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Second Circuit Clarifies “Removal” vs. “Remedial” Action Under CERCLA

In the CERCLA context, knowing whether a cleanup action is a “removal” or “remedial” action is crucial to the length of time allowed for the cleanup, the amount of money that may be spent on the cleanup, and the statute of...more

Indiana Court of Appeals Once More Asked to Interpret AIA Standard Construction Contract

This week's discussion focuses on the interpretation of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) standard construction contract by the Indiana Court of Appeals in the recent case Allen County Public Library v. Shambaugh &...more

Insureds Must Exhaust Coverage From Solvent Insurers

On September 24, 2013, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that policyholders must look to its solvent insurers before seeking benefits from the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (“Guaranty...more

Third Circuit Decision Allowing CERCLA Contribution Claim Based On Settlement Of State-Law Liability Sets Up Split With Second...

A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided an important precedential decision last week expanding the right to seek contribution for cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental...more

Ninth Circuit Opinion Highlights Vapor Intrusion Risks and Challenges Faced by Brownfields Developers and Their Lenders

A recent ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit illustrates the challenges faced by developers of contaminated properties and their lenders, as well as the extraordinary risks associated with...more

Washington Legislature Passes Significant Changes To The Model Toxics Control Act

During the waning hours of the legislative session, the Washington State Legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 5296 (SSB 5296) by large majorities and Governor Inslee signed the bill without changes. ...more

Oregon Senate Bill 814 Regarding Environmental Claims Handling Regulations Signed into Law

On June 10, 2013, the governor of Oregon signed into law Senate Bill 814, creating sweeping reforms on environmental claims-handling regulations and available remedies for insureds facing liability for cleanup of contaminated...more

What To Do When You Are Issued A CERCLA Injunction To Perform A $1.5 Billion Cleanup — Lower Fox River Superfund Update

In a 78 page decision in the Lower Fox River Superfund case issued last month, the federal court issued an injunction against NCR Corp. and three other PRPs requiring them to perform a $1.5 billion remedy. No company ever...more

Senate Bill 814 Proposes Sweeping and Retroactive Changes to Environmental Claims Handling in Oregon

On March 13, 2013, the Oregon legislature introduced Senate Bill 814 to create sweeping reforms on environmental claims handling regulations and available remedies for insureds facing liability for cleanup of contaminated...more

Senate Bill 814 Proposes Sweeping and Retroactive Changes to Environmental Claims Handling in Oregon

On March 13, 2013, the Oregon legislature introduced Senate Bill 814 to create sweeping reforms on environmental claims handling regulations and available remedies for insureds facing liability for cleanup of contaminated...more

Mistakes Have Consequences – British Petroleum’s Settlement

Three years ago, Tilting told tales of oil spill legal problems suffered by Forrest Gump, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Wok Ann chu-gumm Seafood Restaurants, Chef Red Fishy and Bishop Carp. Tilting predicted class action...more

Ontario Court Rejects Damage Recovery in Contamination Claim, Adopting a Strict Analysis That May Hinder Future Claims

In Midwest v. Thordarson (Midwest) 2013 ONSC 775, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed a property owner’s claim for damages for remediation costs stemming from the alleged migration of contaminants from a...more

BP Settlement Claim

After years of litigation, BP Exploration & Production, Inc. and BP America Production Company (collectively, "BP") entered a class-wide settlement ("BP Settlement") that covers most businesses located in the Gulf Coast...more

Limitation Periods for Environmental Cost Recovery Claims in BC Abolished

The government of B.C. recently passed legislation that will eliminate any limitation period previously applicable to actions to recover the costs of environmental remediation under the Environmental Management Act, S.B.C....more

Bankruptcy Loses Arguments for Special Relief Under Prepetition Agreements for Environmental Liability

A recent case from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York addressed the recurring conflict between the goals of bankruptcy law, which seeks to give debtors a fresh start, and the goals of federal and...more

EPA Revises Guidance On Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Protection For Tenants Under Federal Superfund Law

On December 5, 2012, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised its enforcement guidance regarding when tenants may be treated as bona fide prospective purchasers (BFPPs). The revised guidance addresses...more

CERCLA Cost Recovery or Contribution Claim: Another Judicial Misstep

The chaos unleashed by Aviall continues in a recent decision by the Seventh Circuit. In Bernstein v. Blankert, the Seventh Circuit revisited the issue whether a party having entered into an Administrative Order by Consent...more

EPA Issues New Superfund Guidance

Settlement plays a fundamental role in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) Superfund enforcement program. Potentially Responsible Parties (“PRPs”) seeking to resolve their liability through the settlement process...more

N.J. Supreme Court Decides Level of Causation Required to Seek Damages Under the Spill Act

In a recent decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that in an action to obtain damages under the Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act), the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) must show a reasonable...more

The Case For a Broad Pre-Emption Rule for CERCLA Contribution

Although some of the proposed tax plans and budgets being discussed in this election year suggest that the same dollar can be counted and spent multiple times, a growing number of courts have held that CERCLA response costs...more

CERCLA Investigations That Really Are At Risk

Site owners who conduct environmental investigations of potential releases of hazardous substances in the expectation that they will be able to recover their costs from the party whose operations gave rise to that threatened...more

New Jersey Clarifies How to Value Contaminated Property in a Condemnation Matter

A recent New Jersey Appellate Division case clarifies the process of valuing contaminated property in a condemnation action, and finds that where the cleanup has been completed, even if contamination remains at the property,...more

Western District of Pennsylvania Limits Party’s Ability to Recover Response Costs

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania determined that a potentially responsible party conducting a site cleanup pursuant to both a state court order and an administrative settlement with a state...more

Settling Party Barred from Bringing a CERCLA Section 107(a) Claim

This week, in the case of Solutia, Inc. and Pharmacia Corp. v. McWane, Inc. (Solutia), the Eleventh Circuit held that a party that performs a cleanup in compliance with a consent decree has no right under the Comprehensive...more

Post Aviall Settlement Jurisprudence -- Back to the Future

Over the first two decades of CERCLA, the rule gradually emerged that parties which settled their liability were restricted to contribution claims under Section 113(f)(1) and would be entitled to contribution protection under...more

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