Environmental

  • February 23, 2024

    Top NC Labor Brass Face Retooled 'Incentive' Policy Suit

    A corrosion control company has retooled its claims that North Carolina labor officials incentivized inspectors to issue workplace safety citations, highlighting in a revised complaint the harm caused by the citations after its 2021 lawsuit was tossed last month for failing to make a stronger connection to its alleged injuries.

  • February 23, 2024

    Wildlife, Paddling Groups Want To Join Clean Water Act Fight

    The National Wildlife Federation and American Whitewater are asking a Louisiana federal judge to let them join litigation over an updated Clean Water Act rule that expanded states' and tribes' ability to block projects such as pipelines and dams over water quality concerns, to ensure their interests are considered.

  • February 23, 2024

    Tribal Biz Atty Must Meet Calif. DA Over Greenhouse Wreckage

    A California federal judge has ordered the lawyer for a business owned by a tribal conglomerate to attend a hearing with San Bernardino County's district attorney, saying the lawyer must explain why he forced the DA to file a unilateral status report about the destruction of illegal cannabis greenhouses.

  • February 23, 2024

    Oil Biz Gave Wells To Shell Co. To Skip Cleanup, Suit Says

    Oil and gas company HRM Resources has been accused in Colorado state court by landowners of fraudulently transferring roughly 200 oil and gas wells to a shell company that soon turned around and declared bankruptcy in order to dodge cleanup obligations.

  • February 23, 2024

    1st Circ. Told Wind Farm's Approval Should've Been A Breeze

    A wind farm developer has asked the First Circuit to reject fishing groups' challenge to the U.S. Department of the Interior's approval of a proposed project off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, saying the effort to sink the plan can't survive because the agency did things by the book.

  • February 23, 2024

    NH Plant Strikes Deal On Power Purchase Contract

    A bankrupt New Hampshire power plant reached terms on a deal Friday with an entity whose contract to purchase the facility's power was rejected earlier this week, telling a Delaware federal judge the agreement will help quickly transition to a new purchaser and stave off a shutdown of the plant.

  • February 23, 2024

    Enviro Orgs. Target Sequoia Forest Restoration Projects

    Several conservation groups are asking a California federal judge to overturn U.S. Forest Service approvals for two post-fire forest restoration projects on parts of the Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest, claiming they risk harming the sensitive landscapes and making matters worse.

  • February 23, 2024

    Groups Back Texas' Bid To Void Feds' Highway GHG Rule

    Construction trade groups have thrown their support behind the state of Texas' federal lawsuit seeking to vacate a new U.S. Department of Transportation rule requiring states to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from federally funded highway projects.

  • February 23, 2024

    Texas Says EPA Unfairly Changed Ozone Plan Rules

    The state of Texas this week urged the Fifth Circuit to upend the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's denial of its revised plan to control ozone in the Dallas and Houston metropolitan areas, saying the agency rejected the plan based on standards put in place after it was submitted.

  • February 23, 2024

    Agent Didn't Owe Mich. Co. Coverage Advice, Panel Says

    An insurance agent did not have a duty to advise a business that was damaged in a 2020 dam collapse that its insurance coverage might be inadequate, a Michigan state appeals court ruled, finding there is no special relationship between the parties that triggered that responsibility.

  • February 23, 2024

    Alaska Judge Won't Disturb Oil, Gas Lease Moratorium Order

    An Alaska federal judge rejected bids by the state's development authority to amend or vacate an order upholding a temporary moratorium the Biden administration imposed on an Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Plain oil and gas program, holding that the case isn't moot after the government canceled its leases.

  • February 22, 2024

    Ariz. Judge: Feds' Colo. River Transfer Review Violated NEPA

    The Bureau of Reclamation failed to sufficiently consider the precedent and growth ramifications of its decision to allow a company-owned farm on the Colorado River to sell water to a town more than a hundred miles away on the southeastern outskirts of Phoenix, according to an Arizona federal judge.

  • February 22, 2024

    SEC Won't Force BofA To Act On ESG Critic's Proxy Proposal

    A division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has said it wouldn't recommend enforcement action against Bank of America for excluding a climate-related shareholder request from its upcoming proxy statement, while the division rejected Pfizer's request to exclude a shareholder proposal on human rights from its proxy statement.

  • February 22, 2024

    Feds Back Fed. Circ. Deference To Trump Solar Duty Change

    The Biden administration urged the full Federal Circuit not to rehear energy companies' challenge to modified safeguard duties on solar goods, disagreeing with the importers' contention that a panel gave former President Donald Trump too much deference when allowing the safeguards.

  • February 22, 2024

    Exxon Wants To Press Forward With Activist Investor Case

    ExxonMobil Corp. says it should be allowed to move forward with a lawsuit against a pair of activist investors who proposed that the company speed up the pace of its greenhouse gas emission reductions, arguing that the investors' decision to withdraw the proposal will not prevent a similar one from being filed in the future.

  • February 22, 2024

    NY Offshore Wind Project Gets Final Green Light From Feds

    The Biden administration said Thursday it has approved the Empire Wind offshore wind energy project's construction and operations plan, clearing the way for construction of two wind facilities off the coast of Long Island, New York.

  • February 22, 2024

    Wildlife Group Sinks USDA Agricultural Wetlands Rule

    A D.C. federal judge on Thursday ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture inappropriately altered its program designed to stop the development of wetlands on farmland and struck down those regulations.

  • February 22, 2024

    EPA Puts $5.8B On Tap For Water Infrastructure Projects

    The Biden administration said it's making $5.8 billion available to help pay for water projects around the U.S., steering millions of dollars to states and territories to help overhaul drinking water infrastructure, and wastewater and stormwater systems.

  • February 22, 2024

    Harris County Cites 'Major Flaw' In Agency's Concrete Permits

    Harris County on Thursday announced it was suing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality over January amendments to permitting requirements for concrete plants, writing that while the regulations could improve air quality for Houston residents, the agency added a "major flaw" by giving plants up to 10 years to comply.

  • February 22, 2024

    Fire Product Makers Try To Move PFAS Suit To Fed. Court

    A group of chemical companies that produce fire suppressants are seeking to move to federal court a suit brought by the Connecticut attorney general looking to rein in the use of PFAS chemicals, saying they are entitled to a federal forum to exercise a "government contractor" defense.

  • February 22, 2024

    Feds Can't Offset Nuclear Cleanup Bill With Trusts' Earnings

    The U.S. Department of Energy wasn't able to convince the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that nuclear utilities' high earnings on nuclear decommissioning funds should erase their $149 million damages claim against the department for delayed nuclear waste cleanup, according to an opinion made public this week.

  • February 22, 2024

    Wolverine Wants Judgment, Sanctions In PFAS Coverage Row

    Footwear company Wolverine asked a Michigan federal court Thursday to grant it a win and impose additional sanctions against its insurer for continued "flagrant disregard and willful disobedience of discovery orders" in a dispute over coverage of PFAS chemical injury suits that may set the tone for similar litigation.

  • February 22, 2024

    SoCal Edison Faces More Suits Over 2022 Fairview Fire

    Southern California Edison has been slapped in state court with two additional lawsuits by California residents alleging the company should be held liable for causing the deadly Fairview Fire in September 2022 that charred more than 28,000 acres, destroyed 36 structures and killed at least two people.

  • February 22, 2024

    Steptoe & Johnson Adds Enviro Atty In Pittsburgh

    An attorney with more than 30 years of experience carrying out policy initiatives with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has moved to private practice at Steptoe & Johnson PLLC's Pittsburgh office, where she hopes to further environmental justice progress by guiding responsible economic development projects with industry clients.

  • February 22, 2024

    San Antonio Can Scare Off Park Birds For Now, 5th Circ. Says

    The Fifth Circuit said San Antonio, Texas, can move ahead with its bird deterrence program at a park where Native American church members claim the city is violating their religious rights by pursuing renovation plans that will harm a sacred area's spiritual ecology by removing trees and driving off nesting cormorants.

Expert Analysis

  • 6 Pointers For Attys To Build Trust, Credibility On Social Media

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    In an era of information overload, attorneys can use social media strategically — from making infographics to leveraging targeted advertising — to cut through the noise and establish a reputation among current and potential clients, says Marly Broudie at SocialEyes Communications.

  • Why Biz Groups Disagree On Ending Chevron Deference

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    Two amicus briefs filed in advance of last month's U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo highlight contrasting views on whether the doctrine of Chevron deference promotes or undermines the stable regulatory environment that businesses require, say Wyatt Kendall and Sydney Brogden at Morris Manning.

  • A Look Ahead For The Electric Vehicle Charging Industry

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    This will likely be an eventful year for the electric vehicle market as government efforts to accelerate their adoption inevitably clash with backlash from supporters of the petroleum industry, say Rue Phillips at SkillFusion and Enid Joffe at Green Paradigm Consulting.

  • A Post-Mortem Analysis Of Stroock's Demise

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    After the dissolution of 147-year-old firm Stroock late last year shook up the legal world, a post-mortem analysis of the data reveals a long list of warning signs preceding the firm’s collapse — and provides some insight into how other firms might avoid the same disastrous fate, says Craig Savitzky at Leopard Solutions.

  • Opinion

    Exxon Court Should Clarify Shareholder Proposal Exclusion

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    ExxonMobil last month took the unusual action of asking a Texas federal judge whether a proposal from climate activists seeking to limit oil and gas sales could be excluded from its 2024 proxy statement, and the court should use this opportunity to reevaluate SEC policy and set clear limits on when shareholder proposals can be included, says Stephen Bainbridge at UCLA School of Law.

  • Legislative And Litigation Trends In Environmental Advertising

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    Companies that tout their products' environmental benefits can significantly reduce the risk that they will face allegations of greenwashing by staying up to date on related Federal Trade Commission guidance, state requirements and litigation trends, say Raqiyyah Pippins and Kelsie Sicinski at Arnold & Porter.

  • Considering The Logical Extremes Of Your Legal Argument

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    Recent oral arguments in the federal election interference case against former President Donald Trump highlighted the age-old technique of extending an argument to its logical limit — a principle that is still important for attorneys to consider in preparing their cases, says Reuben Guttman at Guttman Buschner.

  • Reducing The Risk Of PFAS False Advertising Class Actions

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    A wave of class actions continues to pummel products that allegedly contain per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances, with plaintiffs challenging advertising that they say misleads consumers by implying an absence of PFAS — but there are steps companies can take to minimize risk, say attorneys at Keller and Heckman.

  • 6th Circ. Ruling Breathes New Life Into Article III Traceability

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    The Sixth Circuit's recent decision in Hardwick v. 3M Co. to vacate a district court's certification of one of the largest class actions in American jurisprudence for lack of Article III standing has potentially broader implications for class action practice in the product liability sphere, particularly in medical monitoring cases involving far-fetched theories of causation, say attorneys at Skadden.

  • Storytelling Strategies To Defuse Courtroom Conspiracies

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    Misinformation continues to proliferate in all sectors of society, including in the courtroom, as jurors try to fill in the gaps of incomplete trial narratives — underscoring the need for attorneys to tell a complete, consistent and credible story before and during trial, says David Metz at IMS Legal Strategies.

  • Challenges Remain In Financing Energy Transition Minerals

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    COP28, the latest U.N. climate conference, reached a consensus on a just and equitable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, but more action and funding will be needed to ensure that developed countries responsibly source the minerals that will be critical for this process, say attorneys at Watson Farley.

  • Exxon ESG Proxy Statement Suit May Chill Investor Proposals

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    Exxon Mobil’s recent use of a Texas federal lawsuit to intimidate shareholders into withdrawing a climate-friendly proxy proposal could inspire more public companies to sue to avoid adopting ESG resolutions — a power move that would chill activist investor participation and unbalance shareholder-corporate relations, say Domenico Minerva and James Fee at Labaton Keller.

  • 3 Principles For Minimizing The Risk Of A Nuclear Verdict

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    In one of the latest examples of so-called nuclear verdicts, a single plaintiff was awarded $2.25 billion in a jury trial against Monsanto — revealing the need for defense attorneys to prioritize trust, connection and simplicity when communicating with modern juries, say Jenny Hergenrother and Mia Falzarano at Alston & Bird.

  • Series

    Coaching High School Wrestling Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Coaching my son’s high school wrestling team has been great fun, but it’s also demonstrated how a legal career can benefit from certain experiences, such as embracing the unknown, studying the rules and engaging with new people, says Richard Davis at Maynard Nexsen.

  • What To Know About RWI In Acquisition And Divestiture Deals

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    As a slower pace of merger activity turns underwriters toward new industries, representations and warranties insurance policies are increasingly being written for acquisition and divestiture energy deals, making it important for contracting parties to understand how the RWI underwriting process works in this new sector, say attorneys at Haynes Boone.

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