Change Groundwater Permitting

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    Oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund raise the possibility that the national permitting system for discharging wastewater into the ground will need to be retrofitted, says Marcia Greenblatt of Integral Consulting.

  • Engaging With International Carcinogen Evaluations

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    Defense-oriented attorneys and corporations should be aware of the International Agency for Research on Cancer's list of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other exposures slated for review over the next five years, and begin preparing for eventual hazard evaluations by IARC working groups, say Eric Lasker and John Kalas of Hollingsworth.

  • 4 Months After Kisor V. Wilkie, Auer Deference Survives

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    Recent federal appellate and district court rulings suggest that the predicted radical curtailing of Auer deference in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Kisor v. Wilkie has not come to fruition, say Jeffrey Karp and Edward Mahaffey at Sullivan & Worcester.

  • Wis. PFAS Proposals Present Challenges For Businesses

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    Businesses with a presence in Wisconsin should be aware of the state's proposals for regulating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — in particular, its plans to set extremely low allowable levels of PFAS in drinking water, say George Marek and Lauren Harpke of Quarles & Brady.

  • FERC Orders Advance Grid Operators' Energy Storage Plans

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently approved two regional transmission organizations' energy storage proposals. But full integration of storage resources into the wholesale market will be complex — and ongoing litigation could force FERC to change its approach, say attorneys at Greenberg Traurig.

  • Texas Could Take Page From Mass.'s Judicial Selection Book

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    As Texas and other states review their judicial election processes, they would be well served by taking guidance from Massachusetts' Governor’s Council system, which protects the judiciary from the hazards of campaigning, says Richard Baker of New England Intellectual Property.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: McKeown Reviews 'Conversations With RBG'

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    Reading Jeffrey Rosen’s "Conversations With RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law" is like eavesdropping on the author and his subject while they discuss how the restrained judicial minimalist became the fiery leader of the opposition, says Ninth Circuit Judge M. Margaret McKeown.

  • Justices Seek Balance In Clean Water Act Case Arguments

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    In last week’s U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, justices searched for a standard for controlling indirect discharges to navigable waters that could prevent evasion of water quality protections without significantly expanding federal permitting requirements, say Ashley Peck and Alison Hunter of Holland & Hart.

  • How Pipeline Cos. Should Respond To EPA Pigging Alert

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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently took aim at air emissions from "pigging," a natural gas pipeline maintenance procedure. Midstream oil and gas operators must balance the need for internal emissions reviews and the legal and compliance issues they can produce, says David McSweeney of Hunton.

  • Digitalizing The Mining And Metals Global Supply Chain

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    More businesses in the mining and metals sector are considering blockchain to address challenges associated with mineral provenance and supply chain transparency, but it remains to be seen whether the technology can be harnessed to track performance standards related to human rights, labor practices and other factors, say attorneys at White & Case.

  • Teaching Witnesses To Avoid Cross-Examination Traps

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    It’s common for inexperienced witnesses to become ensnared in their own responses during cross-examination, so they should be coached in advance on how to break down each question-and-answer scenario into three distinct phases, says Jeff Dougherty of Litigation IQ.

  • Pipeline Projects Face New Questions On Landowner Rights

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    The tension between the rights of landowners and pipeline developers has come to a head in two federal appellate courts and a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announcement, muddling the historical clarity of Natural Gas Act eminent domain authority, say attorneys at K&L Gates.

  • FERC Aims For A Better Tribal Consultation Process

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's recent amendments to its Policy Statement on Consultation with Indian Tribes in Commission Proceedings show the agency's commitment to consideration of tribal input in its decision-making, including on hydroelectric licensing, say Jody Cummings and Monique Watson of Steptoe & Johnson.

  • An Inside Look At PFAS Regulatory Action: Part 2

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    In the final part of this video series, Charles Knauss and Daniel Grucza of Hunton outline approaches companies can take to deal with litigation over per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, as federal and state regulations and laws around PFAS are in flux.