Legal

$32K Fine for Ex-Utilities Commissioner Lobbying Colleagues

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s campaign watchdog announced Monday that it is fining a former public utilities commissioner $32,500 for failing to disclose that she was lobbying her former colleagues on behalf of ride-hailing and water companies. The Fair Political Practices Commission annou..

Judge Halts Land Acquisition for Mountain Valley Pipeline

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A federal judge has halted a company’s plan to take possession of various lands in Virginia for a controversial pipeline project until it can demonstrate that the landowners will be adequately compensated. The judge on Wednesday said Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC is entitled to c..

Ex-Emergency Manager Waives Key Hearing in Flint Water Case

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A former state-appointed emergency manager facing charges in Flint’s lead-contaminated water crisis has waived a key hearing in the case. Gerald Ambrose appeared Thursday in Genesee County District Court and agreed to let the case proceed to Circuit Court, which would hand..

Chicago Sues US Steel over Indiana Plant's Spills

CHICAGO (AP) — The city of Chicago is suing U.S. Steel, alleging it violated federal law with discharges of a potentially carcinogenic chemical last year from a northwest Indiana plant. The federal lawsuit filed Wednesday comes a week after the Surfrider Foundation’s Chicago chapter filed a similar..

Florida Quietly Worked Out Deal to Cap Fees in Water Wars

TALLAHASSEE (AP) — Florida has worked out a deal to cap the amount of money that will be paid to law firms hired to help the state in its long-running water war with Georgia. Some Republican legislators last year complained about the escalating costs — which began to rise sharply after the state to..

Environmental Groups Challenge Key Approval for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A coalition of community and environmental groups has filed a legal challenge to Virginia regulators’ decision to grant a conditional water quality permit for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The groups filed a petition Thursday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals i..

Massachusetts Police Arrest Man for Stealing Manhole Covers

WEBSTER, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts police say they have arrested a man who stole seven manhole covers and put traffic cones in their place. The Telegram & Gazette reports the 46-year-old Webster man was arrested Friday and charged with larceny. Police say they first received a call around 2:45 p...

Residents with Tainted Water Supplies Plan Statehouse Rally

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Residents of an upstate New York village whose water supply has been contaminated plan to hold a demonstration in Albany to call for a new source of clean drinking water. Organizers say many Hoosick Falls residents will be joined by union members and environmental protection adv..

New York Village Votes to Sue over Tainted Drinking Water

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — Officials in an upstate New York village have voted to sue two companies for costs related to tainted drinking water. An attorney for Hoosick Falls says the village voted Tuesday to sue Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International after failed negotiation..

Michigan Sues Company over Chemical Contaminants in Water

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan environmental regulators on Wednesday sued footwear company Wolverine World Wide over widely used industrial chemical contaminants that were dumped into the ground decades ago and have seeped into drinking water, saying the lawsuit is necessary to lock into place respo..

Contractor Charged With Felony for Death in Trench Collapse

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle contractor has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of an employee who was killed when a sewer trench collapsed in 2016. The Seattle Times reports Philip Numrich allegedly violated and ignored safety regulations, leading to the collapse of the trench at..

Ex-Senator to Try to Broker Deals in Flint Water Crisis Lawsuits

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A judge says she plans to appoint former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin as a mediator in lawsuits related to the Flint water crisis. Federal Judge Judith Levy says Levin would work with former Wayne County Judge Pamela Harwood. Levin represented Michigan in the U.S. Senate for more than 3..

Florida and Georgia Taking Water Fight to Supreme Court

APALACHICOLA, Fla. (AP) — Reminders of the oyster’s pre-eminence in this slice of northwestern Florida are everywhere, from the shells that line the edges of downtown buildings to the paintings of oysters that dot the walls of Apalachicola’s art and history museum. It’s the oysters themselves that ..

Nevada Town Faces $3.6 Million Suit over February Flooding

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — Dozens of northern Nevada residents are suing the city of Elko for more than $3.6 million over damage caused by extensive flooding last February. State Assemblyman John Ellison is among the 60 plaintiffs listed in the negligence suit filed earlier this month in Elko District Court..

Federal Judge Dismisses Legal Effort to Halt Gas Pipeline

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge has delivered a blow to some Ohio property owners’ efforts to stop construction of a high-pressure natural gas pipeline. U.S. District Judge John Adams in Akron on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed in May by more than 60 property owners. They want the Federal Ener..

Portland Water Bureau Proposes Settlement with Ratepayers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The city of Portland has reached a proposed $10 million settlement with water and sewer ratepayers who questioned spending ratepayer money on non-water-related programs. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the Portland Water Bureau and an attorney for ratepayers on Friday an..

Troubled New Orleans Sewer and Water Agency Facing Federal Audit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The agency that oversees drainage, sewer and water systems in New Orleans faces an audit of its spending of federal money received following Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans news outlets report that the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General notified the Sewe..

Environmental Groups File Lawsuit to Try to Block Pipeline

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A coalition of environmental groups has filed a federal lawsuit to try to block a natural gas pipeline planned for southwestern Virginia. The Mountain Valley Pipeline cleared its last regulatory hurdle and won state water permits Thursday. The lawsuit was filed Friday in the ..

Lawsuit Seeks to Block California Desert Water Project

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Environmental activists sued Tuesday to halt a plan to pump water from under the Mojave Desert and sell it to Southern California cities and counties. The lawsuit takes aim at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for allowing Cadiz Inc. to build a 43-mile pipeline to transfer the w..

Lawsuit Accuses Utilities of Jacking up Natural Gas Prices

BOSTON (AP) — A class-action lawsuit has accused two utilities of conspiring to drive up energy costs in New England in a multi-year scheme that affected millions of customers. The lawsuit filed this week in Boston federal court alleges Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc. used their market po..

Judge Won’t Impose Deadline in Mountain Valley Pipeline Lawsuit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal judge tells developers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline he won’t order all landowners in its West Virginia lawsuit to respond by Dec. 4 to motions for summary judgment for rights of way available under federal regulations. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that U..

Parties Pledge New Thinking to Solve Interstate Water Fight

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Farmers in southern New Mexico, water policy experts, lawyers and others are all working behind the scenes to craft possible solutions that could help to end a lengthy battle with Texas over management of the Rio Grande. The case is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court and..

Water Pollution Lawsuit Settled in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A major chicken processing plant that has been cited for polluting the Suwannee River settled a lawsuit on Wednesday that was brought by environmental groups in Florida. Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. settled the suit with Environment Florida and the Sierra Club, agreeing to pay $1..

Lawsuit Seeks to Halt Construction on NEXUS Pipeline

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Environmental groups are taking another shot at trying to stop construction of a natural gas pipeline that will run across northern Ohio and into Michigan and Canada. The Sierra Club and others are behind a lawsuit filed Monday challenging a federal commission’s decision to allo..

Appeals Court Rejects Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Construction Stay

Williams Partners L.P. today announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has rejected an emergency motion to stay the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s authorization of the company’s Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project, allowing construction to immediately resume. “We a..

Federal Judge Sides with New Mexico Ranchers in Water Case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A U.S. court has sided with a New Mexico ranching family in a decades-long battle over access to water on national forest land, providing more certainty that state law allows for the protection of water rights dating back more than a century. The case of the Goss family h..

Williams Partners Takes Legal Action over Pipeline Construction Stoppage

Williams Partners L.P. today filed a Motion for Clarification of an administrative stay issued yesterday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions’ authorization of the company’s Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline project. The p..

Court Orders Pause in Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Construction

COLUMBIA, Pa. (AP) — A federal appeals court has temporarily halted construction of a natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania. LNP reports the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., stopped work on the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. Environmental groups are asking for a comprehensive environmental re..

Key Court Hearing for State Official in Flint Water Scandal

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s chief medical executive is facing the start of an important court hearing tied to a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak during the Flint water crisis. Prosecutors will try to persuade a judge to send Dr. Eden Wells to trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter, obstructi..

Texas Residents Sue over Water Release During Harvey

VIDOR, Texas — More than 120 Southeast Texas residents have signed on to a federal lawsuit alleging that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers illegally took their property when it released water from a reservoir and a dam during Hurricane Harvey flooding their homes. The residents of Orange County, abo..