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EPA Proposes Clarification on CERCLA’s “All Appropriate Inquiry” Standard

Step by step, inch by inch. Slowly but diligently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been working to clarify what standards and practices may be used for conducting “all appropriate inquiries” (AAI) under the...more

Significant Changes to Massachusetts Site Remediation Regulations

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has made significant changes to the regulations governing the cleanup of contaminated sites in the Commonwealth (310 C.M.R. §§40.0000, et seq., known as the...more

Mainebiz Real Estate Insider – ABC 123: DEP Says You’re A PRP – How to avoid becoming an environmental acronym casualty

In Maine, anyone who has owned or operated an uncontrolled hazardous substance site from the time a hazardous substance was first deposited up to the present is considered by the Maine DEP to be a potentially responsible...more

Washington Court of Appeals Holds No Duty to Defend: An Invitation to Initiate Cleanup Is Not A Suit

On June 2, 2014, the Washington State Court of Appeals issued a published opinion regarding what constitutes a “suit” in the context of environmental liability claims under the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). The court held...more

Evaluating Environmental Risks in Real Estate Transactions

Evaluating environmental risks associated with real estate transactions is a standard, and often standardized, practice for sophisticated real estate practitioners. However, in light of several recent developments - the...more

Brownfield land in the UK: lenders' liability

In this fourth in our series of briefings on topics relevant to those involved in brownfield land, we look at the issue of lenders’ liability in respect of risks arising from brownfield sites under environmental law in...more

Department of Housing and Urban Development Adopts Updated ASTM Standard

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on April 16, 2014 that, effective May 16, 2014, it is adopting the recently updated Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Standard, ASTM E1527-13. HUD...more

EPA Endorses Upgraded All Appropriate Inquiry Standard

Buyers of real estate and their lenders are familiar with the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. Originally developed in the 1980s in response to the CERCLA statute, the Phase I protocol has been refined over the years. ...more

Developing Renewable Energy Projects on Brownfields: Mitigating Enivronmental Risks & Liabilities

“Greenfield” utility-scale renewable energy projects have generated both considerable praise and criticism. Government agencies and the public generally applaud efforts to generate renewable energy, while at the same time,...more

California Court Denies Summary Judgment on Known Conditions Exclusion

In its recent decision in Lennar Mare Island v. Steadfast Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26405 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 28, 2014), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California had occasion to consider the...more

Brownfield land in the UK: environmental indemnities

Introduction - In this second in our series of briefings on topics relevant to those involved in brownfield land, we focus on environmental indemnities....more

New EPA Standard Provides Guidance for Phase I Investigations

In a recent rulemaking, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amended its “All Appropriate Inquiries Rule” (set forth in 40 CFR Part 312) to reference in the rule ASTM Standard E1527-13. ASTM Standard E1527-13 is the...more

Family Businesses and Environmental Liability

We all know that environmental laws impose heavy liability on businesses that release environmental contaminants into the air, soil or water. The family business is not immune to such liability. In fact, many...more

Brownfield land in the UK: directors’ and officers’ liability

Introduction - In this first in a series of briefings on topics relevant to those involved in brownfield land, we look at the issue of directors’ and officers’ personal liability....more

Shutting Down a Capital City: How High Will Business Interruption Claims Go?

On Thursday, January 9, 2014, a major chemical spill into West Virginia’s Elk Rivet cut off water to more than 300,000 people in the Kanawha Valley and surrounding nine counties. The chemical leak was from a facility owned by...more

Think Twice Before Throwing Out Those Old Business Records

Property owners or operators faced with an environmental cleanup often incur significant expenses to cleanup their property. Before starting the actual cleanup, property owners/operators should take the time to explore all...more

IRS Guidance for Historic Tax Credit Transactions: Partnership Flips and Inverted Leases

The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2014-12 on December 30. It is available below. It addresses the structuring of historic tax credit transactions (i.e., transactions involving rehabilitation tax credits provided for in...more

New ASTM Environmental Site Assessment Standard

Many are familiar with the “Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard” issued by ASTM, used for satisfying “All Appropriate Inquiry” for environmental contamination. Last week, ASTM issued a revised standard, Phase I...more

Digging in the Dirt? Allocating Environmental Liability in Real Estate Transactions

While adverse environmental conditions may be unavoidable, appropriate due diligence can help both real estate buyers and sellers avoid a liability mess. The conveyance of commercial or industrial real estate often...more

Passing the Buck: The Impact of Maryland's New Stormwater Fees on Commercial Leases

During its 2012 legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed HB 987, a bill which required that the ten separate EPA-licensed storm sewer system (“MS4”) jurisdictions in Maryland (Baltimore City and nine...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- Sep 19, 2013

Pollution Claims–Apparently Here to Stay - With the advent of the “absolute” pollution exclusion in commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies in the mid-1980s, many in the insurance industry predicted that...more

EPA To Withdraw All Appropriate Inquiries Rule And Issue New Final Rule

EPA is poised to withdraw the direct final rule it published on August 15, which would have added a new ASTM standard for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments to the list of “all appropriate inquiries” that must...more

New Phase I ESA Standard To Be Issued In November

New Standard Will Help Clarify Environmental and Historical Site Conditions For South Florida Developers - A new standard for performing Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) is expected to be released in...more

Environmental Due Diligence Standards: Present and Future

The first half of 2013 has experienced greater economic activity than in recent years. The housing market appears to be recovering, albeit slowly. More lending and transactional activity is occurring at the commercial level....more

If We Lease It, Will They Build? Offshore Wind Energy Lease Sale Number 2

On Monday, the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the nation’s second offshore wind energy lease sale – this time for an area off the Virginia coast. The first competitive...more

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