J. Wylie Donald

J. Wylie Donald

McCarter & English, LLP

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Latest Publications


Coal Plant Shutdown: Owners and Operators Need Vision – Part I

PDF Version Coal plant owners and operators can make a plant shutdown easier by planning now for the site’s future. This plan, or Vision, can help expedite shutdown efforts, reduce costs, improve relations with the local...more

2/14/2017 - Coal Industry Coal Mines Contaminated Properties Plant Closures

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Operators Should Implement Their Document Retention Policies And Protect Against Future Asbestos Claims

As far as contamination concerns go, asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are generally way down the list of issues at a shutdown coal plant. You hire certified contractors, bag the ACM and dispose of it in approved landfills....more

1/11/2017 - Asbestos Litigation Business Closures Coal Industry Coal-Fired Plants Commercial General Liability Policies Contaminated Properties Document Retention Policies Employer Liability Issues Toxic Exposure

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Taking Steps to Control the Reopener

Operators shutting down coal-fired plants would be wise to plan ahead for potential future remediation obligations – aka the “reopener.” Predicting these obligations may be quite difficult, but operators can implement...more

12/19/2016 - Coal Industry Coal-Fired Plants Contaminated Properties Drinking Water Environmental Remediation Costs Reopening Laws Site Remediation Soil

Some Real Numbers About Transitioning a Coal Plant to a Solar Farm

Power density was on display yesterday in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Virtually anyway. There was a groundbreaking for a 5.8 MW solar farm. This is wonderful news. The old, inefficient, environmentally challenged, coal-fired...more

10/13/2016 - Clean Energy Climate Change Coal Coal Industry Energy Projects Energy Sector Property Tax Renewable Energy Solar Energy Tax Assessment

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Operators Have Cyber Protection Obligations Even After Closing

As Yogi Berra used to say: “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Coal plant operators shutting down their plants should remember this phrase. Even after they throw the breakers, go off the grid, are no longer contributing to the...more

8/30/2016 - Coal Industry Coal Mines Cybersecurity Data Security FTC NERC Personal Data Popular Privacy Policy Reliability Standards Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

"I believe in science." And then what?

I am sure you heard Hillary explain last night why she is going to take action on climate change. "I believe in science."  We weren’t so articulate when we counseled last week to “Go to the Data,” but she figured it out.  No...more

8/1/2016 - Carbon Emissions Climate Change Environmental Claims Environmental Policies Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Zika Transmission in New York, and Now in Florida - Some Legal Thoughts

In eight years of climate change blogging we think we have uniformly been able to steer clear of the prurient and the provocative, the lewd and the lascivious. But then came word last Friday from New York that the New York...more

7/22/2016 - Climate Change Employment Policies Environmental Claims Infectious Diseases Risk Assessment Young Lawyers Zika

A Coal Plant Shutdown and the Undoing of a Wind Energy Bottleneck

Everyone knows the transmission bottleneck is the boot on the neck of wind energy. The Plains States have megawatts of wind energy. Getting it to the places with megawatts of demand, like Oregon and Washington, aye, there’s...more

7/19/2016 - Clean Air Act Clean Air Act Violations Clean Energy Coal-Fired Generation Energy Projects Energy Sector Renewable Energy Settlement Agreements Sierra Club Wind Power

Climate Change Opinions Don't Help Business; Data Do

We try to stay away from politics on the blog, so we were reluctant to take up the Sierra Club’s recent report concluding that if Donald Trump became president he would be unique among world leaders in his refusal to...more

7/18/2016 - Business Advice Climate Change Energy & Climate Debates Environmental Assessments Environmental Policies Sierra Club Trump Administration

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Operators Need to Manage Community Relationships

Imagine this scenario: A company operates a coal ash landfill. Local citizens protest and organize an advocacy group against it and create a Facebook page. The company responds by suing the individual members of the group for...more

6/29/2016 - ACLU Coal Coal Ash Defamation Duke Energy Landfills Motion to Dismiss Site Remediation

New York High Court Applies All Sums Allocation To Long-Tail Claims Under Certain Insurance Policies

The New York Court of Appeals recently answered two certified questions from the Delaware Supreme Court concerning insurance allocation, and the Court’s answers may impact significantly policyholders litigating “long-tail”...more

5/18/2016 - Asbestos Litigation Contract Interpretation DE Supreme Court Excess Policies Horizontal Exhaustion Doctrine Insurance Industry Insurance Litigation Long-Tail Claims Non-Cumulation Clause Pro Rata Allocation Rule Umbrella Policies

Product Recalls and Insurance: Considerations to Maximize Covered Expenses

Berries. Walnuts. Wholesome. Healthy. But not when they may be contaminated with harmful bacteria. On May 10, 2016, grocery store chain Publix announced a voluntary recall of its cranberry nut and seed mix. Publix learned of...more

5/12/2016 - Commercial Reasonableness Cost Recovery Food Contamination Food Recalls Grocery Stores Insurance Contracts Liability Insurance Policy Exclusions Publix

Fourth Circuit Finds Insurer Must Defend Data Breach Claims Against Its Insured Under Its Standard CGL Policy

Commercial General Liability policies have, for several decades, included advertising and personal injury coverage. Such coverage is afforded for injury caused by various enumerated offenses, including breach of privacy....more

4/14/2016 - Class Action Commercial General Liability Policies Confidential Information Cyber Insurance Data Breach Duty to Defend Electronic Medical Records Insurance Industry Internet Personal and Advertising Injury Coverage Popular Publication Requirement

Can Insurance Help You Pay for Coal-Fired Power Plant Decommissioning?

The environmental remediation costs of decommissioning a coal-fired power plant can be chillingly high—in one proposal we recently reviewed, the environmental costs of a 45-year-old plant with four ash ponds approached $30...more

2/19/2016 - Coal-Fired Plants Commercial General Liability Policies Environmental Remediation Costs Groundwater Notice Requirements Pollution Exclusion Pollution Liability Insurance Popular

Court Extends Kemper Insurance Company’s Contingent Claims Filing Deadline

On November 2, 2015, the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, entered an order granting a one-year extension of the deadline for filing proof of liquidation of an insured’s contingent claim for losses associated with...more

11/10/2015 - Filing Deadlines Insureds Liquidation Loss Coverage Time Extensions

Food and beverage industry target of new supply chain composition and disclosure suits. Are you covered?

As if risks relating to product recalls, product labeling, and food contamination were not enough, the food and beverage industry now faces potential liability in connection with the alleged composition of its global supply...more

11/5/2015 - Beverage Manufacturers Child Labor Consumer Fraud Costco D&O Insurance Failure To Disclose False Advertising Food Manufacturers Nestle Notice Requirements Policy Exclusions Putative Class Actions Slavery Supply Chain Unfair Competition

Kemper Insurance Company Contingent Claims Filing Deadline Is Fast Approaching: What You Need To Know - M&E Insurance Coverage...

Lumbermens Mutual Group, formerly known as Kemper Insurance Company (or just as Kemper), is comprised of Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company, American Motorists Insurance Company, and American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance...more

10/8/2015 - Commercial Bankruptcy Commercial Insurance Policies Filing Deadlines Insolvency Insureds Liquidation Proof of Claims

Academic Institutions Are Under Cyber Attack

Academia’s cyber preparedness (or lack thereof) has received less media attention than that of certain retailers and financial institutions, but nonetheless the cyber risks confronting universities are pervasive and alarming....more

9/16/2015 - Colleges Community Colleges Cyber Attacks Cyber Threats Cybersecurity Data Breach Data Privacy Data Protection Data Security Educational Institutions Personally Identifiable Information Security Breach Universities

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

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