News & Analysis as of

Environmental Litigation

Three Important Memos Affecting EPA Enforcement Actions

by Jackson Walker on

Three memos with potentially important implications for enforcement were recently issued—one by EPA and two by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)....more

The Fate of the CCR Rule “is” Still in Dispute

by Williams Mullen on

In May of last year, Environmental Notes reported on the many petitions that had been filed challenging EPA’s 2015 promulgation of a final waste management rule addressing the management and disposal of coal combustion...more

C&H Hog Farms, Inc. (Newton County, Arkansas): Ozark Society, Inc. Intervention in Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology...

The Ozark Society, Inc. and three individuals filed a January 26th Motion to Intervene and Request for Hearing (“Motion”) in C&H Hog Farms, Inc. (“C&H”) Request for Adjudicatory Hearing and Commission Review...more

DOJ Clarifies Limits on Third Party Payments in Environmental Settlements

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In a memorandum issued earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) clarified how a policy prohibiting settlement payments to third parties, announced in June 2017, will apply in cases handled by DOJ’s...more

Currents - Energy Industry Insights - January 2018 - Issue 3

Northeast Could be Second U.S. Petrochemical Hub - "'While the region with its ample and reliable supply of ethane is primed for the emergence as a second major petrochemical manufacturing hub in the United States, it...more

Looking Forward: Canadian Class Actions in 2018

by Bennett Jones LLP on

The past year saw another flurry of Canadian class action activity. Courts across the country rendered significant decisions that should give companies doing business in Canada cause for both concern and optimism. While the...more

Sue and Settle is Gone: EPA Administrator Revises EPA Litigation Policy

by Williams Mullen on

A prominent characteristic of the Obama EPA was its close relationship with national environmental groups. The most controversial EPA rulemakings seemed to be the by-product of litigation settlements when environmental...more

Trump Track: Test for EPA’s Sue and Settle Process

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

As noted previously on this blog, on October 16, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a memorandum announcing new policies to avoid what he considered inappropriate approaches to resolving litigation, commonly referred...more

Currents - Energy Industry Insights - October 2017 #3

Department of Interior Rescinds OSM Enforcement Policies - On October 12, 2017, the Department of the Interior ("DOI") withdrew two prior Office of Surface Mining ("OSM") policies affecting mining operations. DOI rescinded...more

Trump Track: EPA Sue and Settle Fix?

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

On October 16, 2017, EPA Administrator Pruitt issued a memo to his agency directing that managers take certain steps to curtail the practice known as “sue and settle.” This practice most often is used for relatively quick...more

Extreme Weather Fuels Increasing Trend of New Climate Change Litigation

As federal efforts to roll back environmental regulations from the Obama era continue, environmental groups have been increasingly filing lawsuits against industry alleging damages related to climate change impacts, using the...more

Spate of Suits Brought by California Communities for Sea Level Rise May Change Landscape of Climate Change Litigation

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

A recent trio of cases filed in California state court seek to hold major fossil fuel companies liable for the effects of sea level rise they allege to be caused by climate change....more

Lord Justice Jackson suggests extending Aarhus Rules to all JR claims… again

by Hogan Lovells on

On 31 July, Lord Justice Jackson published a report containing a series of proposals on civil litigation costs. While mainly focused on fixed recoverable costs, the report also contained a radical suggestion: to extend the...more

Standing Against Environmental Injustice: Some Thoughts On Facing The Need For CEQA Litigation Reform

by Miller Starr Regalia on

CEQA, our state’s landmark environmental protection act, is a venerable law with an illustrious history now spanning over 45 years. But it’s also being abused every day, distorted for non-environmental ends not worthy of it...more

New DOJ Policy Curbs Settlements Funding Third-Parties

by Nossaman LLP on

A recently-issued U.S. Department of Justice policy memorandum (“Policy Memo”) substantially narrows DOJ’s authority to approve settlements that include payments to or for the benefit of third-party non-governmental entities....more

DOJ Directive Threatens Availability of Penalty Mitigation Approach

by WilmerHale on

A June 5, 2017, Department of Justice (DOJ) policy directive threatens the ongoing availability of Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) in civil environmental settlements. SEPs have traditionally provided a means by...more

Environmental Case Law Update – 1st Six Months of 2017

On March 21, 2017, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc. This case concerns the operation and application of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA). ...more

DOJ Ban Pushes Third Parties to the Periphery - A new restriction on settlement payments could limit role of Supplemental...

A one-page memorandum from Attorney General Jeff Sessions could cause significant changes to how settling defendants can use supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) in settling Department of Justice (DOJ) environmental...more

DOJ Issues Policy Memo Limiting the Use of Supplemental Environmental Projects in Federal Settlements

by Downey Brand LLP on

On June 7, 2017, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a policy memorandum dated June 5, 2017 that prohibits the allocation of settlement funds to non-governmental, third-party organizations, as a condition of...more

Fifth District Grants Rehearing, Vacates Prior Published Opinion, and Issues Slightly Modified Published Opinion in POET II CEQA...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

On May 2, 2017, the Fifth District Court of Appeal vacated its earlier order and writ, and on May 5 it granted Respondents’ request for rehearing in the CEQA litigation entitled Poet, LLC v. State Air Resources Board, et al....more

U.S. Department of Justice Prohibits Settlement Agreements Involving Payments to Third Parties, May Impact Resolution of...

In a memorandum dated June 5 and entitled “Prohibition on Settlement Payments to Third Parties,” the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an important new policy that will likely limit the ability of settling...more

Emails With An Environmental Consultant Are Not Protected by the Attorney-Client Privilege, But May Be Protected Under the...

by Freeborn & Peters LLP on

A federal district court in Indiana recently ruled on whether email communications with environmental contractors hired by an attorney are protected from discovery. In Valley Forge Ins. Co. v. Hartford Iron & Metal, Inc., No....more

Court of Appeal Upholds Issuance of Erosion-Control Permit as Ministerial and Exempt from CEQA

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Sierra Club et al. v. County of Sonoma et al. (2017 WL 1422533), the California First District Court of Appeal held that the issuance of an erosion-control permit by the Agricultural Commissioner of Sonoma County...more

No Surprises Here: First District Applies CEQA Subsequent Review Standards Mandated by Supreme Court on Remand, Again Affirms...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

When all was said and done, it was a case of “same wine, different bottle” for Defendant and Appellant San Mateo Community College District (“District”) after the First District Court of Appeal’s published May 5, 2017...more

Fifth Circuit Tosses Coastal Damage Tort Lawsuit Against Oil and Gas Companies

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Illustrating the challenges in using Louisiana tort suits to address large-scale environmental issues, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dismissed claims seeking relief for alleged coastal damage from oil and...more

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