General Business Civil Procedure Environmental

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Federal Court Upholds First Offshore Oil And Gas Lease Sales After Gulf Oil Spill

On March 31, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a memorandum opinion upholding the approval, by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, of the first oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico...more

Out of the Box: Legal guidance for the consumer product + retail industry - Volume 2, Issue 1, Spring 2014

In This Issue: - California Announces First Consumer Products Subjected To New Green Chemistry Rules - FDA Issues Final Guidance Distinguishing Liquid Dietary Supplements from Beverages - Private Surgeon General...more

EPA Endorses Upgraded All Appropriate Inquiry Standard

Buyers of real estate and their lenders are familiar with the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. Originally developed in the 1980s in response to the CERCLA statute, the Phase I protocol has been refined over the years. ...more

California Court Denies Summary Judgment on Known Conditions Exclusion

In its recent decision in Lennar Mare Island v. Steadfast Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26405 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 28, 2014), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California had occasion to consider the...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Environmental Document for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale Violates NEPA

On January 22, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Final Environmental Impact Statement ("FEIS") and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement ("SEIS") regarding the effects of...more

Insurance Recovery Law - Jan 30, 2014

California Court Recognizes Named, Additional Insureds Have Different Expectations - Why it matters: While the holding sounds straightforward – the reasonable expectations of an additional insured about the...more

BOEM Gives a Lesson on How Not To Survive NEPA Review

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the plaintiffs that the Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to support oil and gas leasing in the Chukchi Sea was flawed. ...more

Are You Subsidizing Another State's Air Pollution?

You might have to, if the Environmental Protection Agency gets its way in the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The court will hear oral arguments in a case dealing with the EPA’s ability to regulate cross-state, or...more

Amendment to Prop 65 Provides Businesses a Grace Period: AB 227 Aims to Reduce Frivolous Lawsuits and Excessive Penalties

Gov. Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 227 into law, which amends California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, otherwise known as Proposition 65. Prop 65 provides that businesses may not expose...more

Is the Absolute Pollution Exclusion Absolute? It Depends on Which State Answers the Question

The battle over the scope of the absolute pollution exclusion in general liability policies continues to be fought in the context of defective drywall manufactured in China. An earlier blog entry discussed a Virginia court...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- Sep 19, 2013

Pollution Claims–Apparently Here to Stay - With the advent of the “absolute” pollution exclusion in commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies in the mid-1980s, many in the insurance industry predicted that...more

Court Upholds County’s Ban of Single-Use Plastic

A coalition of companies involved in making and distributing plastic bags challenged an ordinance that bans single-use plastic bags and imposes a fee. The coalition alleged that the county failed to comply with the California...more

First District Holds CEQA Categorical Exemptions For Regulatory Agency Actions To Protect The Environment Apply To Marin County’s...

After years of study, Marin County adopted an Ordinance in 2011 banning single-use plastic bags and mandating a 5-cent fee on single-use paper bags; the ordinance applies to roughly 40 retailers in the unincorporated county....more

Alabama Policyholder’s Bad Faith Claim Barred Where Basis of Coverage Denial Was Debatable Under Alabama Law

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, recently granted an insurer’s summary judgment with respect to a policyholder’s tort claim for the bad faith refusal to pay a claim, dismissing...more

Judge Posner Suggests Some Renewable Portfolio Standards are Unconstitutional

Renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) that favor in-state renewable energy projects may be unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. That is the recent opinion of Judge Richard Posner, an influential member of the U.S. Court...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Claims to Area of Origin Priority by Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority

On July 1, 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion rejecting assertions by Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority (“TCCA”) that California area of origin law entitled its member districts to priority deliveries of...more

U.S. Court Of Appeals Decision Likely To Impact State Transmission And RES Policies

On June 7th, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued an opinion that could have significant impacts on transmission and renewable energy policies all across the country....more

U.S. District Court Says BLM Must Address Environmental Impacts of Fracking - Court Finds Fracking Operations are Subject to NEPA...

In an order addressing hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on federal lands, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the National Environmental...more

Earth Matters - April 2013: Fracking Moratorium Leads to Termination of Oil and Gas Leases

In 2008, then-Governor David A. Paterson directed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to supplement its environmental impact review of oil and gas exploration in New York to consider the...more

Fourth Circuit Restricts “Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser” Defense

On April 4, 2013, the Fourth Circuit issued a ruling in PCS Nitrogen Inc. v. Ashley II of Charleston that, among other things, may limit the availability of the “bona fide prospective purchaser” (“BFPP”) defense that Congress...more

CBD v. Salazar And The Way Forward For Fracking In Federal Minerals

On March 31, 2013, a magistrate judge with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in issuing...more

Ninth Circuit Orders Endangered Species Act Case To Be Reheard En Banc

On March 5, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered Natural Resources Defense Council v. Salazar, 1:05-cv-01207, to be reheard en banc pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 35(a) and...more

Sudden and Accidental Pollution in Massachusetts — Not Always Fatal To Coverage

In some jurisdictions, an environmental claim under a liability policy with a “sudden and accidental” pollution exclusion has the same prospect of success as a due process claim under the strict scrutiny standard — strict in...more

Another Win for Pennsylvania Policyholders Concerning the Duty to Defend and the Pollution Exclusion

Policyholders with pollution-related liabilities in Pennsylvania scored another win in January, in the ongoing litigation battle with insurance companies that argue for the broadest possible interpretation of the "pollution...more

DC Circuit Remands PM2.5 Implementation Rules to EPA

On January 4, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held in Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA, No. 08-1250, that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had improperly promulgated...more

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