Environmental

  • April 11, 2024

    NJ Climate Suit Goes 'Far Beyond' Boundaries, Oil Cos. Say

    Six oil companies and an energy trade group told a judge Thursday that New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin is attempting to stretch the state's tort law "far beyond" any manageable boundaries in attempting to hold them liable for allegedly misleading Garden State residents about the climate impacts of fossil fuels.

  • April 11, 2024

    Interior Dept. Finalizes Rule To Strengthen Endangered Species Act

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday announced a final rule it said is intended to increase participation in its voluntary conservation programs, but environmentalists slammed it as "a huge missed opportunity" to improve conditions for wildlife.

  • April 11, 2024

    Pacific Pipeline To Pay Calif. Landowners $70M Over Oil Spill

    A class of landowners urged a California federal judge to sign off on a $70 million deal with Pacific Pipeline Co. to resolve litigation stemming from the rupture of an onshore pipeline that leaked 140,000 gallons of crude oil near Santa Barbara, California, according to a motion for settlement approval entered Wednesday.

  • April 11, 2024

    DOI Lowers Fees For Solar, Wind Projects On Public Lands

    The U.S. Department of the Interior unveiled finalized updates to its renewable energy regulations on Thursday that are aimed at promoting the development of solar and wind energy on public lands by lowering the associated fees.

  • April 11, 2024

    Ohio Judge Axes Norfolk's Derailment Cleanup Cost Defenses

    An Ohio federal judge has struck several of Norfolk Southern Corp.'s defenses against the government's environmental cleanup cost suit arising from the train derailment in East Palestine but said it is too early to rule on the company's argument that the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act claims are preempted by federal rail statutes.

  • April 11, 2024

    Alaska Native Village Defends Donlin Gold Mine Approvals

    Alaska's Native Village of Crooked Creek threw its support behind the federal government in litigation brought by half a dozen tribes challenging its approvals for a massive open-pit gold mine along the Kuskokwim River in southwest Alaska, saying the project will bring meaningful improvements to Crooked Creek.

  • April 11, 2024

    Vineyard Wind Project Thoroughly Vetted, Feds Tell 1st Circ.

    The federal government on Thursday urged the First Circuit to uphold a Massachusetts federal judge's decision tossing a fishing group's challenge to the Vineyard Wind project, saying it was approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior after extensive analysis.

  • April 11, 2024

    Judge Recommends State Court For Ore. County Climate Suit

    A federal magistrate judge has said an Oregon county's climate change lawsuit against Chevron, Exxon Mobil and other fossil fuel companies should be sent back to state court, rejecting arguments that the complaint was fraudulently crafted to evade federal jurisdiction.

  • April 11, 2024

    Longtime Hogan Lovells Transport Head Joins Morgan Lewis

    Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP has hired the former head of Hogan Lovells' transportation practice as a Washington, D.C.-based partner and co-leader of its global automotive and mobility practice.

  • April 11, 2024

    Fired Yellow Corp. Workers Can Proceed With Class Action

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Thursday lent support to a group of laid off Yellow Corp. workers in their bid to bring a class action against the insolvent trucking company, saying he would recognize claims tied to the terminations brought by both union members and others.

  • April 11, 2024

    Colonial Oil Fined $2.8M For Violating Renewable Fuel Rules

    Colonial Oil Industries Inc. will pay a $2.8 million fine to resolve allegations it dodged federal renewable fuel mandates by selling 100 million gallons of diesel to marine vessels without buying required offset credits, according to a proposed settlement filed in Georgia federal court.

  • April 11, 2024

    EPA Says Colo. Air Pollution Plan Approval Was Proper

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday urged the Tenth Circuit to uphold its approval of a Colorado air emissions permitting program, and said a green group's argument that the scheme contains too many exemptions for the oil and gas industry pollution is mistaken.

  • April 11, 2024

    Judge Won't Rethink Ax Of Tribes 'Cultural Resource' Claims

    A Washington federal judge has refused to rethink his dismissal of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation's claims for "tribal service losses" stemming from a smelter's Columbia River pollution, saying the tribes did not meet the standard required for reconsideration.

  • April 11, 2024

    US Sends Mixed Messages In Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline Dispute

    The U.S. government sent mixed messages to the Seventh Circuit in weighing in on Enbridge's controversial Line 5 oil pipeline, saying a lower court was right to determine that the company is trespassing on tribal lands, but recommended that the case be remanded and that a tribe's public nuisance claim be dismissed. 

  • April 10, 2024

    GOP Rep. Calls On SEC To Delay Climate Rule Compliance

    A Republican congressman said Wednesday that he plans to ask the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to push back the compliance timeline for controversial rules governing corporate climate disclosures, indicating that the agency's agreement to temporarily stay the rules' implementation during the course of a legal challenge is not enough.

  • April 10, 2024

    Wash. Tribe Says $1M Fine Not Enough To Settle CWA Claims

    A Washington tribe is opposing a proposed consent decree that would settle Clean Water Act claims against a hydroelectric dam operator, arguing that a $1 million penalty is vastly too low for violations of the law when the damage continues.

  • April 10, 2024

    Landmark PFAS Rule Faces Battles Over Costs And Science

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday issued the first-ever federal drinking water standards for "forever chemicals," something communities, environmental groups and politicians of both major political parties had been clamoring for. However, experts said the novel rulemaking will attract tough legal battles over implementation costs, supporting science and other elements.

  • April 10, 2024

    Emissions Rules' Foes May Be Forced To Yield To Automakers

    Potential challengers of vehicle emissions rules were shown they're not necessarily in the drivers' seat on the issue when the D.C. Circuit upheld California's authority to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards and run a zero-emission vehicles program while citing the auto industry's peace with the regulations.

  • April 10, 2024

    EPA Files First Admin. Complaint Over Illegal HFC Import

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed an administrative complaint against USA Wholesale Inc. on Wednesday for unlawfully importing hydrofluorocarbons, marking the first time the agency has done so under the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2020.

  • April 10, 2024

    Maine Says Lobster Boat Tracking Counts As Legal Search

    Maine's top fisheries' regulator is arguing that newly required electronic location tracking for some lobstering boats is a legal administrative search of commercial premises and has urged a federal judge to toss a lawsuit alleging the rule violates lobster fishers' constitutional rights.

  • April 10, 2024

    Mich. Justices Block Wind Farm's Plan To Expand Near Airport

    The Michigan Supreme Court has upheld a local board's decision to block a commercial wind farm expansion, agreeing with a trial judge that zoning officials had marshaled enough evidence that the windmills posed safety risks to aviators.

  • April 10, 2024

    Paper Companies Still Liable In Superfund Row, Judge Says

    A Michigan federal judge held that International Paper Co. and Weyerhaeuser Co. can still be sued for future cleanup costs of a Michigan superfund site after the Sixth Circuit cut them loose from their portion of a $49 million bill for cleanup costs to date.

  • April 10, 2024

    Botched Herbicide Job Spoiled 'God's Creation,' Ga. Jury Told

    Counsel for a rural Georgia quail hunting operation told an Atlanta federal jury Wednesday that when their client hired a company to thin out the woods on its property with herbicide, it instead brought "death and destruction" to the bucolic retreat.

  • April 10, 2024

    Children Fight Feds' Bid To Dodge Constitutional Climate Suit

    A group of children has fired back at the federal government's attempt to dismiss its California federal court lawsuit alleging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency knowingly allows unsafe levels of climate pollution despite the Constitution guaranteeing "a life-sustaining climate system." 

  • April 10, 2024

    EPA Finalizes First-Ever PFAS Drinking Water Standards

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced the final version of its first-ever regulatory limits on "forever chemicals" in drinking water, a move the EPA said will be accompanied by nearly $1 billion in new funding for implementation.

Expert Analysis

  • Wildfire Challenges For Utility Investors: Liability Theories

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    The greater frequency and scale of wildfires in the last several years have created operational and fiscal challenges for electric utility companies, including new theories of liability and unique operational and risk management considerations — all of which must be carefully considered by utility investors, say David Botter and Lisa Schweitzer at Cleary.

  • 5 Ways To Hone Deposition Skills And Improve Results

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Depositions must never be taken for granted in the preparations needed to win a dispositive motion or a trial, and five best practices, including knowing when to hire a videographer, can significantly improve outcomes, says James Argionis at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Series

    Skiing Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    A lifetime of skiing has helped me develop important professional skills, and taught me that embracing challenges with a spirit of adventure can allow lawyers to push boundaries, expand their capabilities and ultimately excel in their careers, says Andrea Przybysz at Tucker Ellis.

  • Bid Protest Spotlight: Conflict, Latent Ambiguity, Cost Realism

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    In this month's bid protest roundup, Markus Speidel at MoFo examines a trio of U.S. Government Accountability Office decisions with takeaways about the consequences of a teaming partner's organizational conflict of interest, a solicitation's latent ambiguity and an unreasonable agency cost adjustment.

  • Think Like A Lawyer: Forget Everything You Know About IRAC

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    The mode of legal reasoning most students learn in law school, often called “Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion,” or IRAC, erroneously frames analysis as a separate, discrete step, resulting in disorganized briefs and untold obfuscation — but the fix is pretty simple, says Luke Andrews at Poole Huffman.

  • Recent Rulings Add Dimension To Justices' Maui Decision

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's 2020 decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund established new factual criteria for determining when the Clean Water Act applies to groundwater — and recent decisions from the Ninth and Tenth Circuits have clarified how litigants can make use of the Maui standard, says Steven Hoch at Clark Hill.

  • 10th Circ. Ruling Means More Okla. Oilfield Pollution Litigation

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    By applying Oklahoma's statutory definitions of pollution to a private landowner's claim for negligence for the first time, the Tenth Circuit's recent decision in Lazy S Ranch v. Valero will likely make it harder to obtain summary judgment in oilfield contamination cases, and will lead to more litigation, say attorneys at GableGotwals.

  • How Firms Can Ensure Associate Gender Parity Lasts

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    Among associates, women now outnumber men for the first time, but progress toward gender equality at the top of the legal profession remains glacially slow, and firms must implement time-tested solutions to ensure associates’ gender parity lasts throughout their careers, say Kelly Culhane and Nicole Joseph at Culhane Meadows.

  • How Echoing Techniques Can Derail Witnesses At Deposition

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    Before depositions, defense attorneys must prepare witnesses to recognize covert echoing techniques that may be used by opposing counsel to lower their defenses and elicit sensitive information — potentially leading to nuclear settlements and verdicts, say Bill Kanasky and Steve Wood at Courtroom Sciences.

  • Proposed RCRA Regs For PFAS: What Cos. Must Know

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    Two rules recently proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would lead to more per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances being regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and would increase the frequency and scope of corrective action — so affected industries should prepare for more significant cleanup efforts, say attorneys at Alston & Bird.

  • 7 Common Myths About Lateral Partner Moves

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    As lateral recruiting remains a key factor for law firm growth, partners considering a lateral move should be aware of a few commonly held myths — some of which contain a kernel of truth, and some of which are flat out wrong, says Dave Maurer at Major Lindsey.

  • Proposed Hydrogen Tax Credit Regs May Be Legally Flawed

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    While the recently proposed regulations for the new clean hydrogen production tax credit have been lauded by some in the environmental community, it is unclear whether they are sufficiently grounded in law, result from valid rulemaking processes, or accord with other administrative law principles, say Hunter Johnston and Steven Dixon at Steptoe.

  • Series

    Cheering In The NFL Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Balancing my time between a BigLaw career and my role as an NFL cheerleader has taught me that pursuing your passions outside of work is not a distraction, but rather an opportunity to harness important skills that can positively affect how you approach work and view success in your career, says Rachel Schuster at Sheppard Mullin.

  • Args In APA Case Amplify Justices' Focus On Agency Power

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    In arguments last week in Corner Post v. Federal Reserve, the U.S. Supreme Court justices paid particular importance to the possible ripple effects of their decision, which will address when a facial challenge to long-standing federal rules under the Administrative Procedure Act first accrues and could thus unleash a flood of new lawsuits, say attorneys at Snell & Wilmer.

  • What Recent Setbacks In Court Mean For Enviro Justice

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    Two courts in Louisiana last month limited the federal government's ability to require consideration of Civil Rights Act disparate impacts when evaluating state-issued permits — likely providing a framework for opposition to environmental justice initiatives in other states, say attorneys at King & Spalding.

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