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Insurance Recovery Law - February 2015 #2

Separate Contract Serves to Limit Insurance Coverage for Deepwater Horizon Spill, Texas Supreme Court Rules - Why it matters: The Texas Supreme Court rejected BP’s $750 million claim for coverage under Transocean...more

The Early Bird Catches the Worm: A Lesson in Submitting Drilling Applications Early to Avoid Expiration of Federal Oil and Gas...

As many of you know, permitting delays are not only frustrating but can have real consequences for project applicants with contractual deadlines. In the case of a federal oil and gas lease, operators should be mindful of the...more

FERC Technical Conferences Examining EPA Clean Power Plan Are Underway

At the close of 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) announced that it would hold a series of technical conferences to examine issues surrounding compliance with the Clean Power Plan proposed by the U.S....more

High Court Divided: Is A Fish A Tangible Object?

Gulf fisherman John Yates was cited by a federally-deputized Florida Fish & Wildlife officer for having caught a few red grouper that were about an inch under the 20” minimum limit at the time (they’d have been legal under...more

European Chemicals Agency Releases Practical Guide on Biocidal Products Regulation

Not a moment too soon, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) released a useful and clearly written Practical Guide on Biocidal Products Regulation, ECHA-14-B-19-EN. ECHA is the European Union (EU) agency tasked with...more

Whistleblower Laws Increasingly Vital for Government Enforcement Efforts

In 2014, a crewman aboard a Japanese cargo ship videotaped the vessel illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean and later turned the tape over to the U.S. Coast Guard. One year later, the resulting $1.8 million penalty for...more

Supreme Court Rejects the Government’s “Fishy” Interpretation of Sarbanes-Oxley Obstruction Statute

On February 25, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Yates v. United States.1 This case involved the interpretation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1519, a statute that was added as part of the...more

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC, Part II - Infrastructure

Because I had a seat inside the meeting room at FERC's Clean Power Plan Overview last Thursday, I got a close-up view of the protesters. Most were older (as opposed to the college-student variety), they carried signs, wore...more

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC

It is innocuous enough: Conference on Environmental Regulations; but the plainness of title belies what is going on at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today. Today is the first public forum at FERC on EPA's Clean...more

Supreme Court Decides Yates v. United States

On February 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Yates v. United States, No. 13-7451, holding that fish are not “tangible objects” within the meaning of 18 U. S. C. §1519, a federal law providing that a person who...more

The Supreme Court of Texas Marries Contractual Limitations to Insurance Policies

In a case that has been closely watched by the oil and gas industry and its insurers, the Supreme Court of Texas issued its opinion in In re Deepwater Horizon on February 13, 2015, and settled the debate concerning whether a...more

Texas Supreme Court grants review in seven cases (2/15)

The seven cases include issues about the following topics: - breach-of-contract issues under a gas-purchase agreement - applicability of the open-records laws to a nonprofit entity ...more

Plan Ahead for New Stormwater Permit Requirements Taking Effect on July 1

After 13 years of deliberation and drafting, the new California Industrial General Stormwater Permit takes effect on July 1, 2015. The new Permit requires major changes in the way that businesses engaged in industrial...more

West Virginia Repeals The Alternative And Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard

On February 3, 2015, West Virginia repealed the Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act that was originally passed and adopted in 2009. ...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Notice of Availability of Draft NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges From Small Municipal Separate Storm EPA is reopening the public comment period for its Notice of Availability of the draft small municipal...more

California Launches Major Rulemaking to Amend Low Carbon Fuel Standard

I. LCFS Readoption - On February 19, 2015, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) will take feedback on proposed regulations implementing the readoption and updating of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS),...more

When Bad Things Happen at Good Facilities (Hazardous Air Pollutant Edition)

Malfunctions happen, even at a well-managed facility. When they happen, they can cause a facility to deviate from emission limits or other standards regarding (among other things) hazardous air pollutants. Furthermore,...more

The Sixth Circuit Extends the Clean Water Act’s Permit Shield Defense to General Permit Holders

The Sixth Circuit recently ruled that facilities holding a Clean Water Act (“CWA”) Section 402 general permit – one of two types of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permits – may avail themselves of...more

Fifth Circuit Relieves Company of "Arranger" Liability under CERCLA

In Vine Street LLC v. Borg Warner Corp., No. 07-40440, the Fifth Circuit held that, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States, 556 U.S. 599 (2009), BorgWarner...more

California Prosecutors Settle PHI Breach with Retailer

Beginning in 2012, California environmental regulators and others began investigating the grocery store chain Safeway relating to the company’s waste disposal practices. During the investigation, certain documents listing...more

High-Speed Rail Authority Under Fire for Disrupting San Joaquin Kit Fox Habitat

On January 26, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) issued a letter to the California High-Speed Rail Authority (the “Authority”) that found that the Authority’s contractors are not in compliance with the Authority’s...more

DRM client wins important case precluding termination of insurer insolvency before contingent or unliquidated claims can be...

The Vermont Supreme Court has ruled in In Re Ambassador Ins. Co., 2015 VT 4 (Vt. Jan. 23, 2015) that the liquidator of Ambassador Insurance acted unreasonably in setting a December 31, 2013 bar date for policyholder claims...more

A Federal Court Rules that Increased Conductivity Impairs a Stream — How Shocking!

On Tuesday, Chief Judge Robert Chambers ruled that Fola Coal Company violated the Clean Water Act by discharging mine waste with sufficiently high levels of conductivity to cause or materially contribute to impairment of...more

CEQA Year In Review 2014: A Summary Of Published Appellate Opinions And Legislation Under CEQA

In This Issue: - When Does CEQA Apply? - Exemptions from CEQA - Negative Declarations - Environmental Impact Reports - Certified Regulatory Programs - Supplemental CEQA...more

"'Yieldcos' Present a New Growth Model for Renewable Energy Companies"

In the past few years, many energy companies with investments in renewable energy projects have considered forming “yieldcos,” with five formations in 2013 and 2014. A yieldco is a growth-focused public company, typically...more

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