Environmental Law Portal

Welcome to the Beveridge & Diamond Environmental Law Portal.

Beveridge & Diamond’s 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices focus on environmental and natural resource law, litigation and dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues relating to their products, facilities, and operations. 

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Beveridge & Diamond Secures Favorable CARB Determination in Offset Investigation for U.S.’s Largest GHG Offsets Provider

Attorneys in Beveridge & Diamond’s San Francisco office recently helped the
largest developer of greenhouse gas (GHG) offset credits in the U.S.,
Environmental Credit Corp. (ECC), secure a favorable determination from the
California Air Resources Board (CARB) with respect to its investigation of GHG
offsets generated at the Clean Harbors facility in El Dorado, Arkansas. Read More ›

Conflict Minerals: D.C. Circuit to Reconsider Conflict Minerals Ruling; Initiatives Proceed in the European Union and China

Recent developments in the U.S., European Union and China underscore the dynamic
nature of evolving supply chain due diligence requirements and expectations for
companies sourcing tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold.  The following news alert
highlights activities that may influence companies’ approaches to conflict
minerals in the near term. Read More ›

Court Finds Endangered Species Act Cannot Regulate Species on Private Lands Within a Single State

In a win for property owners and project proponents, a Utah federal district
court has ruled that the United States Constitution does not authorize the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) to regulate impacts to the Utah prairie dog as
a listed “threatened” species living on private lands within a single state. The
ruling departs from five federal appellate courts that have reached the opposite
conclusion for other similarly situated species, and calls into question some of
the key legal foundations of the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) as applied to
species with confined ranges.  The court’s ruling also could curtail the
Service’s ability to tailor protective rules and designate critical habitat for
in-state populations of threatened species that exist in multiple states.  The
decision is available here (People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners
[“PETPO”] v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, No. 2:13-cv-00278-DB (D. Utah
Nov. 5, 2014)).  Read More ›

California Department of Transportation Assistant Chief Counsel David McCray Joins Beveridge & Diamond

David McCray, who has served since 2007 as the senior environmental lawyer for of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), joined Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. (B&D) as Of Counsel in the Firm’s San Francisco office on November 17, 2014.  Mr. McCray joins the Firm’s active national project development practice, where he will assist clients with environmental reviews, permitting and approvals from a wide range of federal and state natural resources agencies, and litigation defense of project decisions and policies. Read More ›

New Jersey Landowner Forfeits Damages by Allowing Defendant to Remediate

In what may be a cautionary tale for owners of contaminated property, a New Jersey appellate court has ruled that a landowner forfeited any claim to property damages when he allowed the responsible party to perform remediation. The court reaffirmed that landowners alleging contamination of their property must choose between either the diminution in property value or the reasonable costs of remediation; they cannot have both. See Favorito v. Puritan Oil Co., Inc., No. A-o (N.J. App. Ct. Apr. 29, 2014). Read More ›

Texas High Court Finds Expert Opinion on Stigma Damages Too Speculative

Clarifying when expert testimony on alleged diminution in property value becomes legally sufficient to support a so-called “stigma” claim, the Texas Supreme Court struck down a $350,000 jury verdict based on environmental contamination of Plaintiff’s property. See Houston Unlimited, Inc. Metal Processing v. Mel Acres Ranch, No. 13-0084 (Tex. Aug. 22, 2014). Read More ›

South Carolina Federal Court Allows RCRA Claim for Medical Monitoring

Finding that the medical monitoring relief requested by Plaintiffs would be primarily injunctive in nature, a federal district court in South Carolina denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss and allowed Plaintiffs’ request for medical monitoring under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to remain in the case. See Easler v. Hoechst Celanes Corp.,No. 7:14-00048-TMC (D.S.C. Aug. 5, 2014). Read More ›

Minnesota Federal Court Clarifies Pleading Standard in Vapor Contamination Case

In an opinion that may help clarify the jurisdictional and pleading requirements for plaintiffs seeking damages and injunctive relief for alleged injuries from vapor intrusion, the federal district court in Minnesota denied a Defendant’s motion to dismiss such claims. See Ebert v. General Mills, Inc., Civil No. 13-3341 (D. Minn. Sept. 14, 2014). Plaintiffs in Minneapolis filed suit against General Mills, Inc., alleging their homes were contaminated by trichloroethylene (TCE) vapors that migrated from buried drums at a nearby General Mills facility. Plaintiffs brought claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), in addition to common law nuisance and negligence claims. Read More ›

Kentucky Federal Court Holds Tort Claims Not Preempted by Clean Air Act

State common law tort claims based on air emissions from a power plant are not preempted by the federal Clean Air Act (CAA), according to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The court agreed to dismiss certain federal law claims in a putative class action alleging property damage from coal combustion byproducts, but refused to dismiss state common law tort claims. See Little v. Louisville Gas and Electric, Co., No. 3:13-CV-01214-JHM (W.D. Ky. July 16, 2014). Read More ›

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Toxic Tort Claims Based on Unreliable Experts

Underscoring the importance of reliable expert methodology, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the dismissal of a personal injury suit based on unreliable expert testimony. See Henry v. St Croix Alumina, Inc., Nos. 12-1844 and 12-1845 (3d Cir. July 10, 2014). Appellants were Virgin Island residents who alleged physical harm and emotional distress caused by the escape of “red dust” contaminants from an Alcoa Inc. refinery during a hurricane. Read More ›