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California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - California extends mandatory water cuts despite growing snowpack - Sacramento Bee - Feb 2 - California’s drought regulators agreed Tuesday to extend water conservation mandates...more

Thirty States and Numerous Other Interested Parties Seek an Immediate Supreme Court Stay of the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan”

On January 26, 2016, 29 states and state agencies, including Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, and Mississippi (the “29 States”), submitted an application (the “29 States Application”) to the United States...more

Environmental exposure: a step towards compensation of neighbours of former asbestos-using plants?

On 22 October 2015, the Paris Civil Court ("Tribunal de grande instance de Paris") handed down a judgment concerning environmental exposure to asbestos which could pave the way towards compensation of neighbours of industrial...more

Court in BP Oil Spill Litigation Denies Standing for Special Purpose Entities Created Solely for Litigation

A January 4, 2016 opinion in the Southern District of Texas by Judge Keith Ellison (“Op.”) in the In re: BP p.l.c. Securities Litigation, MDL No. 4:10-md-2185, has taken up the issue of whether plaintiffs can properly assign...more

Restoring old mill hydro sites and FERC licensure

Suppose you own an existing water powered mill complex whose hydromechanical facilities have not been operational for decades. You would like to develop a hydropower project at the site, using the existing dam, headrace, and...more

Republican Congressmen Introduce Legislation to Opt Out of Ninth Circuit

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R) and Rep. Matt Salmon (R) recently introduced a bill that would remove several western states from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and move them to a proposed, to-be-created...more

New Jersey’s Appellate Division Declines to Pierce Corporate Veil and Impose Personal Liability on Company Principal for Cleanup...

Action Item: On January 14, 2016, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court in New Jersey Dep’t of Envtl. Prot. v. Navillus Group, No. A-4726-13T3, 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 77 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div....more

FERC requires licensure of Alaska hydropower project

What happens when federal hydropower regulators discover an unlicensed project subject to their jurisdiction? A recent case involving a dam at a remote Alaskan fish hatchery ended with an order requiring the project owner to...more

Prognosticating the Ozone Standard Litigation: EPA to Win, Environmental Petitioners to Place, Murray Energy to Show

Last week, the “Public Health and Environmental Petitioners” challenging EPA’s decision not to reduce the ozone standard below 0.070 ppm filed their “Non-Binding Statement of Issues.” My crystal ball still tells me that the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - States ask Supreme Court to block Obama carbon emissions plan - Reuters - Jan 26 - A group of states led by West Virginia and Texas asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay...more

Kamala Harris Puts Exxon Under Her Microscope: California AG Reportedly Has Launched Review of Oil Giant’s Statements On Climate...

Students of history know that fighting a two front war is a hazard to be avoided. According to the L.A. Times, however, that is precisely the dilemma that now faces Exxon Mobil: dual investigations from attorneys general on...more

Real Estate and Land Use - January 2016

Using Project Objectives to Select a Reasonable Range of Alternatives - North Coast Rivers Alliance v. A.G. Kawamura (January 4, 2016) Third District Court of Appeal Case No. C072067 - Why It Matters: This opinion...more

Renewable Energy Update - January 2016 #4

Renewable Energy Focus - The Verdict Is In: CPUC Preserves Net Metering In California - Solar Industry - Jan 28 In a 3-2 vote this morning, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued its long-awaited...more

Energy Sector Alert Series: A Legislative Outlook

Over the next eight weeks, we will provide a broad look at current and emerging issues facing the energy sector in a series of alerts. In this series, attorneys from across the firm will discuss issues ranging from...more

DuPont Appeal May Clarify What Constitutes a Reverse False Claim “Obligation”

On January 20, a federal district court in Louisiana certified for appeal its 2014 ruling denying defendant DuPont’s motion for summary judgment, thereby permitting DuPont to seek appellate review of the district court’s...more

The Ongoing Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Last week, citizens of Flint, Michigan filed two class-action lawsuits against Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and other government officials. ...more

Ninth Circuit Denies EPA Motion for Vacatur, Grants EPA Motion for Remand

On January 25, 2016, in a significant development in the case involving the continued registration of DowAgrosciences LLC’s (DowAgro) Enlist Duo product, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Case Nos. 14-73353,...more

Washington State Court of Appeals Holds Vested Permit Applications Are Not Subject to New Municipal Stormwater Requirements

The development community won a victory in Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals in a ruling that excludes pending permit applications from the new low-impact development stormwater regulations that large...more

Litigating Environmental Whistleblower Claims Under OSHA Procedures

The federal government is allocating more time and resources to whistleblower programs. Now, more than ever, companies need to take steps to minimize exposure to whistleblower claims. When a whistleblower case is filed, it...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19481 - JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Mendez - After a foreclosure sale auction took place, the defendant property owner appeared for the first time and filed a motion to...more

When CEQA Violations Are An Afterthought: Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Independent Judgment Determination That City Of...

CEQA and land use law in California go together like a hand in a glove. Due to CEQA’s broad scope and exacting substantive and procedural requirements, it is relatively easy to plead a cause of action for CEQA violations in...more

Good Law Catches Up With Good Policy: The Supreme Court Upholds FERC’s Demand Response Order

The Supreme Court today affirmed FERC’s Order No. 745, which required that demand response resources be treated the same as generation resources when participating in wholesale electricity markets. I’m feeling vindicated,...more

New California Laws: AB 1390 and SB 226: More Groundwater

Last October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law two bills designed to make groundwater disputes easier and faster to resolve in court. Companion bills Assembly Bill 1390 and Senate Bill 226 are intended to streamline...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - SoCal Gas Co. expects to cap Porter Ranch gas leak ahead of schedule - CBS Los Angeles - Jan 19 An ongoing natural gas leak that has affected residents in the Porter Ranch-area...more

Clean Power Plan Litigation Update–Court Denies Stay, but Sets Expedited Schedule for Decision

On January 21, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied numerous requests to delay implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. While declining to put a...more

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