Environment, Land & Resources

Insights and commentary on environmental issues and developments impacting business in the US and across the world

Landmark ruling requires the European Commission to disclose impact assessments used as a basis for its legislative decision-making process. By Antonio Morales and Rosa Espín The Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union recently issued a landmark judgment finding that impact assessments should be considered public documents. This decision sets a legal precedent in connection with the transparency, accountability, and decision-making processes of European institutions. Case Background A non-profit organization active…
The precedent-setting legislation establishes a comprehensive liability scheme for soil contamination, increasing fines for pollution violations while creating tax benefits for remediating contaminated properties. By Paul Davies, Andrew Westgate, and Kimberly Leefatt The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s highest legislative body, passed the nation’s first law dedicated to soil protection and pollution prevention on August 31, 2018. China’s new law regulates soil pollution comprehensively and establishes liability policies, representing a…
By Christopher H. Norton, Lucas I. Quass, and Derek Galey CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[I] In an unpublished opinion issued July 10, 2018, Sierra Club v. County of Kern, Case No. F071133, the California Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s decision and remanded for the issuance of a new writ of mandate directing the County of Kern (County) to address the improper deferral of mitigation measures for…
Chinese investors continue to build knowledge of the wind sector through European investment. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China has traditionally focused more on developing coal and hydroelectric power, which provide relatively constant output, instead of wind and solar, which depend on whether conditions. However, recently, government-owned power producers have begun making significant investments in large wind projects in Europe, indicating a potential shift in the breadth of China’s commitment to an…
Risk and opportunities come with ESG commitments, which include advancing the SDGs. By Sara K. Orr, Kristina S. Wyatt, and Bobbi-Jo B. Dobush In a recent article, Latham lawyers highlighted the increasing importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in corporate decision-making and how companies are linking ESG issues to the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As investors, community members, and other stakeholders increasingly prioritize ESG issues, a number…
Companies with stronger ESG standards usually perform better financially, according to recent research. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green A recent report by Axioma, provider of enterprise market risk and portfolio analytics solutions, found that companies with better environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) standards “…often outperform the market” and exceed their financial benchmarks. The report also found that investment portfolios with high-scoring ESG companies outperformed their benchmarks by between 81 to…
Companies may need to carefully consider practical business concerns to comply with the updated Prop 65 regulations, effective August 30. By Michael G. Romey, Lucas I. Quass, and James A. Erselius New regulations governing the implementation of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop 65) will go into effect on August 30, 2018 that apply to products manufactured after the operative date of August 30, 2018. The new regulations…
CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[I] By Winston P. Stromberg, Lucas Quass and Christopher Adam Martinez In an opinion published on August 9, 2018, Protect Niles v. City of Fremont, Case No. A151645, the First Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s issuance of a writ of mandate ordering the City of Fremont (the City) to overturn a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) and prepare an…
Harvard professor Robert Stavins joins Latham partner Bob Wyman to review key climate change mitigation policies. California’s climate change mitigation program is widely viewed as one of the most comprehensive of its kind — encompassing a cap-and-trade component and a series of complementary measures with specific performance targets for important sectors such as motor vehicles, transportation fuels, power plants, and emissions related to land use decisions. In this Viewpoints video, Latham partner Bob Wyman,…
Officials seek to “improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness” of NRDAs — which could help expedite the resolution of claims. By Janice M. Schneider, Gary P. Gengel, Joel C. Beauvais, Kegan A. Brown, and Thomas C. Pearce On August 27, 2018, the US Department of the Interior (DOI) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) requesting comments by October 26, 2018 on potential changes to its natural resource damage assessment…