LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Property Owner Allowed To Pursue Just Compensation Claim Over Rails To Trails Taking Of Easement

By William Perry Pendley, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation A Wyoming man whose lawsuit-in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. for "just compensation" for use of his private property as a federal trail-was dismissed in November 2011...

ExxonMobil Found To Be Negligent and Ordered To Pay $236 Million For MTBE Contamination To Groundwater

CONCORD, N.H. - (Mealey's) A state court jury in New Hampshire on April 9 found that ExxonMobil Corp. was negligent in adding methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) to gasoline and that it should pay $236 million to remediate groundwater contamination caused by the additive ( State of New Hampshire v...

Jenner & Block: Insurer Unable To Step Into CERCLA Shoes Of Insured

A recent Ninth Circuit decision limited the ability of an insurer to seek CERCLA contribution and/or cost recovery from potentially responsible parties ("PRPs"). In Chubb Custom Insurance Company v. Space Systems/Loral et al. , [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], Chubb...

9/11 and the CERCLA “War Risk” Exclusion

By Randy J. Maniloff, White and Williams, LLP New York Federal Court Holds That September 11th Was An "Act Of War" In the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, there was intense political pressure on the insurance industry not to invoke the "war risk" exclusion...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: States' Transportation Funding Needs Trumping Tax Aversion

STATES' TRANSPORTATION FUNDING NEEDS TRUMPING TAX AVERSION : This month Virginia's Republican-controlled House and GOP-Democrat-split Senate gave final approval to a $6 billion transportation funding overhaul proposed by the state's Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell that included, among other...

Flood Insurance Guidance Announced By Federal Agencies

By the Ballard Spahr LLP Mortgage Banking Group The federal banking agencies, together with the Farm Credit Administration, have issued joint guidance on amendments to the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (FDPA). The amendments were part of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Hunting Bison in Montana and Deer in Indiana

ENVIRONMENT: The MONTANA House rejects SB 143, a bill that would have increased the number of hunting licenses for bison and prohibited the future relocation of the animals (HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD]). • The INDIANA House approves SB 487, a bill that would allow the Hoosier State's five "high...

Mountain States Legal Foundation: Polar Bear Listing Upheld

By William Perry Pendley, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation A western legal foundation has expressed dismay with the decision by a federal appellate court upholding the 2008 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to place polar bears on the Endangered...

William A. Ruskin: Keeping Your Adversary's Environmental Expert Honest

By William A. Ruskin Law 360 reported on April 12, 2013 that Steven Donziger , counsel for the indigenous Ecuadorians known as the Lago Agrio plaintiffs, "meddled" in the preparation of a key environmental report used against Chevron as part of an effort to secure, by hook or by crook, the...

Foley & Lardner: Developers Rejoice! IRS Issues "Begun Construction" Guidance

On April 15, 2013, the IRS released Notice 2013-29 addressing the eligibility for certain alternative energy projects to qualify for the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) under section 45 of the Tax Code. This guidance has been eagerly anticipated since the beginning of the year by developers...

Babst Calland: Sixth Circuit Rules that EPA May Pursue New Source Review Enforcement Actions Without Having to Wait for Actual Emissions Data: But Can EPA Prevail on the Merits?

In DTE Energy Co. v. EPA (March 28, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Sixth Circuit determined a procedural aspect of EPA's enforcement authority under the New Source Review (NSR) program of the Clean Air Act. The court ruled that EPA has authority to challenge, before...

Homeowner Environmental Responsibilities For Septic Sewage Systems

By Richard D. Vetstein, ESQ Massachusetts Title V Septic Regulations Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About 1/3rd of all homes in Massachusetts are dependent upon septic systems, rather than municipal sewer. These include some of the toniest Metrowest suburbs from Wayland, Sudbury, Weston, and Hopkinton...

Keller and Heckman – California's Green Chemistry Initiative/Safer Consumer Products Regulations

California Assembly Bill 1879 (Cal. Health and Safety Code sec. 25252, et seq. ), an important statutory basis for California's Green Chemistry Initiative, attempts to reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous materials through an all-inclusive approach that considers how hazardous substances can...

Court Rules In 2013 That Mining Environmental Contamination Going Back To Late 1800’s Covered By Insurance Issued In 1950’s

by Seth Lamden , Partner, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP The court in Doe Run Resources Corporation v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London , No. ED98086, 2013 Mo. App. LEXIS 468 (April 16, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], held that excess liability insurers were...

Disposal Of Hazardous Waste Materials Resulting From Oil And Gas Well Drilling Operations Not A Pollution Event For Insurance Endorsement

Brian Margolies, Partner, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP In its recent decision in Colony Insurance Company v. Bear Products, Inc ., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43716 (E.D. Okl. Mar. 26, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the United States District Court for the...

William A. Ruskin: FTC Cracks Down On ‘Greenwashing’

By William A. Ruskin Law 360 reported recently that that the FTC is taking decisive action against companies that make deceptive environmental marketing claims. “Greenwashing” involves misleading consumers concerning the environmental benefits of a product or service. In an earlier article...

Council on Environmental Quality Declares That Climate Change is Already Covered in Environmental Impact Review, and No New Regulations Needed

By Michael B. Gerrard The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), signed into law by President Richard Nixon on January 1, 1970, was the first U.S. environmental statute of the modern era. It requires the preparation of environmental impact statements (EISs) for major federal actions that may...

INTERPOL Environmental Crimes Unit

International environmental wildlife and pollution crimes are attracting growing attention from INTERPOL , partly because many of them are committed by organized crime. For example, in response to the recent surge of ivory tracking, INTERPOL formed a dedicated environmental crime team in Africa. As...

CEQ’s Revised Draft Guidance on Addressing Climate Change under NEPA: Federal Agencies Should Analyze Both GHG Emissions and Impacts of Climate Change on Proposed Action

On December 24, 2014, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released Revised Draft Guidance on how federal agencies should evaluate GHG emissions and the impacts of climate change when conducting reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).[1] The revised guidance is significantly...

The 2014 California Environmental Legislative Recap: An Election Year Drought

By Mr. Gary A. Lucks Get the latest expert analysis on California's new environmental and land use laws. This article summarizes legislation passed during the 2014-2015 California Legislative Session, including bills addressing water supply, hazardous waste, solid waste, cimate change, air...

FY2016 EPA Budget Proposal

By E. Lynn Grayson EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy recently testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee regarding EPA's proposed 2016 fiscal year budget. EPA's 2016 fiscal year from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. EPA is seeking an increase of $453M over...

Possible Shift of Perspectives on Breadth of NEPA Review; CEQ's Draft Greenhouse Gas Guidance

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA),[1] and the corresponding NEPA regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)[2] and the respective reviewing agencies, federal agencies are required to consider the environmental impacts of proposed federal actions— i.e...

Liability For Delays In Issuing Environmental Permits?

Can the government be liable for financial damages, when they refuse environmental permits for unreasonable reasons, or cause an unreasonable delay in issuing a permit? Yes, it is possible, according to the British Columbia Court of Appeal ! Given the chronic delays in federal and provincial environmental...

USEPA Announces Changes to Self-Audit Policy

Besides researching and writing environmental rules, such as the mercury power plant rule recently addressed by the US Supreme Court, the USEPA must also spend a lot of effort enforcing rules – to ensure they are fairly and evenly complied with. Besides the “stick” of fines, potential...

EPA Releases Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool

This week EPA released EJSCREEN, an environmental justice screening and mapping tool that uses high resolution maps combined with demographic and environmental data to identify places with potentially elevated environmental burdens and vulnerable populations. According to EPA, EJSCREEN’s simple...