Administrative Agency Energy & Utilities Civil Remedies

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Patton Boggs Insights - December 2012: Enforcement: $950,000 Settlement In Crandall Canyon Mine Accident

The Crandall Canyon Utah coal mine operator agreed to pay $949,351 to settle civil penalties MSHA levied following an accident in 2007 that took the lives of . six miners, followed by the deaths of three additional personnel,...more

Energy And Environmental Law Alert: Feds Continue Aggressive Enforcement Of Emissions Limits For Power Plants

On January 4, 2013, the Wisconsin Public Service Corporation agreed to pay more than $300 million as part of a settlement reached with the EPA and the Justice Department regarding alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. The...more

Appellate Court Upholds Santa Maria Groundwater Judgment & Physical Solution

On November 21, 2012, the California Court of Appeal (Sixth District) handed down its lengthy and long-awaited ruling in the Santa Maria groundwater litigation, which commenced in 1997. Although it reverses the Judgment on...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Update: January 2013 - New Jersey Supreme Court Clarifies Requisite Nexus for Liability Under...

In New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection v. Dimant, 212 N.J. 153 (2012), the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) must establish, by a preponderance of the...more

Sierra Club Ready To Sue On Alleged Air Quality Violations

As required under the federal Clean Air Act, the Sierra Club has filed a “notice of intent to sue” alleging at least 1330 air quality violations by DTE Energy coal-fired power plants: St. Clair, Belle River, and Trenton...more

California Drops the Hammer on First Carbon Auction Despite New Lawsuit

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) proceeded today with the inaugural carbon allowance auction for its impending “cap-and-trade” greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions regulation program, despite a lawsuit filed yesterday by...more

Chamber Challenges Today’s GHG Emissions Auction in California

California’s largest business lobby filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking to invalidate California’s first greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions allowance auction scheduled for today....more

CARB Sued on Cap and Trade Revenues on Eve of First Auction

It has been rumored for weeks that a Cap and Trade lawsuit was imminent. The questions were: who would file the lawsuit, when, and on what grounds? Those questions were answered, at least in part, today. The case is...more

SEC Rejects Request to Stay New Extractive Industry Transparency Rule

On November 8, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) rejected a request by industry groups to stay new regulations requiring disclosure of payments to governments relating to oil, gas, and mining projects. The...more

SEC Rejects Stay of Resource Extraction Rules

On November 8, 2012, the SEC rejected a motion to stay the resource extraction rules pending outcome of litigation challenging the validity of the rules....more

IOGA-WV Spearheads Effort to Protect Independent Producers and Challenges EPA Air Rules

On October 15, 2012, IOGA-WV, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (“IPAA”) and five other state-level oil and gas associations filed suit in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the U. S. Environmental...more

W.Va. Supreme Court Affirms Award of Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses Against WVDEP In Surface Mine Board Appeals

By a per curiam (“for the Court”) decision issued on October 19, 2012, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“WVDEP”) is obligated to pay the Hominy...more

Another Nail in the Public Nuisance Litigation Coffin: The 9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal of the Kivalina Claims

On Friday, in Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil,the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals may have sounded the death knell for public nuisance litigation concerning the impacts of climate change, affirming dismissal of the...more

Privately-Owned Utility Company Liable In Action For Inverse Condemnation

A court of appeal recently held that a privately-owned utility company may be held liable for inverse condemnation as a public entity. (Pacific Bell Telephone Company v. Southern California Edison Company (--- Cal.Rptr.3d...more

INSIGHTS - Patton Boggs Safety and Health Newsletter - July 2012

In This Issue: - Obama Directive Aims to Ease Regulatory Burden - Kline Seeks Data on Advance Notice, MSHA Injuries - OSHA Inconsistent on Safety Incentive Program Criteria, GAO Says - IARC Claims Diesel...more

FHFA Proposes Rule for PACE Programs

On June 15, the FHFA, as required by a preliminary injunction from the Northern District Court of California, issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on state and local energy retrofit financing arrangements known as Property...more

South Carolina Legislature Acts to Protect Businesses from Citizens Lawsuits

On June 6, 2012 South Carolina’s General Assembly ratified and Governor Nikki Halley signed into law a bill that repeals a 2011 ruling from the State Supreme Court. In Georgetown County League of Women Voters v. Smith Land...more

Court Rejects Attempt to Expand RCRA to Diesel Exhaust

On May 29, 2012, the Central District of California dismissed a lawsuit filed by a number of environmental groups seeking to apply the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) to any gaseous emissions that have the...more

Two Strikes Against Common Law Approaches to Climate Change: The Atmosphere Is Not A Public Trust

Yesterday, the District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the so-called “public trust” climate change law suit. I will certainly give the plaintiffs in these cases credit for both originality and persistence. Legal...more

Update on Pa. Municipality Act 13 Lawsuit

As reported in the March edition of The Shale Play Today, seven Pennsylvania municipalities filed suit in the Commonwealth Court on March 29, 2012, challenging the provision of Act 13 providing that state law preempts the...more

New Oil Pollution Deskbook Highlights OPA Rules

The second anniversary of the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill highlights the big legal risks that come from an oil spill, whether at wells such as BP’s Macondo well, or at pipelines, terminals, storage tanks, or on...more

McAfee & Taft RegLINC - April 2012: $38 million fine for Pacific Gas & Electric 2008 explosion By Chris Paul

California applied a $38 million penalty against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for a 2008 gas explosion in which one person died and five were injured, caused by a faulty pipeline installation and failed oversight. Article...more

Wondering About the Status of EPA's CCR Rule? So Are 11 Environmental Groups

I have had a number of clients ask me recently about the status of EPA’s efforts to regulate coal combustion residuals under RCRA. It turns out that some environmental groups have been asking themselves the same question....more

New York Supreme Court Upholds Towns’ Fracking Bans

In two separate decisions issued last week, the Supreme Court of the State of New York (the state's trial level court) upheld the Town of Dryden's ban on hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) in Tompkins County, and...more

State Water Control Law and Virginia Waste Management Act, Two Statutory Schemes with $9 Million in the Balance: Campbell County...

In the trial court, Campbell County lost, and lost big. The judgment appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court included $9 million in damages, plus another $600,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs. On appeal, the County won just as...more

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