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Energy & Utilities Toxic Torts

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Energy & Utilities issues written by leading professionals.

EPA Delivers on Promise to Delay Risk Management Plant Requirements for Chemical Plants and Refineries

On June 12, 2017, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced another extension to the effective date of the Obama-era rule amending federal Risk Management Program (RMP) requirements for...more

Texas Supreme Court Tosses Untimely Damages Claims, Leaves Open Possibility of Injunctive Relief

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Highlighting the importance of proving a factual timeline in a statute of limitations analysis, the Texas Supreme Court held that a cattle ranch owners’ claims related to alleged contamination from long-dormant oil and gas...more

El Salvador Makes History and Bans All Mining - Will other countries follow?

by Bennett Jones LLP on

On March 29, 2017, El Salvador’s legislature unanimously voted to ban all metallic mining, including for gold, in the Central American country. El Salvador is the first country in the world to impose a blanket ban on mining...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain/West Coast Case Law Highlights

Ninth Circuit Finds “Threatened” Designation For Bearded Seals Proper Based On New Long-Term Projections - Alaska Oil and Gas Ass’n et al. v. Pritzker et al., 840 F.3d 671, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19084 (9th Cir. 2016)....more

Dallas Court of Appeals Reverses $2.9 Million Jury Verdict, Finding Insufficient Evidence of Intent

In 2014, the jury awarded $2.9 million to plaintiff landowners in Lisa Parr et.al. v. Aruba Petroleum, Inc., a case involving alleged hydrocarbon exposure due to hydraulic fracturing operations. Earlier this week, the Dallas...more

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Taking Steps to Control the Reopener

by McCarter & English, LLP on

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

EPA Eases Path to Superfund Listing: Vapor Intrusion Component Added to the Hazardous Ranking System

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: With the EPA adding the consideration of vapor intrusion in its Superfund site investigations, hundreds of sites that previously would not rank high enough to qualify for listing on the National Priorities...more

Wait, How Many Trucks? Ash Pond Closure by Removal

by Balch & Bingham LLP on

Utilities around the country have developed preliminary closure plans for surface impoundments storing coal ash, gypsum, and other coal combustion residuals (CCR). Some ash ponds are already in the process of closing. To...more

In Alabama, Sewage is NOT a Pollutant Falling Within the Pollution Exclusion in a Commercial General Liability Policy

by Butler Snow LLP on

Pollution exclusion clauses are an insurance industry staple and are often contained in commercial general liability insurance policies. While one might think that raw sewage would be considered a pollutant, under current...more

County Counsel Teamwork: The Exide Story

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Justice: (1) the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action; (2) conformity to this principle or ideal The concept of environmental justice is straightforward, the pathway to practical solutions are often...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain West Coast Case Law Highlights

COLORADO CITY FRACKING BANS PREEMPTED BY STATE LAW - City of Longmont v. Colo. Oil and Gas Ass’n, 369 P.3d 573 (Colo. 2016), 2016 Colo. LEXIS 442; City of Fort Collins v. Colo. Oil and Gas Ass’n, 369 P.3d 586 (Colo....more

Asbestos Exposure Liability Decision May Affect Future "Take Home" Cases

by Polsinelli on

Following recent court action, defendants up against "take-home" asbestos exposure claims may need to rethink their legal strategy. The Northern District of Illinois recently denied a Motion for Reconsideration of a...more

Bankrolling Class Actions: Court Rules That Plaintiff Must Identify Third-Party Funder Of Class Action Lawsuit

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The increasingly common practice of third-party funding of class actions, which provides tax incentives to plaintiffs’ attorneys and third-party funders alike, may no longer be protected under...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016 #5

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Supreme Court rules in state’s favor on Delta property rights - Sacramento Bee - Jul 21 - The California Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that the state has the right to...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016 #4

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - Proceeds from cap-and-trade auction fall far short of targets - Los Angeles Times - May 25 - The latest auction in California’s cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gases fell...more

Tenth Circuit Bars Class Tort Claims for Failing to Plead Injury

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Underscoring the importance of pleading actual injury in a toxic tort class action, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit dismissed Oklahoma class claims that were based only on “reasonable concern” of future injury...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Discharger of Petroleum Not Able to Maintain Suit Against Another Discharger (5/16)

Under Navigation Law § 181, a party injured by the intentional or inadvertent discharge of petroleum products may bring a claim for damages against the party responsible for the discharge. But what if the injured party also...more

Texas Court of Appeals Issues Important State Superfund Order

In a “case of first impression,” U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,texascapitol sitting in Austin, in TCEQ v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., issued an important decision interpreting the scope of the Texas Solid...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2016 #3

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - Bill would limit communications with California Coastal Commission: Santa Barbara Independent - Mar 23 - State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson announced plans to introduce a bill...more

About those calls from MassDEP…

Last month, we wrote about MassDEP’s trichloroethylene (TCE) site reevaluation initiative. MassDEP has begun the process of screening sites previously closed under the MCP to look for sites where TCE might exceed the new...more

Pennsylvania Jury Awards $4.2 Million in Groundwater Contamination Case

by BakerHostetler on

On Thursday, a federal jury in Pennsylvania ordered Cabot Oil & Gas to pay more than $4.2 million in damages to two Pennsylvania families who sued in 2009 alleging that the Texas-based company’s drilling operations...more

An Update on Reopening TCE Sites in Massachusetts

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection plans to begin contacting some owners of properties with closed trichloroethylene (TCE) remediation sites and requiring them to conduct testing, following a review of...more

EPA and Municipalities Respond to Increased Concerns About Lead in Drinking Water

by McGuireWoods LLP on

Since the public discovery of widespread lead contamination of drinking water in Flint, Michigan, there has been increased scrutiny on the status of drinking water regulation and aging water infrastructure. While the crisis...more

Double Counting and Inflexibility Are Unreasonable in 4A Negotiations Says Mass. Appeals Court: Court Affirms Award of Attorneys’...

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Seeking 80 percent of remedial costs from each of two potentially responsible parties and “inflexibility” in pre-litigation negotiations are sufficiently unreasonable to trigger attorneys’ fees under the Massachusetts cleanup...more

Lead in Drinking Water: Insurance Coverage Issues

The tragic water crisis in Flint, Michigan raises grave concerns as to the lurking hazards posed by our nation’s aging infrastructure. There are an estimated six million lead service lines in operation in the United States. ...more

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