Energy & Utilities Toxic Torts Environmental

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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

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Taking Steps to Control the Reopener

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

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

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

County Counsel Teamwork: The Exide Story

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

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016 #5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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’...

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

Critical Habitat for Right Whales Expanded

Action Item: The National Marine Fisheries Services (“NMFS”) promulgated a final rule identifying critical habitats for the endangered Northern Atlantic Right Whale. Stakeholders involved in spill response, ocean and offshore...more

Private and Governmental Plaintiffs File Toxic Tort Suits Over L.A. Gas Leak

In perhaps the most well-publicized environmental release incident since Deepwater Horizon, Southern California Gas Co. faces a number of toxic tort-based lawsuits stemming from a natural gas leak at one of its storage wells...more

Federal Court Strikes Town Ordinance Requiring Warning Labels

In a case that may have implications for chemical warning laws, a federal court in New York found a town’s efforts to require warning labels on pesticide-treated utility poles compelled non-commercial speech and infringed on...more

Flint, Michigan Mayor Declares State of Emergency over Lead Poisoning

Yesterday evening, Karen Weaver, the newly elected mayor in Flint, Michigan, declared a state of emergency due to the number of children and infants who have allegedly suffered lead poisoning from the city’s tap water....more

Jury in C-8 Exposure Case Awards $1.6M in Compensatory Damages, Denies Punitives

An Ohio federal jury in October handed out the first verdict in multi-district litigation (“MDL”) against E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. related to ammonium perfluorooctanoate, or C-8, in drinking water around DuPont’s...more

Court Allows Pennsylvania Punitive Damages Claims in Petroleum Exposure Case

The judge in a petroleum exposure case will allow a jury to decide whether a gas station operator and its environmental consultant recklessly failed to inform a plumber of the risks of working in an excavated pit with a...more

Eighth Circuit Holds Fear of Contamination Insufficient to Establish Nuisance Class

In a ruling that underscores the difficulty of securing class certification in toxic tort cases involving fear of contamination claims, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed a Missouri federal...more

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