Environmental

  • July 19, 2024

    Signature Gatherers Must Comply With Mich. Election Law

    A Michigan appellate panel said in a published opinion that petition signature gatherers must strictly comply with state election law, finding that the gatherers' failure to identify their town of residence rendered invalid every signature on petitions seeking to put a referendum question regarding a solar energy ordinance on the ballot.

  • July 19, 2024

    NJ Towns Not Liable For Water Contaminants, Panel Rules

    A panel of New Jersey state appeals court judges ruled Friday that municipalities charging for water service aren't in an implied contractual relationship with residents and thus can't be found in breach of contract for elevated contaminant levels in the water.

  • July 19, 2024

    DC Circ. Won't Block EPA Power Plant Emissions Rule

    The D.C. Circuit refused Friday to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rule curbing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, saying challengers haven't shown they're likely to succeed in overturning the regulations.

  • July 19, 2024

    DuPont Loses 2nd Bid To Dodge EPA Air Pollution Lawsuit

    A Louisiana federal judge has rejected a DuPont unit's second effort to escape a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over property the company leased to a neoprene-maker that's allegedly emitting unsafe amounts of a likely carcinogenic chemical.

  • July 19, 2024

    Occidental Could Sell $3.6B CrownRock Stake To Ecopetrol

    Occidental Petroleum said in a securities filing Friday that it could sell a 30% stake in CrownRock — which Occidental is under contract to buy for $12 billion — to Columbia's Ecopetrol for $3.6 billion. 

  • July 18, 2024

    5th Circ. Remands ESG Rule Row Citing Chevron's End

    The Fifth Circuit on Thursday instructed a Texas federal court to reconsider a Biden administration rule allowing retirement plan advisers to consider environmental, social and governance factors when choosing investments, pointing to recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have "upended" the legal landscape.

  • July 18, 2024

    Tribes Move Step Closer To $5B Water Rights Settlement

    Leaders of the Navajo Nation and the Hopi and Southern San Juan Paiute tribes have signed a landmark settlement agreement that proposes to bring reliable, safe and clean drinking water to the tribes as they await final approval of a $5 billion federal bill that backs the same endeavor.

  • July 18, 2024

    DOE Plans $861M Support For PR Solar, Storage Project

    The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday said it's conditionally committing to a loan guarantee of up to $861.3 million for two battery storage equipped solar farms and two standalone battery energy storage systems in Puerto Rico that will help the island meet its energy goals.

  • July 18, 2024

    9th Circ. Signals Support For Alaska Salmon Fishery

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Thursday leaned toward allowing government-approved commercial salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska, with one judge saying the economic hardship indigenous communities would face without fishing outweighs the "enormous uncertainty" of impacts on a small population of orca whales that feed on the fish.

  • July 18, 2024

    Enviro Groups Deploy Chevron Ruling In Pipeline Case

    Environmental groups suing the federal government over the reissuance of a nationwide Clean Water Act permit that can be used for oil and gas pipelines told a D.C. federal judge Thursday that the recent overturning of the Chevron deference bolsters their effort to get the permit thrown out.

  • July 18, 2024

    State Of 2024 Energy Dealmaking: Midyear Report

    Energy dealmaking in the first half of 2024 has, in many ways, picked up where 2023 left off, but companies also increasingly have an eye on the U.S. presidential election this fall that could bring drastic change to the landscape. Here are some transactional trends that have stood out to energy attorneys so far this year.

  • July 18, 2024

    6th Circ. Looks To Wash Hands Of Waters Of US Appeal

    An exasperated Sixth Circuit panel on Thursday looked for an easy way to dispatch Kentucky and industry groups' appeal of the dismissal of their challenges to a federal government rule defining the scope of the Clean Water Act.

  • July 18, 2024

    Democrats Float Prison Environmental Health Bill

    Congressional Democrats on Thursday proposed legislation that would fund programs to improve air quality, water quality, temperature, mold, contagious diseases and other issues in federal prisons.

  • July 18, 2024

    Refiner, Distributor To Pay $1M Fine In EPA Biofuel Case

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday that it has slapped an Arizona-based petroleum products company and its affiliate with a more than $1 million civil penalty for violations of the Clean Air Act's conventional and renewable fuel requirements.

  • July 18, 2024

    Consumers Hit CenterPoint With 2nd Class Action Over Beryl

    CenterPoint Energy Inc. has been hit with a second proposed class action over widespread power outages in the Houston area following Hurricane Beryl, this time from consumers in the Houston-Galveston area who were impacted by the storm.

  • July 18, 2024

    Judge With Lake Property Exits $217M Dam Repair Tax Suit

    A Michigan federal judge said he would step aside in a fight over a $217 million tax assessment to fund dam reconstruction because he's part of the assessment district, though he warned that hundreds plaintiffs could have their own conflicts.

  • July 18, 2024

    King & Spalding Guides Quanta's $1.5B Cupertino Buy

    Houston-based Quanta Services Inc. said Thursday it has acquired fellow energy infrastructure provider Cupertino Electric Inc. for up to $1.54 billion, with King & Spalding LLP and Fenwick & West LLP providing legal counsel on the deal, respectively. 

  • July 18, 2024

    Rising Star: V&E's Corinne Snow

    Corinne Snow of Vinson & Elkins LLP has been at the forefront of the field of environmental regulation throughout her young career, serving in the U.S. Department of Justice and working with water associations in challenging recent regulatory mandates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and earning her a spot among the environmental practitioners under age 40 honored by Law360 as Rising Stars.

  • July 17, 2024

    EPA Disputes High Court Link To Texas Clean Air Act Case

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency argued that the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling blocking a federal plan to reduce cross-state pollution does not impact the EPA's decision to reject state plans submitted by Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

  • July 17, 2024

    MTA Sued For Bus Service Cuts After Congestion Plan Nixed

    New York City's Public Advocate hit the Metropolitan Transportation Authority with a proposed state court class action Wednesday aimed at reversing bus service cuts implemented after Gov. Kathy Hochul abruptly canceled plans for congestion pricing, slashing billions in anticipated revenue for the MTA.

  • July 17, 2024

    Lawmakers Say Bid To Toss Monument Suit Is A 'Red Herring'

    The Arizona Legislature is fighting a bid by the Biden administration to dismiss a challenge to a presidential proclamation that established an Indigenous site as a national monument in the Grand Canyon region, arguing that the state's constitution gives the lawmakers power over state trust lands.

  • July 17, 2024

    DOE Says Challenge Of $1.1B Diablo Canyon Award Must Fail

    The U.S. Department of Energy is urging a California federal judge to throw out a suit challenging its award of $1.1 billion of credits to help Pacific Gas & Electric Co. keep two generation units running for now at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

  • July 17, 2024

    NC Must Use Smithfield Foods Funds For Schools, Judge Says

    North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein can no longer get his hands on $2 million a year from Smithfield Foods to give out environmental grants to private entities after a judge ruled the state constitution requires the money to be used in public schools.

  • July 17, 2024

    Rising Star: Kirkland's Jim Dolphin

    James Dolphin of Kirkland & Ellis LLP's success in helping clients navigate the nuances of environmental law and the energy industry in complex agreements, projects and transactions — including a first-of-its-kind agreement between Chestnut Carbon and Microsoft — has earned him a spot among the environmental law practitioners under age 40 honored by Law360 as Rising Stars.

  • July 17, 2024

    Monsanto Philly Roundup Victory Preserved After Trial

    A Philadelphia state judge declined to overturn a jury verdict in favor of Monsanto in a Pennsylvania cancer patient's lawsuit alleging he developed his illness after using the weed killer Roundup.

Expert Analysis

  • New State Climate Liability Laws: What Companies Must Know

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    New legislation in Vermont and New York creating liability and compliance obligations for businesses deemed responsible for climate change — as well as similar bills proposed in California, Massachusetts and Maryland — have far-reaching implications for companies, so it is vital to remain vigilant as these initiatives progress, say Gregory Berlin and Jeffrey Dintzer at Alston & Bird.

  • EU Investor-State Dispute Transparency Rules: Key Points

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    The European Union's recent vote to embrace greater transparency for investor-state arbitration will make managing newly public information more complex for all parties in a dispute — so it is important for stakeholders to understand the risks and opportunities involved, say Philip Hall, Tara Flores and Charles McKeon at Thorndon Partners.

  • Despite Calif. Delays, Climate Disclosure Rules Are Coming

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    Progress continues on state, federal and international climate disclosure regimes, making compliance a key concern for companies — but the timeline for implementation of California's disclosure laws remains unclear due to funding and timing disputes, says David Smith at Manatt Phelps.

  • Decoding Arbitral Disputes: Intra-EU Enforcement Trends

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    Hungary recently declared a distinct stance on the European Court of Justice's 2021 ruling in Moldavia v. Komstroy on intra-EU arbitration under the Energy Charter Treaty, highlighting a critical divergence in the bloc on enforcing investment awards and the complexities of balancing regional uniformity with international obligations, says Josep Galvez at 4-5 Gray's Inn.

  • Opinion

    Now More Than Ever, Lawyers Must Exhibit Professionalism

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    As society becomes increasingly fractured and workplace incivility is on the rise, attorneys must champion professionalism and lead by example, demonstrating how lawyers can respectfully disagree without being disagreeable, says Edward Casmere at Norton Rose.

  • What Happens After Hawaii Kids' Historic Climate Deal

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    Implications of the Hawaii Department of Transportation's first-of-its-kind settlement with youth plaintiffs over constitutional climate claims may be limited, but it could incite similar claims, says J. Michael Showalter and Robert Middleton at ArentFox Schiff.

  • Series

    Serving In The National Guard Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My ongoing military experience as a judge advocate general in the National Guard has shaped me as a person and a lawyer, teaching me the importance of embracing confidence, balance and teamwork in both my Army and civilian roles, says Danielle Aymond at Baker Donelson.

  • Big Business May Come To Rue The Post-Administrative State

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    Many have framed the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decisions overturning Chevron deference and extending the window to challenge regulations as big wins for big business, but sand in the gears of agency rulemaking may be a double-edged sword, creating prolonged uncertainty that impedes businesses’ ability to plan for the future, says Todd Baker at Columbia University.

  • Series

    After Chevron: A Sea Change For Maritime Sector

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    The shipping industry has often looked to the courts for key agency decisions affecting maritime interests, but after the U.S. Supreme Court's Loper Bright ruling, stakeholders may revisit important industry questions and coordinate to bring appropriate challenges and shape rulemaking, say attorneys at Holland & Knight.

  • A Midyear Forecast: Tailwinds Expected For Atty Hourly Rates

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    Hourly rates for partners, associates and support staff continued to rise in the first half of this year, and this growth shows no signs of slowing for the rest of 2024 and into next year, driven in part by the return of mergers and acquisitions and the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence, says Chuck Chandler at Valeo Partners.

  • Tips For Implementing EU Sustainability Reporting Guidance

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    Lawyers at Sullivan & Cromwell discuss the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group’s recently published guidance on double materiality assessments and offer takeaways on achieving a sustainability directive-compliant process that could enhance clarity and consistency among multinational stakeholders.

  • Series

    After Chevron: Creating New Hurdles For ESG Rulemaking

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's Loper Bright decision, limiting court deference to agencies' statutory interpretations, could have significant impacts on the future of ESG regulation, creating new hurdles for agency rulemaking around these emerging issues, and calling into question current administrative actions, says Leah Malone at Simpson Thacher.

  • California Adds A Novel Twist To State Suits Against Big Oil

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    California’s suit against Exxon Mobil Corp., one of several state suits that seek to hold oil and gas companies accountable for climate-related harms, is unique both in the magnitude of the alleged claims and its use of a consumer protection statute to seek disgorgement of industry profits, says Julia Stein at UCLA School of Law.

  • Criminal Enforcement Considerations For Gov't Contractors

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    Government contractors increasingly exposed to criminal liability risks should establish programs that enable detection and remediation of employee misconduct, consider voluntary disclosure, and be aware of the potentially disastrous consequences of failing to make a mandatory disclosure where the government concludes it was required, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring.

  • Opinion

    States Should Loosen Law Firm Ownership Restrictions

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    Despite growing buzz, normalized nonlawyer ownership of law firms is a distant prospect, so the legal community should focus first on liberalizing state restrictions on attorney and firm purchases of practices, which would bolster succession planning and improve access to justice, says Michael Di Gennaro at The Law Practice Exchange.

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