Environmental

  • June 20, 2024

    Carbon Capture Struggles Doom EPA Rule, DC Circ. Told

    Challengers of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new greenhouse gas emissions standards for power plants reiterated to the D.C. Circuit that the impossibility of rapidly installing carbon capture and sequestration at power plants is reason enough to block the rule's implementation.

  • June 20, 2024

    Ore. Water Treatment Plant Not On Farmland, Tax Court Says

    Portions of farmland used for a wastewater treatment facility were correctly denied a special farm-use assessment rate, the Oregon Tax Court said, allowing the special rate for other contested areas of the property.

  • June 20, 2024

    EPA Water Rule Withstands Landowner's Attempt To Block It

    A North Carolina federal judge declined to block the federal government's rule defining the scope of the Clean Water Act in a lawsuit filed by a landowner seeking to develop property in wetlands areas.

  • June 20, 2024

    Federal Agencies Release Updated Climate Adaptation Plans

    More than 20 federal agencies on Thursday published updated climate adaptation plans that are intended to serve as guides for facing problems like extreme heat and precipitation, sea level rise, flooding and wildfire that could put facilities, supply chains and employees at risk.

  • June 20, 2024

    5 Firms Build Masdar's $3.4B Buy Of Greek Energy Biz

    United Arab Emirates renewable energy company Masdar on Thursday unveiled plans to acquire two-thirds of Greek clean energy platform Terna Energy SA in a deal that boasts a €3.2 billion ($3.4 billion) enterprise value and was built by five law firms.

  • June 20, 2024

    Parties Reach Resolution Ending Ga. Shipwreck Suit

    An agreement has been reached ending a lawsuit brought against the companies that owned, chartered, operated and salvaged the MV Golden Ray, a cargo ship that capsized off Georgia's coast, according to a joint stipulation filed Tuesday in Georgia federal court.

  • June 18, 2024

    'Reckless' Behavior Centered In Climate Coverage Suit Args

    Attorneys for a Sunoco subsidiary and AIG offered sharply differing views to Hawaii's top court Tuesday in oral arguments over whether reckless behavior would trigger the oil company's liability coverage in a novel suit over coverage for underlying climate change claims.

  • June 18, 2024

    Nuke Regulator Asks High Court To Review Atomic Waste Rule

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a contentious Fifth Circuit decision that barred it from issuing a license to a temporary nuclear waste storage facility in Texas, saying that the circuit court widened circuit splits and upended decades of agency practice.

  • June 18, 2024

    Green Group Insists It Can Fight Colo. Air Plan Approval

    The Center for Biological Diversity told the Tenth Circuit it didn't forfeit its challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approval of a Colorado air emissions permitting program and that the agency is wrong to assert otherwise.

  • June 18, 2024

    9th Circ. Asked For En Banc Review In Youths' Climate Case

    Youth plaintiffs have asked the Ninth Circuit for en banc review of a panel's decision to toss their lawsuit against the federal government over the effects of climate change.

  • June 18, 2024

    Blue States And Enviro Groups Back DOE Furnace Rule

    Several blue states and environmental and consumer groups have thrown their support behind the U.S. Department of Energy's tighter energy efficiency standards for furnaces and water heaters, telling the D.C. Circuit that challenges to the new rules are meritless.

  • June 18, 2024

    EPA Tells DC Circ. That Smog Plan Is Legally Sound

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday defended its plan to reduce smog-forming emissions in several states, telling the D.C. Circuit that it's taken a sensible approach to cracking down on upwind pollution using a formula that has been backed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • June 18, 2024

    African Gold Miner To Go Public Via $500M SPAC Merger

    African gold miner Namib Minerals said Tuesday it has agreed to go public by merging with special-purpose acquisition company Hennessy Capital Investment Corp. VI at an estimated $500 million value, a deal said to be the largest SPAC acquisition involving an African business to date.

  • June 18, 2024

    Insurers Must Keep Defending Heating Oil Co. In Class Suit

    Two Crum & Forster units must continue defending a heating oil company and several executives in a class action claiming the company provided oil with elevated levels of biodiesel that caused property damage, a Massachusetts federal court ruled, saying the policies' "failure to supply" provisions do not limit or exclude coverage.

  • June 18, 2024

    Treasury Finalizes Labor Rules For Bonus Energy Tax Credits

    The U.S. Treasury Department released final labor rules Tuesday for clean energy projects seeking to significantly boost the value of their tax credits, emphasizing due diligence by developers and announcing that more IRS resources will go toward enforcement of the rules.

  • June 17, 2024

    Excess Insurers May Need To Pay In Kaiser Asbestos Dispute

    A policyholder can tap into first-layer excess policies as soon as the primary coverage for that period is exhausted, the California Supreme Court ruled, potentially implicating several first-level excess insurers to contribute to coverage for underlying asbestos exposure claims against Kaiser Cement and Gypsum Corp.

  • June 17, 2024

    DC Circ. Gives FERC More Clarity On Scope Of Climate Reviews

    A recent D.C. Circuit decision not only endorses the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's current approach to reviewing the climate change impacts of gas infrastructure projects, but may also help trim environmental reviews by federal agencies across the board.

  • June 17, 2024

    6th Circ. Sends Enbridge Pipeline Dispute To Mich. State Court

    A Sixth Circuit panel on Monday remanded a dispute between Michigan's attorney general and Enbridge Energy that looks to shut down dual pipelines that cross the Straits of Mackinac, saying the company failed to timely remove the case to federal court and there are no equitable exceptions to do so.

  • June 17, 2024

    Exxon Investor Deal Ends Suit Over Emissions Proposal

    Activist investor Arjuna Capital has escaped Exxon Mobil Corp.'s lawsuit over a contentious greenhouse gas-related shareholder proposal the investor sought to include in the company's 2024 proxy statement after a Texas federal judge on Monday accepted the investor's promises not to resubmit the proposal.

  • June 17, 2024

    Chrysler MDL Class Can Fix 'Puzzling' State Claim Skip

    A Michigan federal judge has said he will give a class of drivers alleging Chrysler minivans have a defect that causes their batteries to explode unexpectedly an opportunity to fix their "puzzling" choice not to plead state-by-state claims in the first master complaint of the sprawling multidistrict litigation.

  • June 17, 2024

    Iowa Seeks To Mute 'Ag-Gag' Law First Amendment Challenge

    Iowa on Friday asked a federal district court to dismiss animal rights' and community advocacy groups' First Amendment challenge to the state's "ag-gag" law that's designed to thwart undercover investigations of animal treatment.

  • June 17, 2024

    Feds, Tribes Say It's Too Soon To Reopen Monument Suit

    The federal government, tribes and conservation groups are fighting a bid by Utah and farming associations to lift a more than three-year stay in a challenge to the Bears Ears National Monument, arguing that the state is already involved in litigation that attempts to nullify the presidential proclamation that established it.

  • June 17, 2024

    Conn. Worker Gets $144K Counsel Fee After Bias Trial Win

    The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection must pay nearly $139,000 in attorney fees to W. Martyn Philpot Jr. after a Black employee won a federal jury verdict on racial hostility claims, including accusations that he found a noose hanging near his desk in a state office building.

  • June 17, 2024

    Ares, Searchlight-Led Group Plugs £500M Into RSK Group

    British sustainability company RSK Group Ltd., advised by Travers Smith LLP, on Monday announced that it is set to receive a £500 million ($634.5 million) preferred equity investment from a group led by private equity firms Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP-led Searchlight Capital Partners LP and Dechert LLP-led Ares Management Corp., which will be used to fund growth initiatives.

  • June 17, 2024

    Ga. County Says Battery Co.'s Dumping Caused Blaze

    A Georgia electric vehicle battery manufacturer that has come under regulatory scrutiny for a series of workplace safety violations has been hit with a lawsuit from its own county, which accused the company of dumping hundreds of batteries that led to a massive fire at a local recycling plant.

Expert Analysis

  • Breaking Down EPA's Rule On PFAS In Drinking Water

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    Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized the first enforceable federal drinking water regulation for PFAS, which, along with reporting and compliance requirements for regulated entities, will have a number of indirect effects, including increased cleanup costs and the possible expansion of existing Superfund sites, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • The Art Of Asking: Leveraging Your Contacts For Referrals

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    Though attorneys may hesitate to ask for referral recommendations to generate new business, research shows that people want to help others they know, like and trust, so consider who in your network you should approach and how to make the ask, says Rebecca Hnatowski at Edwards Advisory.

  • Wave Of Final Rules Reflects Race Against CRA Deadline

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    The flurry of final rules now leaping off the Federal Register press — some of which will affect entire industries and millions of Americans — shows President Joe Biden's determination to protect his regulatory legacy from reversal by the next Congress, given the impending statutory look-back period under the Congressional Review Act, say attorneys at Jenner & Block.

  • EPA Chemical Safety Rule Raises Questions About Authority

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    Stakeholders should consider the practical and economic costs of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recently finalized rule imposing novel board reporting regulations for certain chemical plants and refineries, which signals that the agency may seek a role in regulating corporate governance, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • Series

    Being An Equestrian Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Beyond getting experience thinking on my feet and tackling stressful situations, the skills I've gained from horseback riding have considerable overlap with the skills used to practice law, particularly in terms of team building, continuing education, and making an effort to reset and recharge, says Kerry Irwin at Moore & Van Allen.

  • Teach Your Party Representative The Art Of Nonverbal Cues

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    As illustrated by recent reports about President Donald Trump’s nonverbal communication in court, jurors notice what’s happening at counsel table, which may color their perceptions of the case as a whole, so trial attorneys should teach party representatives to self-monitor their nonverbal behaviors, says Clint Townson at Townson Consulting.

  • ECHR Climate Rulings Hint At Direction Of Future Cases

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    Three recent climate rulings from the European Court of Human Rights show the court's tendency toward a more formalistic, hands-off approach to procedural issues but a more hands-on approach to the application of the European Convention on Human Rights, setting the first guiding principles for key issues in EU climate cases, say Stefanie Spancken-Monz and Leane Meyer at Freshfields.

  • Opinion

    Cyber Regulators Should Rely On Existing Sources Cautiously

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    New incident reporting rules proposed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency illustrate how the use of definitions, standards and approaches from existing sources can create a complex patchwork of regulations, demonstrating that it is essential for agencies to be clear about expectations and not create unnecessary confusion, says Megan Brown at Wiley.

  • DOE Funding And Cargo Preference Compliance: Key Points

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    Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the U.S. Department of Energy will disburse more than $62 billion in financing for innovative energy projects — and recipients must understand their legal obligations related to cargo preference, so they can develop compliance strategies as close to project inception as possible, say attorneys at White & Case.

  • 4 Ways To Refresh Your Law Firm's Marketing Strategy

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    With many BigLaw firms relying on an increasingly obsolete marketing approach that prioritizes stiff professionalism over authentic connection, adopting a few key communications strategies to better connect with today's clients and prospects can make all the difference, say Eric Pacifici and Kevin Henderson at SMB Law.

  • Cos. Must Prepare For Calif. Legislation That Would Ban PFAS

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    Pending California legislation that would ban the sale or distribution of new products containing intentionally added per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances could affect thousands of businesses — and given the bill's expected passage, and its draconian enforcement regime, companies must act now to prepare for it, say attorneys at Alston & Bird.

  • Opinion

    Seafarer Detention Under Ship Pollution Law Must Have Limits

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    The U.S. Coast Guard should reinstate limits on the number of days that foreign crew members may be forced to remain in the country while the U.S. Department of Justice investigates alleged violations of shipping pollution laws, in order to balance legitimate enforcement interests and seafarer welfare, say attorneys at Blank Rome.

  • 10 Tips For ESG Disclosure Compliance In Private Funds

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    As regulators increase scrutiny of misleading claims about environmental, social and governance investments, private fund sponsors should consider several practical tips for communicating accurately with potential investors, drafting comprehensive disclosures and establishing internal policies that can keep pace with evolving compliance requirements, says Jonathan Rash at Ropes & Gray.

  • Assigning Liability In Key Bridge Collapse May Be Challenging

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    In the wake of a cargo ship's collision with Baltimore's Key Bridge last month, claimants may focus on the vessel's owners and the agencies responsible for the design and maintenance of the bridge — but allocating legal liability to either private or governmental entities may be difficult under applicable state and federal laws, says Clay Robbins at Wisner Baum.

  • 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.

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