AIRROC & EECMA Climate Change Symposium

Join Goldberg Segalla’s John F. Parker on September 6, 2018 at the Climate Change Symposium in Philadelphia, PA hosted by AIRROC and EECMA. This one-day symposium will cover the insurance risks associated with the failure of climate change and server weather adaptation and how it relates to the new wave of climate change related lawsuits filed against the oil and gas industry. John will be part of a panel discussion titled “How States, the International Community, Cities and Businesses are Responding to Climate
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Temperatures And Enforcement Actions On The Rise In The Garden State

New Jersey state officials are moving forward with plans to increase environmental enforcement lawsuits. In what he described as a “new day,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced the filing of six separate lawsuits on August 1, 2018. In a statement, Attorney General Grewal said “We’re sending a message to every company across the state: if you pollute our natural resources, we’re going to make you pay.” Three of the lawsuits are aimed at recovering damages for the harm caused by
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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Government’s Request for Stay in Climate Change Suit Brought by Minors

On July 30, 2018, the United States Supreme Court denied the federal government’s request for a stay in the climate change lawsuit brought by 21 children, pending in the U.S.D.C. for the District of Oregon, known as the Juliana matter. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2015 against President Obama and numerous federal agencies, alleging that the executive branch contributed to climate change in violation of the children’s rights under the Fifth and Ninth Amendments to the Constitution and an
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NYS DEC Adopts First Major Update to State’s Environmental Quality Review Regulations in 20 Years

On June 28, 2018, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) promulgated revisions to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). These are the first substantial revisions to SEQRA in over 20 years.The amendments go into effect beginning January 1, 2019 and will apply to all pending and future actions. Under SEQRA, actions are classified into three main designations: Type I, Type II, and Unlisted. The new amendments provide major changes to the types of projects that fall under the Type I and Type II classifications. The new
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New Class Certifications in Toxic Tort / Environmental Litigation May Be Indicative Of A Larger Trend

It is well-known in toxic tort and environmental legal circles that plaintiffs have inherent difficulties when seeking to certify a class of “injured” plaintiffs. Individualized issues of causation, exposure, and damages pervade just about all cases — and courts have long recognized this. Our blog posted recently on the medical monitoring PFOA class action in upstate New York that was certified in early July 2018 (i.e., Burdick v. Tonoga). That case is a clear outlier as it may be the
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Legionella Strikes Again In New York City

As we recently reported, New York City recently increased its enforcement of regulations for treating cooling towers, particularly given that the increased risk of legionella from cooling towers during the warmer summer months. Legionnaires’ disease is caused by pathogen known as legionella. Legionella is a water-borne bacteria, transmitted through aerosolized droplets of water, e.g., the mist or condensation by-products of HVAC cooling towers on top of buildings. While a relatively common bacteria, legionella, when not properly treated in a water system,
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Kivalina and AEP Claim Another Victim – New York Climate Change Suit Falls

Like the proverbial acid relentlessly burning its way through materials in which it comes in contact, the relentless reasoning underlying the Am. Elec. Power Co., Inc. v. Connecticut, 564 U.S. 410 (2011) (AEP) and Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobile Corp., 696 F.3d 849 (9th Cir. 2012) (Kivalina) climate lawsuits has claimed another victim. After taking out the lawsuits filed by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland earlier this summer (Order), Kivalina and AEP now have been used to eliminate the climate change suit filed by the City of
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Pain in the Ash: Part II- The Reckoning

The Environmental Law Monitor reported earlier this year on battles between environmental activists and power plants over the controversial storage of toxic coal ash waste near waterways and in landfills. The battle rages on this week after the EPA finalized a rule on July 17, 2018 that reduces Obama-era requirements for handling and storing the dangerous waste, thrilling the coal industry and evoking anxiety from activists. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler enacted a new standard for storing coal ash at
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Appeals Court Leaves Potential for Hydraulic Fracturing Revival in the Delaware River Basin

Earlier this month, the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit issued a decision that leaves a glimmer of hope for hydraulic fracturing entrepreneurs in the Delaware River Basin, which encompasses portions of 24 counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware. On July 3, a three judge panel issued an opinion on their review of a Pennsylvania federal court’s decision to grant a motion to dismiss a case for declaratory relief brought by oil and gas
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What’s a Significant Impact? Fifth Circuit Rules Pipeline Can Go Forward

In the latest development in the eternal struggle between environmental groups and hydrocarbon pipeline developers, the Fifth Circuit recently discarded an injunction that was preventing construction of a pipeline through the Atchafalaya Basin, home of the country’s largest river swamp. The pipeline is meant to connect the controversial Dakota Access pipeline to refineries and export terminals in St. James Parish, Louisiana. In order to construct the pipeline, Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC had to secure a permit from the U.S. Army
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