Environmental Civil Procedure

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2nd Circuit case highlights complexities of ballast water regs

Effective control of ship-borne, nonindigenous organisms has proved to be a major challenge to the maritime industry, international maritime organizations, national and local governments, environmental organizations, and,...more

MATS, Take Two: EPA Still Supports the Rule (And EPA Is Correct)

Late last week, EPA issued a Supplemental Finding, concluding that it is still “appropriate and necessary” to regulate hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired electric generating units. The Supplemental Finding was...more

Asbestos: the French State Council (“Conseil d’Etat”) holds the State liable when an employer is deemed responsible for...

On the 9th of November 2015, the French State Council (“Conseil d’Etat”) admitted for the first time the possibility for an employer held liable on the grounds of inexcusable fault to take action against the State so as to be...more

Washington Has A Public Trust Obligation to Address Climate Change — So What?

Last week, a trial judge in Washington State, in Foster v. Washington Department of Ecology, ruled that the Public Trust Doctrine requires the State of Washington to address climate change more aggressively. Greenwire’s...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects Clean Air Act Preemption of State Common Law Claims: Four Things to Know

In two decisions released on November 2, 2015, Merrick, et al. v. Diageo Americas Supply, Inc. and Little et al. v. Louisville Gas & Electric Company; PPL Corporation, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit...more

Court Rejects Some, But Not All Challenges to Critical Habitat Designation of Private Land

In 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final rule designating 1,724 acres as critical habitat for the endangered Riverside fairy shrimp (Streptocephalus woottoni).  Included in that designation were...more

CERCLA Divisibility: Two Strikes and Bases are Loaded

Joint and several liability means one defendant can be liable for all of the damages in a case, even where other defendants are at fault. In the CERCLA arena, this means a potentially responsible party can be forced to pay...more

A New Front in the Climate Change Debate

The climate change debate has taken a new turn with the recent revelations from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office. A legal perspective from Skadden attorneys Noelle Reed and Wallis Hampton....more

Laminate Flooring and Chinese Drywall: Where Are We Now?

On March 1, 2015, television news magazine “60 Minutes” aired a report concluding that Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators contained and “off-gassed” formaldehyde at levels exceeding health and...more

Environmental Justice Lawsuit Accuses L.A. of Discriminatory Oil Permitting

On Friday, November 6, three environmental organizations filed suit against the City of Los Angeles in California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles. The three groups, Youth for Environmental Justice, the Center for...more

When Is A Discharge to Groundwater a Discharge to a Water of the United States?

The Clean Water Act regulates discharges of pollutants to waters of the United States. That term is not understood to include groundwater. The Sierra Club was unhappy about alleged discharges to groundwater from coal ash...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

Third Time Is the Charm for Refinery in Getting Claims Dismissed With Prejudice

In a case that tested a federal judge’s patience for inadequate pleadings, a Michigan federal court shut down a group of business owners’ repeated attempts to craft viable tort claims against an oil refinery in a...more

Third Circuit Affirms First-Filed Rule to Nix Toxic Tort Forum Shopping

Chastising the Plaintiffs for forum shopping, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a district court’s decision to dismiss a matter with prejudice on the grounds that the Plaintiffs had previously...more

Seventh Circuit Affirms Exclusion of Plaintiffs’ Causation Experts in Vinyl Chloride Case

Underscoring the importance of sound science in expert opinions, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the exclusion of expert testimony that did not adequately draw or extrapolate from reliable...more

West Virginia Federal Court Certifies Class for Liability Purposes in Chemical Spill Suit

A West Virginia federal court certified a class for purposes of determining Defendants’ liability for a chemical spill that disrupted the water supply for approximately 300,000 residents in the Charleston area. Good v. Am....more

Real Estate and Land Use - November 2015

CEQA Baseline Can Consider Historic Levels of Use - North County Advocates v. City of Carlsbad (2015)—Cal.App.4th—Case No. D066488: Why It Matters: This case addresses an important issue under CEQA relating to the...more

Perhaps the Clean Air Act Really Doesn’t Preempt State Common Law Remedies

This week, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals held, in Merrick v. Diageo Americas Supply, that the Clean Air Act does not preempt source state common law remedies seeking to control air pollution – even where the defendant is...more

EIB Energy Highlights: SCOTUS on FERC, Nat Gas Record Year, Oil & Gas Exports, Winter Outlook, Cybersecurity & More

Our goal is to serve as a leading-edge resource for companies navigating the rapidly evolving landscapes of the domestic and global energy markets. Moore & Van Allen’s EIB Energy Highlights is a complement to our Energy...more

Never Say Never to Lone Pine Orders

After our last two posts, we received emails blasting us for being insensitive to the plight of injured plaintiffs. That struck us as unfair, given that the posts pertained to the technical issues of choice of law and choice...more

Land Use Matters: Alston & Bird LLP, October 2015

At its October 27, 2015, meeting, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to create a new dedicated Affordable Housing Program budget unit and approved setting aside $100 million for the creation and operation of both...more

Can the California A.G. limit those incessant Prop 65 lawsuits?

The California Attorney General has proposed amendments to California’s Proposition 65 regulations governing enforcement actions brought by a “private person in the public interest.”...more

Hydrocarbon Exposure Dismissal Affirmed

You might recall previous entries discussing Parr v. Aruba – a suit for personal injuries from oilfield pollution (and a $2.9MM verdict for the plaintiffs). Not all similar suits have the same result....more

What Do Opponents of the Clean Power Plan and the Oklahoma Sooners Have In Common?

So the Clean Power Plan has been published in the Federal Register. For those who cannot get enough, you can find all of the important materials, including EPA’s Technical Support Documents, on EPA’s web site for the CPP....more

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