Environmental

  • 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.

  • February 22, 2024

    Deals Rumor Mill: Occidental, Kroger-Albertsons, BuzzFeed

    Occidental explores a $20 billion sale of Western Midstream, the FTC and some states could sue to block the $24.6 billion Kroger-Albertsons deal, and The Independent is taking over BuzzFeed's U.K. and Irish operations. Here, Law360 breaks down the notable deal rumors from the past week.

  • February 22, 2024

    5 Firms Steer $11B Chord Energy-Enerplus Combo

    Vinson & Elkins LLP, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Goodmans LLP are steering Chord Energy Corp. on its agreement to buy Canada's Enerplus Corp., which will create an $11 billion company that Chord said will be a premier Williston Basin-focused energy player.

  • February 21, 2024

    Alaska Tribes Seek Rights Declaration Over BC Gold Mines

    A consortium of southeast Alaska tribes is asking the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to hold an investigative hearing and declare that Canada is violating their human rights by considering and approving mines that threaten to pollute cross-border rivers and harm vital salmon fisheries without seeking the tribes' input or consent.

  • February 21, 2024

    9th Circ. Says Federal Coal Lease Ban Case 'Is Moot'

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Wednesday vacated and remanded a district court's ruling that had reinstated a 2016 moratorium on federal coal leasing, with a recommendation that the litigation be dismissed as moot, saying there's no basis to conclude that a challenge to a defunct order is still alive.

  • February 21, 2024

    Gov't Says Camp Lejeune Litigants Must Show Specific Cause

    The federal government has said that Camp Lejeune plaintiffs need to show that their illnesses were specifically caused by their exposure to contaminated water at the Marine base, not just that they spent 30 days at the base and have an illness that can be caused by exposure.

  • February 21, 2024

    Tribes, Mich., Feds Refute Great Lakes Fishing Challenge

    Several Native American tribes, the state of Michigan and the federal government have urged the Sixth Circuit to reject a sport fishing group's attempt to sink a tribal fishing pact for parts of lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior, arguing it strikes an appropriate balance between respecting tribal fishing rights and protecting the Great Lakes fisheries.

  • February 21, 2024

    Justices Squabble Over Emergency Review Of EPA Smog Plan

    The U.S. Supreme Court's liberal wing denounced during oral argument Wednesday their colleagues' decision to consider the merits of four related emergency requests to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from implementing a plan to reduce cross-state pollution without first getting lower court input.

  • February 21, 2024

    Boston Faces Suit Over Women's Soccer Stadium Project

    The city of Boston was slammed with a complaint in Massachusetts Superior Court by a nonprofit organization seeking to halt the city's pending privatization of the George Robert White Memorial Stadium in order to transform it into a women's professional soccer stadium.

  • February 21, 2024

    Pa. Justices Clarify Timing For Oil & Gas Accounting Claims

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday said the statute of limitations for filing accounting claims related to oil and gas royalties is six years, definitively putting a time limit on such claims in a way that had not previously been spelled out.

  • February 21, 2024

    NH Power Plant Can Reject Electric Purchase Deal In Ch. 11

    Bankrupt electricity generating station Burgess Biopower LLC received court approval Wednesday from a Delaware judge to reject a power purchase agreement with a party the debtor claims was withholding payments and creating a financial situation where the station was in danger of shutting down permanently.

  • February 21, 2024

    5th Circ. Affirms Subrogation Loss In Fieldwood Energy Sale

    The Fifth Circuit has ruled that a group of insurers that issued surety bonds to bankrupt Fieldwood Energy in a sale of its assets are not entitled to subrogation rights because the bankruptcy court's order stripping their rights could not be challenged under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, a protection that limits appellate review of an approved sale.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Opinion

    New La. Gas Pipeline Projects Must Respect Rules And Rights

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    As pipeline developers rush to join in Louisiana's Haynesville Shale gas boom, established operators like Energy Transfer are justified in demanding that newer entrants respect safety rules, regulatory requirements and property rights when proposing routes that would cross existing pipelines, says Joshua Campbell at Campbell Law.

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