J. Wylie Donald

J. Wylie Donald

McCarter & English, LLP

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Top 6 at 6 - Climate Change Legal Highlights of the First Six Months of 2015

Some might say that the Clean Power Plan is all one needs to talk about in any highlights article on recent climate change legal issues. When final the CPP will expand the scope of the Clean Air Act profoundly, impact the...more

7/27/2015 - Air Pollution British Columbia Supreme Court Carbon Emissions Chevron v NRDC Clean Air Act Clean Power Plan Climate Change Coal Industry Compliance EPA MATS Mercury Miami Natural Resources Defense Council Nuclear Power Popular POTWs Power Plants Rising Sea Levels SCOTUS US Army Corps of Engineers Utilities Sector

"Capacious" Term Dooms MATS Rule - Does It Say Anything About the Clean Power Plan?

The Energy Information Agency predicted the retirement of up to 60 gigawatts of coal-fired electricity generation by 2020. A significant contributor to that evolution was the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard or MATS Rule. ...more

7/1/2015 - Chevron Deference Chevron v NRDC Clean Power Plan EPA MATS Michigan v. EPA Power Plants

Houston Flooding and Lawyers - A Climate Change Informed View

Occasionally we venture a posting on how lawyers’ business plans incorporate climate change. We have not been a hopeful cheerleader, primarily because our observations confirm that clients don’t hire climate change lawyers,...more

5/28/2015 - Climate Change Expert Witness Flood Insurance Flooding

Floods in Texas, Flood Mapping, Flood Dollars

Floods on the Rio Blanco these past few days demonstrate the link to climate change, but not in the way you think. It was a horrible Memorial Day weekend in Hays County, Texas. At least three people died from the worst...more

5/26/2015 - Climate Change FEMA Flood Zones Flooding Mandatory Evacuation US Army Corps of Engineers Zoning Laws

NERC's Polite Review of the Clean Power Plan: A "Challenge"

When the draft of EPA's Clean Power Plan was promulgated in the Federal Register last June, one of the critical questions raised by those in the electricity space was: what about reliability? If you shut down all those coal...more

5/1/2015 - Clean Power Plan Coal-Fired Generation Electricity Energy Sector EPA Natural Gas NERC Oil & Gas Power Infrastructure

In re Murray Energy - the First Clean Power Plan Donnybrook

Friday morning found us at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington, hoping to take in the oral argument before the DC Circuit in the first (of what is certain to be many) challenge to the Clean Power Plan: In re...more

4/17/2015 - Clean Power Plan Coal Industry Proposed Regulation Ripeness Rulemaking Process

April Fool's Day Sees National Flood Insurance Rates Rise

So what day would you pick to have your flood insurance premium double? April Fool's Day? You got it. Well, that's a little hyperbolic. Rates aren't doubling instantaneously tomorrow. Instead they are rising...more

4/1/2015 - Commercial Property Owners Flood Insurance Insurance Rates Property Owners

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC, Part IV - Economic v. Environmental Dispatch, Please

It’s been a long winter in my neck of the woods and not because Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. Pipes froze. Twice. Furnace was out overnight. Broke three shovels. So I had a particular interest this past Wednesday,...more

3/18/2015 - Clean Power Plan Electricity EPA FERC ISOs Technical Conference Utilities Sector

The Keystone XL Pipeline Veto: Much Ado ...

When one talks of pipelines in recent days one hears nearly an incessant buzz about Keystone XL, as if that is where the real action is. But it isn't, notwithstanding the histrionics over President Obama's veto of S.1, the...more

3/2/2015 - Clean Power Plan EPA Keystone XL Pipeline Natural Gas NERC Oil & Gas Presidential Veto

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC

It is innocuous enough: Conference on Environmental Regulations; but the plainness of title belies what is going on at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today. Today is the first public forum at FERC on EPA's Clean...more

2/27/2015 - Clean Power Plan Energy Policy Environmental Policies EPA FERC

Preparing for and Recovering from Winter Storm Juno - Insurance Coverage Alert

Winter storm Juno is expected to hit this evening and last through Wednesday, impacting businesses from the Mid-Atlantic to New England. Millions may be affected by power outages and travel disruptions, and many may suffer...more

1/27/2015 - Business Interruption Commercial General Liability Policies Commercial Insurance Policies Property Damage Property Insurance

Rising Sea Levels and Prohibited "Takings" - A Different Sort of Climate Change Litigation

A little noted anniversary passed this past week. The odd 2009 storm, Nor’Ida (the progeny of a nor’easter and a hurricane), swept along the east coast pounding some areas with record storm surge five years ago in the second...more

1/8/2015 - Climate Change Coastal Real Estate Complex Litigation Condemnation Emergency Response Municipalities Public Trust Doctrine Rising Sea Levels Takings

Cyber Risks Facing Businesses Today  [Video]

Wylie Donald, a partner in the Insurance Coverage group at McCarter & English, counsels and litigates on insurance coverage and environmental matters. In this video, Wylie discusses the need to be proactive when it comes to...more

11/10/2014 - Cyber Attacks Cyber Insurance Cybersecurity Electricity Utilities Sector

Alaska Supreme Court Opens the Door for Alternative Theory in Public Trust Litigation

As this blog has discussed on several prior occasions, Our Children’s Trust, an Oregon public interest group, has coordinated lawsuits in numerous states seeking to apply the public trust doctrine to the atmosphere. While...more

9/29/2014 - Carbon Emissions Environmental Liability Environmental Policies Greenhouse Gas Emissions Public Trust Doctrine

A Provisional Winner of an Offshore Wind Lease is Announced and that Means the Goal Line is Still Far Off

Offshore wind took another small step forward last week when US Wind was announced as the provisional winner of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's August 19 auction of development rights to nearly 80,000 acres off of...more

8/26/2014 - BOEM Energy Energy Policy Offshore Wind Wind Power

Super Models Are Looking Better Than Ever - What Does That Mean For Insureds?

A recent article in August’s Best’s Review, The Rise of the Super Models, by Kate Smith (not Kate Upton, sorry), caught our eye. A lot is going on in the world of computer catastrophe modeling. First, demand by insurers and...more

8/22/2014 - Computer-System Design/Software Services Insurers Popular Reinsurance

The New Bucket List: NOAA’s Top Sites for Increased Nuisance Flooding

"Seawater on the streets.” One immediately knows that, notwithstanding the alliterative allure, something is not right. And when one is in Annapolis, Maryland, and the Alex Haley Scuplture Group is literally reading in the...more

7/31/2014 - NOAA Rising Sea Levels Sea Levels Water

Top 6 at 6: Highlights of the Top Climate Change Legal Stories in the First Half of 2014

Our semi-annual look at the top climate change legal stories is keyed on EPA. You hardly have to have been awake to be aware of the Clean Power Plan and UARG v. EPA. But other things have stirred the pot as well: three...more

7/9/2014 - Carbon Emissions Clean Power Plan Climate Change Environmental Policies EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Popular Power Plants SCOTUS Utilities Sector Utility Air Regulatory Group v EPA

Negligent Operation Of A Storm Sewer: A New Theory Of Climate Change Liability

We have written many times about the flawed design of the nation's flood maps in an era of climate change. And spoken about the potential for claims against professionals for failure to consider the effects of climate change...more

5/2/2014 - Climate Change FEMA Flood Maps Negligence Professional Liability State and Local Government Storm Sewers Storm Water Takings

A Slow-Burning Fuse: Climate Change From The Risk Management Trenches

This morning was the only professional session on climate change at the 2014 annual conference of RIMS, the Risk and Insurance Management Society, the preeminent risk management trade group in the country. ...more

5/1/2014 - Climate Change Risk Management

Executory Forward SREC Contracts - What Exactly Does This Mean?

What happens to the payment for a solar renewable energy credit (SREC) when the payor closes its doors? Maryland citizens are finding out the hard way. The promises made to some of them are turning up empty....more

3/4/2014 - Energy Tax Incentives Solar Energy SREC Tax Credits

Report On Carbon Capture And Storage From The House

Would an 80% premium steer you away from an energy source that was low-carbon, naturally abundant in the United States, not subject to the vicissitudes of weather, incapable of nuclear meltdown and accompanied by a...more

2/21/2014 - Carbon Capture and Sequestration Carbon Emissions Environmental Policies Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Contrary Legal Winds At Cape Wind - Opponents Of Offshore Wind Sue Asserting Preemption

Would you care to hazard a guess at how long it takes to bring online an offshore wind farm in the United States? At the moment, it is 12+ years and counting. A recent court filing arguing constitutional questions is...more

2/10/2014 - Environmental Claims Preemption Wind Power

Dust In The Wind – A "Silent Epidemic" Rises In The Southwest

Statisticians call it a correlation when two sets of data are strongly linked. Last Friday, the governor of California declared a state of emergency arising from the persistent drought that resulted in 2013 being the driest...more

1/21/2014 - CDC Climate Change Cruel & Unusual Punishment Eighth Amendment Emergency Response Prison

Wind Project "Take" Permits Extended To 30 Years - Eagles Nonplussed

Tomorrow bald and golden eagles will sleep less soundly. On January 8 the Fish and Wildlife Service’s new rule revising the regulations for permits for the taking of golden eagles and bald eagles goes into effect. ...more

1/8/2014 - Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act Fish and Wildlife Service Incidental Take Permits Public Projects Wind Power

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