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Recently in Environmental Law Category

It has not been a good year for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, politically speaking. The laundry list of petty corruption within his office (lavish and illegal spending on offices, residences, supplies, and raises for staff) is so long at this point that CNN has to update it every couple weeks.

It also hasn't been a great year for the EPA, legally speaking. State attorneys general sued the EPA and Pruitt in April, accusing them of ignoring the administration's duty to control methane emissions. Their attempt to delay gas guzzler fines was blocked by a federal judge that same month. In May, 17 states and D.C. filed a lawsuit in response to the agency's promise to rollback vehicle emissions standards. And then last week three conservation and public-health groups sued Pruitt and the EPA, claiming they have failed to address serious air pollution in 17 cities. You can read the latest legal filing below.

The State of California, along with 16 other states and the District of Columbia, has filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to review possible new rules from the Environmental Protection Agency, rolling back vehicle emissions standards. While those rules have yet to be written, the suit is an opening salvo in yet another battle between the Trump administration and states over greenhouse gas rules. Last month, a different federal court blocked the EPA's attempt to delay gas guzzler fines for cars and trucks failing to meet emissions standards.

Here's a look at the latest lawsuit:

Ebola: Temporary Restraining Order to Keep Ashes Out of La.

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has been granted a temporary restraining order to prevent the disposal of ashes from the incineration of an Ebola victim's possessions in a Louisiana landfill.

The TRO was granted by a Louisiana judge on Monday, reports The Washington Post. The order blocks the potential disposal in the state of ashes generated by the incineration of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan's possessions. Duncan died earlier this month in Dallas, and his possessions were incinerated in order to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

What led to Caldwell's concern about the ashes?

BP's day of reckoning has come as it agreed to pay the biggest criminal fine in U.S. history. The oil giant pleaded guilty to a raft of charges in the deadly Gulf of Mexico spill and agreed to pay a record $4.5 billion.

BP has agreed to plead guilty to felony misconduct for its role in the devastation caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. But was the punishment enough? Some critics are calling it a slap on the wrist.

Eleven lives were lost in the world's largest accidental offshore oil spill. 4.9 million barrels of oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico, contaminating 150 miles of shoreline. There were tens of billions of dollars in cleanup costs, with billions more in losses to fishing and tourist businesses.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder also announced that two BP supervisors aboard the Deepwater Horizon during the spill have been charged with 23 criminal counts, including manslaughter.

First Criminal Charges Filed Over BP Oil Spill

The Department of Justice has charged a former BP engineer with two counts of obstruction of justice in the first criminal case to come out of the devastating 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The DOJ accuses Kurt Mix of intentionally destroying evidence sought by federal criminal authorities during their investigation into the largest accidental marine oil spill.

Health and Environmental Groups Seek Review of Obama Smog Decision

A coalition of health and environmental groups have filed a petition with the federal court of appeals in the District of Columbia requesting a review of the Obama administration's decision to withdraw stricter regulations of smog-causing ozone emissions.

Environmental Groups Sue Over TransCanada Pipeline

A coalition of environmental organizations has filed a lawsuit against the federal government seeking to stop work on TransCanada's Keystone oil pipeline. The groups allege that TransCanada received authorization to begin work on the pipeline, which will transport crude from oil sands in Alberta to refineries in Texas, from the Department of Fish and Wildlife before the State Department had issued a final approval for the project. The groups allege that this violated a federal law preventing the commencement of project work before issuance of a final approval.

Federal Government Issues Report on Causes of BP Oil Spill

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard have released a report on their investigation of the causes of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil right and the subsequent oil spill.  The report contains the conclusion that BP, Transocean and Halliburton violated numerous federal offshore safety regulations.

BP Sues Maker of Blowout Preventer in Gulf Oil Spill

In a cross-claim filed as part of the ongoing litigation surrounding last year's oil rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP alleges that the manufacturer of the blowout preventer designed, manufactured, maintained and modified the preventer in a way that rendered it "unreasonable dangerous when used as intended."

BP Files Lawsuit Against Halliburton Over Gulf Oil Spill

BP filed a lawsuit in federal court in Texas alleging that Halliburton's improper conduct contributed to the oil rig explosion and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year. Halliburton provided the cementing services for the well, and many observers believe that the failure of the cement contributed to the original blowout of the well.