The Legal’s Energy and Environmental Law supplement puts genomics, environmental crisis management and the Zika Virus in focus.

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Will Genomics Become Routine in Toxic Torts Causation Evaluation?
The current state of causation evidence in toxic tort litigation has generated grumbles of unreliability, understandable controversy and the feeling of a jury crap shoot. Jurors are often left weighing statistical evidence containing large data gaps and speculative extrapolations versus sympathetic claims often involving debilitating or fatal diseases. Read more

Core Principals of Environmental Crisis Management
Despite best efforts, environmental accidents happen to good companies. When they do, the results can be catastrophic to public health and the environment, to a company’s reputation, and to its ability to survive and prosper. Read more

Zika Virus: Challenges of Fighting a Recognized Hazard
In recent months, news outlets from around the country have reported on the impending Zika virus outbreak expected to impact the United States this summer. The threat of a global Zika epidemic has even caused some to call for the cancelling of this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The specter of plague has led to highly publicized debates within the federal government, while the legislature attempts to determine how much emergency funding will be required to quell a potential outbreak on a larger scale. Read more

Legionella Risks in Building Water Systems
Well-publicized outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease over the last year have grabbed headlines and spurred regulatory action, highlighting potentially significant liability risks related to water quality in the hospitality, health care, senior housing, and commercial real estate sectors. To properly identify, evaluate, and mitigate such risks, the assessment and diligent maintenance of water quality in buildings is essential. Read more

The Duhig Rule—Interpretation of Mineral Interest Reservations
What happens when a deed is unclear and the parties to a transaction involving oil and gas interests are long deceased? How do the heirs to the parties involved resolve their disputes? Read more

Settlement Negotiations and Public Disclosure Laws
When negotiating a private settlement agreement, practitioners typically consider such negotiations to be confidential and privileged, not to be disclosed by the parties outside of the confines of the settlement discussions. In fact, most private mediation and settlement agreements contain specific confidentiality provisions, with each party expressly agreeing that the terms of the settlement are to be kept strictly confidential and not disclosed to any third party unless required by law. Read more

EPA, Pa. DEP Take Aim at Oil and Gas Industry Methane Emissions
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have introduced new programs and regulations intended to reduce methane emissions from operations within the oil and gas industry. This article outlines those initiatives and provides some brief perspective and a note about what to expect in the future. Read more

Navigating the Presumption of Liability for Oil and Gas Operators
For operators of conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells, the evolving framework of Pennsylvania’s oil and gas law is set to turn “you break it, you bought it” into “it’s broken and you were nearby, so you bought it.” Read more