BP Contests Walmart’s Economic Loss Claims

BP Contests Walmart’s Economic Loss Claims

The effects of the explosion from the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010 are still present today. The explosion killed 11 people and leaked 3.19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico on the ocean floor 42 miles off the coast of Louisiana. It is likely that much of the oil spilled is still present in the Gulf today. As a result of the explosion and spill, a settlement agreement was made between BP and class action representatives that claimed damages from the disaster. The agreement included provisions for business economic-loss (BEL) claims for those companies...

OSHA and MSHA Raise Penalty Fees

OSHA and MSHA Raise Penalty Fees

In 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act. It was passed to improve the effectiveness of civil penalties and to maintain their deterrent effect. The Act requires agencies to adjust their level of monetary penalties and to make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation no later than January 15th of each year. The Labor Department issued an annual inflation adjustment of civil penalties in 2019. It calculates the annual adjustment based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U). The most recent adjustment is based on the percent change...

Trump Proposes NEPA Changes

Trump Proposes NEPA Changes

Trump Proposes Limiting Environmental Reviews and Eliminating Climate Change Considerations From NEPA On the 50th anniversary of the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), the President has proposed making the first regulatory change to the Act in over 40 years. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) recently proposed changes to NEPA. The Act requires environmental reviews of projects like highways and pipelines. The changes to NEPA will reduce the number of projects that would trigger environmental reviews, expand the number of project categories that can be exempted...

Plaintiffs Backpay Private Action Precluded by SCA

Plaintiffs Backpay Private Action Precluded by SCA

A group of plaintiffs that included Tiffaney L. Mayes filed a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor against Excelsior Ambulance Service, Inc. and James A. Graham, M.D. when they discovered they were being underpaid by the defendant’s business. According to the Defendants, the Wage and Hour Division concluded the Plaintiffs were improperly classified and sought retroactive pay for the Plaintiffs.

Sunset Roadless Area Remanded to Study Impact on Water and Fish Resources

Sunset Roadless Area Remanded to Study Impact on Water and Fish Resources

U.S. District Court Remands Case Challenging Environmental Impact Statement A group of environmental organizations sought to protect public lands and the environment by seeking judicial review of a decision by the Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (“OSM”). The OSM decision recommended approval of a mining plan that authorizes the mining of federally owned coal on public lands by Mountain Coal Company (“MCC”). The plaintiffs, WildEarth Guardians, High Country Conservation, The Center for Biological Diversity, and the Sierra Club, argue the...

Group Sues U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for Discharging Pollutants

Group Sues U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for Discharging Pollutants

California’s Central Valley is home to fertile agricultural land, though it receives little rainfall. The federal government helped alleviate this problem by constructing irrigation and drainage projects to provide water to the region. A diverse group of plaintiffs sued the United States Bureau of Reclamation and San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority on the grounds that the drainage system discharged pollutants into the surrounding waters, violating the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). The plaintiffs appealed rulings by the district court in favor of the defendants. Background The...

Your Rights as an Employee Under OSHA

Your Rights as an Employee Under OSHA

Many work environments require workers to exercise care when performing their jobs. Some employees are exposed to dangers in the workplace on a daily basis.

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Challenge Monument Designation in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone

Challenge Monument Designation in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone

The Antiquities Act The Antiquities Act was signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. The Act gives the President discretion to declare historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are owned or controlled by the federal government, to be national monuments. The Monument The Act has been used by Presidents to create 158 national monuments. These include the Grand Canyon National Monument established by President Theodore Roosevelt, the Hanford Reach National Monument established by President Clinton, and the...

The Importance of Lockout/Tagout In The Brewery Industry

The Importance of Lockout/Tagout In The Brewery Industry

The control of potentially hazardous energy by using a Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) system is one of the most common violations in the workplace. In 2019, LOTO is the fifth most frequently citation issued by the United States Dept. of Labor's Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Failure to give proper attention to LOTO is a serious concern because it can lead to a negative impact on the health of your employees and your business. There were over 5,000 on the job fatalities in 2017, which equates to an average of 14 deaths each day. The health of your business and employees provide...

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Rocky Mountain Helium Wins Case Against Bureau of Land Management

Rocky Mountain Helium Wins Case Against Bureau of Land Management

Rocky Mountain Helium, LLC (“Rocky Mountain”) filed a legal action against the U.S. government for breach of a Settlement Agreement. The dispute involved requirements in the Settlement Agreement between the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) and Rocky Mountain. The United States Court of Federal Claims granted summary judgment in favor of Rocky Mountain.