Environmental

  • 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.

  • April 09, 2024

    After Uproar, New MDL Rule Advances With Attys Assuaged

    Following years of debate and months of outcry, a judicial panel Tuesday approved the first formal rule aimed at improving efficiency and fairness in the nation's burgeoning realm of multidistrict litigation, earning plaudits from placated lawyers in the defense and plaintiffs bars.

  • April 09, 2024

    Calif. AG Backs Bill To Revamp 'Abysmal' Corporate Penalties

    California Attorney General Rob Bonta gave his full support Tuesday to a state bill that would increase the cap on criminal penalties for corporate malfeasance from the "abysmal penalty" of $10,000 per felony to $25 million, or twice the value of the inflicted loss, and provide all proceeds to California's crime victim services.

  • April 09, 2024

    What's In The Norfolk Southern $600M Derailment Deal

    Last year's fiery Norfolk Southern train derailment and toxic chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio, reached a litigation milestone Tuesday with the disaster's first major settlement, a proposed $600 million deal with nearby residents and businesses, but the rail giant must still contend with a federal investigation and other lawsuits.

  • April 09, 2024

    Venable Snags Trio Of Product Liability Partners From Steptoe

    Three Steptoe LLP product liability and mass torts partners have departed the firm and joined Venable LLP in Chicago and Los Angeles, according to an announcement Tuesday.

  • April 09, 2024

    Hawaiian Electric Brass Hit With Suit Over Wildfire Preparation

    A Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. shareholder has alleged in a derivative suit that the company's executives and directors knew that it was not prepared for last year's deadly Maui wildfire, which caused reputational and financial damage to the company.

  • April 09, 2024

    Navajo, Mine Operator Look To Settle Last Waste Spill Claims

    A New Mexico federal judge has stayed litigation in the Navajo Nation's remaining claims against a Gold King Mine operator stemming from a hazardous waste spill that spurred nearly a decade of litigation after the parties said they reached a settlement in principle.

  • April 09, 2024

    Contractor Says Feds Are Blocking Border Wall Settlement Payout

    A construction contractor wants to intervene in litigation over the Biden administration's diversion of border wall funds, saying the federal government has invoked a recent injunction in the case to stymie the company's attempt to recoup lost construction costs.

  • April 09, 2024

    Nikola Investors' SPAC Fraud Suit Moves Ahead

    Board directors of electric truck maker Nikola Corp. and the blank-check company that took it public for $3.3 billion in 2020 must face shareholders' derivative claims of insider trading, securities fraud and merger-related breaches after Delaware's Court of Chancery on Tuesday denied more than half of the defense's motions to dismiss.

  • April 09, 2024

    Jones Day's FOIA Suit Turning Into Judicial Quagmire

    A Michigan state judge said what he initially thought was a straightforward open-records dispute had turned into a complicated mess, as law firm Jones Day argued Tuesday that a Michigan agency must turn over documents related to its crackdown on the family of toxic chemicals known as PFAS.

  • April 09, 2024

    Equitrans Hit With $1.1M Pollution Penalties In Pennsylvania

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection unveiled more than $1.1 million in civil penalties against Equitrans Midstream Partners LP on Tuesday for violations related to the company's uncontrolled gas release from its Rager Mountain natural gas storage field in Cambria County.

  • April 09, 2024

    9th Circ. Open To Reviving Calif. Cannabis Abatement Fight

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Tuesday appeared open to reviving a proposed class action alleging that Humboldt County's abatement fines for unlicensed cannabis growing structures is an unconstitutional "dragnet scheme," with two judges suggesting the magistrate judge inappropriately resolved material factual disputes against the property owners at the pleading stage.

  • April 09, 2024

    4th Circ. Tosses Duty To Defend Case Over Oil Co.'s Objection

    The Fourth Circuit said Tuesday that a West Virginia oil and gas company lacked standing to continue an appeal that was originally brought by a green grower, which had sought coverage from its insurer for an underlying $4 million land use dispute with the extractor.

  • April 09, 2024

    FTC Pressures Global Partners, Gulf Oil Into Reducing Deal

    The Federal Trade Commission took credit Tuesday for raising antitrust concerns spurring the late-February reduction of Global Partners LP's purchase of Northeast U.S. gas terminals from Gulf Oil, cut from five terminals with a $273 million price tag to four terminals and a $212.3 million payment.

  • April 09, 2024

    Tech M&A Reigns Supreme In Q1 After Rare Hiccup In Q4

    The technology sector logged the greatest total value of global mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter of 2024, following a rare quarter that saw the industry fall out of the top spot and into third place, data from Dealogic shows.

  • April 09, 2024

    House GOP To Air Measure Rejecting SEC Climate Rule

    The U.S. House of Representatives' Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday morning addressing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's climate disclosure rules, where a leading Republican member of the committee is expected to put forth a resolution that would nullify the rules.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • New Hydrogen Regulations Show The Need For IP Protections

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    The introduction of hydrogen regulations, such as the IRS' proposed tax credit for clean hydrogen under the Inflation Reduction Act, are reshaping the competitive landscape, with intellectual property rights an area of increased emphasis, say Evan Glass and James De Vellis at Foley & Lardner.

  • Series

    ESG Around The World: Gulf Cooperation Council

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    The Gulf Cooperation Council is in the early stages of ESG policy implementation, but recent commitments by both states and corporations — including increases in sustainable finance transactions, environmental commitments, female representation on boards and human rights enforcement — show continuing progress toward broader ESG goals, say attorneys at Cleary.

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