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Three Strikes and the Commonwealth Is Out: The Natural Gas Act Preempts Article 97

Last week, Judge John Agostini ruled that the Natural Gas Act preempts Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution, which otherwise would have required a 2/3 vote of the Legislature before Article 97 land could be conveyed...more

Colorado Court Strikes Down Local Fracking Bans that Conflict with State Law

On May 2, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court issued opinions in two separate cases challenging local bans on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). A win for the oil and gas industry in the state, the Supreme Court held that the...more

Energy Sector Alert Series: Appellate Courts Hearing More Energy Cases

In this eight-week alert series, we are providing a broad look at current and emerging issues facing the energy sector. Attorneys from across the firm will discuss issues ranging from environmental disclosures and risk...more

California Superior Court Denies PANNA Petition for Writ of Mandate

On June 16, 2015, the California Superior Court for the County of Almeda denied the petition of the Pesticide Action Network North America, et al. (PANNA) for a writ of mandate to direct the California Department of Pesticide...more

Washington District Court Holds that CERCLA Displaces Federal Common Law Public Nuisance Claims

A Washington district court has recently held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) displaces federal common law public nuisance claims for damages. (Anderson v. Teck...more

Industry Challenging County and Municipal Bans on Multiple Fronts

Municipalities and counties have joined forces with environmental groups to halt hydraulic fracking and related well stimulation techniques. Environmental groups have filed suits under the National Environmental Policy Act...more

High Speed Rail Moves Forward Without CEQA Review

The Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) issued a declaratory order in a 2-1 vote last Friday, finding that the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) is categorically preempted by federal law, as it relates to the...more

U.S. Fifth Circuit: The CWA and OPA Preempt State Law Claims for Pollution Incidents on the OCS

Offshore exploration in the Gulf of Mexico implicates maritime law, federal law, and the different laws of five coastal states. The manner in which these different substantive laws interact is often a critical, but unclear,...more

Third Circuit Decision Allowing CERCLA Contribution Claim Based On Settlement Of State-Law Liability Sets Up Split With Second...

A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided an important precedential decision last week expanding the right to seek contribution for cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental...more

Federal Court Holds Local Law Preempted By ESA Settlement

The Palila (Loxioides bailleui) is a small bird native to Hawaii that was listed as endangered in 1967. In 1998, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, pursuant to a stipulation submitted by the parties, issued...more

Western Pa.'s Take On Carbon Dioxide Liability Claims

Originally published in Law360 on December 17, 2012. Left open by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut, 131 S. Ct. 2527 (2011), was the question of whether state law nuisance...more

The Case For a Broad Pre-Emption Rule for CERCLA Contribution

Although some of the proposed tax plans and budgets being discussed in this election year suggest that the same dollar can be counted and spent multiple times, a growing number of courts have held that CERCLA response costs...more

Ninth Circuit Displaces Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Climate Change Liability Case

In litigation concerning liability for the emission of greenhouse gases, the federal common law of nuisance is displaced by the Clean Air Act. This is not news. It was established by the Supreme Court over a year ago in...more

Clean Water Act Orders Subject to Pre-Enforcement Review

Supreme Court decision determines that the Clean Water Act's statutory scheme does not preclude judicial review of EPA's jurisdiction in enforcement cases. In a much-anticipated decision, Sackett v. EPA, 566 U.S. ______...more

Supreme Court Issues Decision in: American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut - Clean Air Act Displaces Federal Common Law Claims...

Today, the Supreme Court issued a decision rejecting an attempt to hold private companies liable in tort for greenhouse gas emissions alleged to contribute to global climate change. In an 8-0 decision, the Court held that...more

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