Environmental

  • April 16, 2024

    Cashed Check Kills VW Emissions Deal Appeal, 9th Circ. Says

    The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday threw out an attempt to unravel an $80 million deal resolving consolidated consumer litigation alleging Volkswagen and Porsche manipulated emissions and fuel-economy tests for nearly 500,000 gas-powered vehicles, saying the objector has already cashed his portion of the settlement.

  • April 16, 2024

    Tribal Groups Want Full 9th Circ. To Rehear Oak Flat Appeal

    An Apache nonprofit is asking the Ninth Circuit's entire 29-judge panel to review its lawsuit that seeks to block a copper mining company from destroying a sacred Indigenous religious site, arguing that an en banc hearing is warranted given the appellate court's latest split decision on the land transfer.

  • April 16, 2024

    DC Circ. Grills EPA On Nixing Refiners' Biofuel Exemptions

    A D.C. Circuit panel seemed open Tuesday to petroleum refiners' challenge to federal regulators' denial of their exemptions to federal renewable fuel requirements, as the judges grilled attorneys for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on how federal regulators gauge refineries' compliance costs.

  • April 16, 2024

    Vineyard Wind Urges 1st Circ. To Uphold Project Approval

    Developers of an offshore wind energy project near Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, on Tuesday urged the First Circuit not to revive a fishing group's legal challenge to the endeavor, arguing the environmental review process was solid.

  • April 16, 2024

    DOE Aims To Wrap LNG Review By Year-End, Granholm Says

    U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday said her agency hoped to complete the review of its liquefied natural gas export policy by year's end and pushed back on accusations that the current pause of export reviews is permanent.

  • April 16, 2024

    Feds, PPG Reach $22.8M Deal To Clean Up NJ Superfund Site

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a settlement with PPG Industries Inc. on Tuesday under which the company has agreed to cough up more than $22.8 million to cover the estimated future cleanup costs and maintenance at the Riverside Industrial Park Superfund Site in Newark, New Jersey.

  • April 16, 2024

    Absent Proof Of Direct Effect, Pa. Sen. Loses Wastewater Row

    A Pennsylvania state senator lacks individual standing to stop the state Department of Environmental Protection from allowing wastewater discharges into a tributary of the Susquehanna River because she hasn't given enough evidence that potential pollution would directly affect her, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday.

  • April 16, 2024

    EPA Urges 5th Circ. To Back Win In Texas Air Quality Suit

    U.S. regulators and the Sierra Club urged the Fifth Circuit not to upset a panel's ruling finding the government legally accepted pollution data from the conservation group to apply a poor air quality designation in two Texas counties surrounding a coal-fired power plant.

  • April 16, 2024

    9th Circ. Upholds $64M Award In Water Contamination Suit

    The Ninth Circuit upheld a $64 million award against a Parker Hannifin unit for cleanup costs tied to groundwater contamination in California's Santa Clarita Valley, and further held the district court erred in denying a finding of liability against the company.

  • April 16, 2024

    Florida Lost Its CWA Permitting Power. Now What?

    A federal judge's decision to snatch away Florida's right to administer a Clean Water Act permitting program, which had been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, serves as a warning to other states that might be considering taking over those powers and responsibilities.

  • April 16, 2024

    W&T Offshore Accuses Pipeline Co. Of $3M Per Month Losses

    A Gulf of Mexico oil producer claims it is losing millions of dollars a month from regulators' forced shut-in of a pipeline network it depends on in a lawsuit filed in Texas federal court alleging the pipeline company violated their contract to follow U.S. law and keep the line operating.

  • April 16, 2024

    Activist Axes $3.6B SilverBow Merger Plan Amid Proxy Fight

    New York-based asset manager Kimmeridge said Tuesday it has scrapped its March offer to create a $3.6 billion Eagle Ford shale operator by combining the assets of Kimmeridge Texas Gas with those of shale driller SilverBow Resources, stating it will now focus on getting its three nominees elected to SilverBow's board. 

  • April 16, 2024

    AIG Unit Must Cover $20M Botched Tunnel Project, Court Told

    A Michigan county's water resources commissioner and sewage disposal system accused an AIG unit of failing to arbitrate their coverage claims over a design contractor's faulty work on a tunnel project, claiming they've suffered more than $20 million in damages.

  • April 16, 2024

    High Court Sides With Texas Landowners In Takings Dispute

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in favor of landowners in a dispute with Texas, finding the owners can pursue their takings claim pursuant to state law but leaving open a larger Fifth Amendment takings question.

  • April 16, 2024

    DOL Finalizes Rule To Curb Miners' Exposure To Silica Dust

    A U.S. Department of Labor agency released final regulations Tuesday that tighten limits on miners' exposure to workplace silica dust, a toxic substance that increases the risk of death and chronic health conditions.

  • April 15, 2024

    Ocean Agency Requires Cos. To Cover Well Razing Costs

    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Monday unveiled a final rule aimed at ensuring oil and gas companies, and not taxpayers, are the ones footing the bill for decommissioning offshore wells and infrastructure.

  • April 15, 2024

    Colo. Ski Resort's Snowmaking Suit More Than A Decade Late

    A Colorado federal judge on Monday tossed a lawsuit over a ski resort's permit to make snow using a nearby watershed that is a habitat for an imperiled trout species, siding with the U.S. Forest Service in concluding the resort's owner and operator should've filed the claim more than a decade earlier.

  • April 15, 2024

    Justices Leave Lower Courts To Parse Corporate 'Half-Truths'

    A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that corporate silence isn't enough to form the basis of a securities fraud suit pointedly declined to wade into the question of what counts as a "half-truth," leaving it to lower courts to wrestle with which corporate statements are blurry enough to sustain a shareholder class action.

  • April 15, 2024

    EPA Says Legacy Asbestos Poses Unreasonable Risk

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released on Monday its long-awaited draft for the second part of its asbestos risk evaluation, which determined handling asbestos associated with legacy uses presents undue human health risks.

  • April 15, 2024

    EPA Asks High Court To Preserve SF Water Pollution Regs

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to preserve its water quality standards for San Francisco, which the city has challenged as vague, generic, and "virtually impossible" to comply with.

  • April 15, 2024

    Solar Power Co. Accuses Ex-Insider Of Building, Selling Rival

    Delaware-chartered solar energy venture Volt Energy Utility LLC has sued a former top officer in Chancery Court, alleging that while employed by Volt, she secretly launched a competing company, contacted Volt's lenders and customers and then sold the new business to a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. for $216 million.

  • April 15, 2024

    Green Groups Defend Suit To Expel Ga. Island's Wild Horses

    Conservation groups told a Georgia federal court on Monday that Peach State officials are not shielded from their lawsuit to make state and federal authorities remove feral horses they say are threatening endangered wildlife on Cumberland Island.

  • April 15, 2024

    Enviro Groups Urge 9th Circ. To Uphold Ax Of DOI Land Swap

    Environmental groups and the National Congress of American Indians have thrown their support behind the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in calling on the Ninth Circuit to uphold a lower court ruling that the federal government's land exchange with agribusiness J.R. Simplot Co. was unlawful.

  • April 15, 2024

    Oil Co. Warns NC Justices Of 'Unfair' Results In Taking Case

    An oil company and two other former plaintiffs from a settled state government land-taking proposed class action have warned the North Carolina Supreme Court that if the justices affirm an intermediate appellate ruling in a similar case, they would be reinforcing "unfair, unequal, disparate and divergent" treatment of property owners.

  • April 15, 2024

    Biden Approves Disaster Declarations For States, Tribe

    The states of Oregon and California, along with one of their tribal communities, will receive federal emergency aid to help recover from severe winter storms that caused widespread damage and killed several people in January and February.

Expert Analysis

  • GSA's Carbon-Free Power Plan: Tips For Electricity Suppliers

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    The U.S. General Services Administration's recent request for information concerning its intent to acquire a large amount of carbon pollution-free electricity over the next decade in the PJM Interconnection region offers key insights for companies interested in becoming electric power suppliers to federal government agencies, say Shaunna Bailey and Nicholas Dugdale at Sheppard Mullin.

  • This Earth Day, Consider How Your Firm Can Go Greener

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    As Earth Day approaches, law firms and attorneys should consider adopting more sustainable practices to reduce their carbon footprint — from minimizing single-use plastics to purchasing carbon offsets for air travel — which ultimately can also reduce costs for clients, say M’Lynn Phillips and Lisa Walters at IMS Legal Strategies.

  • SEC Climate Rules Create Unique Challenges For CRE

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's recently adopted final rules concerning climate-related disclosures for public companies are likely to affect even real estate companies that are not publicly traded, since they may be required to provide information to entities that are subject to the rules, says Laura Truesdale at Moore & Van Allen.

  • Energy Community Tax Credit Boost Will Benefit Wind Sector

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    Recent Internal Revenue Service guidance broadening tax credit eligibility to more parts of offshore wind facilities in so-called energy communities is a win for the industry, which stands to see more projects qualify for a particularly valuable bonus in the investment tax credit context due to the capital-intensive nature of offshore wind projects, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.

  • Circumstantial Evidence Requires A Pointillist Approach

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    Because complex cases with sophisticated defendants are unlikely to reveal much, if any, direct evidence, attorneys must aggregate many pieces of circumstantial evidence into a cohesive narrative — much like the painting technique of pointillism, says Reuben Guttman at Guttman Buschner.

  • Traversing The Web Of Nonjudicial Grievance Mechanisms

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    Attorneys at Covington provide an overview of how companies can best align their environmental and human rights compliance with "hard-law" requirements like the EU's recently approved Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive while also navigating the complex global network of existing nonjudicial grievance mechanisms.

  • Exploring Patent Trends In Aerospace Electrification

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    As blue-chip companies lead the charge to power large-scale commercial airplanes with electricity, and startups advance the trend on a regional scale, patent applications directed at improving energy storage and electric motor efficiency are on the rise, say attorneys at Finnegan.

  • Opinion

    Federal MDL Rule Benefits From Public Comments

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    The new Federal Rule of Civil Procedure concerning multidistrict litigation that was approved this week by the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules incorporates ideas from public comments that will aid both plaintiffs and defense attorneys — and if ultimately adopted, the rule should promote efficient, merits-driven MDL case management, say Robert Johnston and Gary Feldon at Hollingsworth.

  • Practicing Law With Parkinson's Disease

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    This Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Adam Siegler at Greenberg Traurig discusses his experience working as a lawyer with Parkinson’s disease, sharing both lessons on how to cope with a diagnosis and advice for supporting colleagues who live with the disease.

  • Climate Disclosure Mandates Demand A Big-Picture Approach

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    As carbon emissions disclosure requirements from the European Union, California and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission take effect, the best practice for companies is not targeted compliance with a given reporting regime, but rather a comprehensive approach to systems assessment and management, says David Smith at Manatt.

  • Series

    Playing Hockey Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Nearly a lifetime of playing hockey taught me the importance of avoiding burnout in all aspects of life, and the game ultimately ended up providing me with the balance I needed to maintain success in my legal career, says John Riccione at Taft.

  • ESG Challenges In Focus After Sierra Club Opposes SEC Rule

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    The Sierra Club's recent objection to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's climate-related disclosures for investors presents an unusual — pro-disclosure — legal challenge and an opportunity to take a close look at the varying critiques of ESG regulations, say Colin Pohlman, and Jane Luxton and Paul Kisslinger at Lewis Brisbois.

  • For Lawyers, Pessimism Should Be A Job Skill, Not A Life Skill

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    A pessimistic mindset allows attorneys to be effective advocates for their clients, but it can come with serious costs for their personal well-being, so it’s crucial to exercise strategies that produce flexible optimism and connect lawyers with their core values, says Krista Larson at Stinson.

  • Illinois EV Charging Act Sparks Developer Concerns

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    A recent state law in Illinois requiring multifamily housing to provide facilities for electric vehicle charging raises significant concerns for developers over existing infrastructure that isn't up to the task, says Max Kanter at Much Shelist.

  • 5th Circ. Clarifies What Is And Isn't A 'New Use' Of PFAS

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    The Fifth Circuit's March 21 decision in Inhance Technologies v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, preventing the EPA from regulating existing uses of PFAS under "significant new use" provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act, provides industry with much-needed clarity, say Joseph Schaeffer and Sloane Wildman at Babst Calland.

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