Environmental

  • April 17, 2024

    Trial-Ready Paraquat MDL Cases Tossed After Testimony Axed

    An Illinois federal judge on Wednesday threw out the first group of trial-ready cases over the herbicide paraquat, agreeing with Syngenta and Chevron that the plaintiffs' expert testimony must be excluded and finding that the cases fail without that testimony.

  • April 17, 2024

    PG&E Sued For $225 Million Dixie Fire Forest Damage

    Owners of the Collins Almanor Forest in Northern California have slapped PG&E with a complaint alleging that they incurred more than $225 million in damage after the Dixie Fire ripped through approximately 55,000 acres of their forest lands in July 2021. 

  • April 17, 2024

    Tribal Groups Say Final Fish Harvesting Rule Violates NEPA

    Two Alaskan tribal organizations are asking a federal court to vacate a final groundfish harvest rule for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, arguing that it fails to account for the rapid and unprecedented shifts in their ecosystems caused by climate change over the past two decades.

  • April 17, 2024

    Ga. Jury Finds Supplier At Fault For Botched Herbicide Job

    An Atlanta federal jury on Wednesday found a company hired to thin out woods on a rural Georgia property and a subcontractor brought in to spray the property with herbicide were responsible for wrecking a developer's plans for turning the location into a quail hunting retreat. 

  • April 17, 2024

    Hawaii AG Releases Timeline Of Deadly Lahaina Wildfire

    Hawaii's attorney general on Wednesday released findings from the first report of a three-part investigation into how state and county governments responded to the wildfires that ignited on the island of Maui last year, decimating the historic town of Lahaina and leaving more than 100 people dead.

  • April 17, 2024

    Tesla Gets PTAB To Wipe Out Vehicle Charging Patent

    Tesla has persuaded the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to invalidate all claims of a Charge Fusion Technologies electrical charging patent, the latest development in a larger legal battle between the parties.

  • April 17, 2024

    Gov't Officials Urge Global Cooperation On Taxing Wealth

    Global cooperation on taxing the wealthiest individuals and companies is necessary to address climate change and create social justice, government officials from Brazil, France and Nigeria said Wednesday at the International Monetary Fund's spring meeting.

  • April 17, 2024

    Republican AGs Petition EPA To Drop Enviro Justice Initiative

    Attorneys general from 23 primarily Republican-led states on Tuesday demanded that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency roll back civil rights regulations that prohibit actions that may unintentionally affect racial groups in different ways.

  • April 17, 2024

    States, Biz Groups Back Fight Over DOE Furnace Rules

    Eighteen states and several business associations are backing gas utility groups' challenge to the U.S. Department of Energy's tighter energy efficiency standards for furnaces and water heaters, telling the D.C. Circuit that the agency is unlawfully forcing a switch to new appliances.

  • April 17, 2024

    Florida Pleads With Judge To Stay Water Permit Ruling

    Florida called on a D.C. federal judge to pause his ruling vacating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approval of the state's application to assume control of a Clean Water Act permitting program, amid its D.C. Circuit appeal.

  • April 17, 2024

    Reps. Want To Exempt Water Utilities From PFAS Liability

    A bipartisan duo of congressional lawmakers is pushing a bill that would exempt some public water systems, municipalities and other entities from liability for violations of federal "forever chemical" regulations.

  • April 17, 2024

    FERC Won't Rethink Pacific Northwest Gas Project Approval

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday stood by its approval of a controversial TC Energy Corp. pipeline expansion project in the Pacific Northwest opposed by Washington and Oregon officials, but Commissioner Allison Clements said there is significant evidence that the project is not needed.

  • April 17, 2024

    No Redo For Insurer In Hail Damage Dispute, Judge Says

    A Texas federal court refused to rethink its ruling denying an insurer's early win in a hail damage coverage dispute with a textile company, saying the insurer provided no new information that could change the court's finding or establish the court's manifest error.

  • April 17, 2024

    Ariz. Tribes Lose Bid To Block SunZia Power Line Project

    An Arizona federal judge on Tuesday rejected a request by Native American tribes and environmentalists to block work on SunZia's $10 billion transmission line in a southeastern valley known for its historic and cultural significance, finding that their claims are likely time-barred by a six-year statute of limitations that began in 2015.

  • April 17, 2024

    Waste Co. Strikes Deal To End 401(k) Mismanagement Suit

    A waste management company reached an agreement to end a former worker's proposed class action claiming it breached federal benefits law by stacking its $813 million retirement plan with needlessly expensive funds, according to a filing in Massachusetts federal court.

  • April 17, 2024

    Feds, Tribe Say Settlement Talks Failed In Water Pipeline Row

    The Tonawanda Seneca Nation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asked a New York federal court to opt out of mediation talks after the tribe said the agency refused its settlement offer in litigation challenging a right-of-way permit for a wastewater pipeline.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • Macquarie Ruling Raises The Bar For Securities Fraud Claims

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision last week in Macquarie Infrastructure v. Moab Partners — holding that a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule does not forbid omissions in company disclosures unless they render other statements false — is a major setback for plaintiffs pursuing securities fraud claims against corporations, say attorneys at Skadden.

  • Series

    Whitewater Kayaking Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Whether it's seeing clients and their issues from a new perspective, or staying nimble in a moment of intense challenge, the lessons learned from whitewater kayaking transcend the rapids of a river and prepare attorneys for the courtroom and beyond, says Matthew Kent at Alston & Bird.

  • 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.

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