Environmental Toxic Torts

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Oil and Water – How the Galveston Oil Spill Proved The Two Don’t Mix

The Galveston Bay oil spill occurred, coincidentally, on the 25th anniversary of Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The Exxon Valdez oil spill is now considered to be one of the worst environmental...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update

Environmental and Policy Focus -- Court of Appeals upholds determination: Reuters - Mar 14 - The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday rejected a challenge to a determination by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service...more

West Virginia Legislature Passes Comprehensive Aboveground Storage Tank Bill and Amends Public Water Supply Laws

On March 8, 2014, the West Virginia Legislature passed a comprehensive bill, primarily in response to the Jan. 9, 2014 leak of fluid containing 4- Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM) from an aboveground storage tank into the...more

Environmental and Energy: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Draft Environmental Monitoring Services...

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a draft Commissioner Policy on Environmental Monitoring Services (the Policy). The proposed Policy updates DEC’s...more

Proposed Regulation of Hazardous Waste in Retail Sector

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) in order “to collect information towards improving hazardous waste requirements for the retail sector.” Retailer hazardous waste violations...more

D.C. Circuit Dismisses Most Industry Challenges to EPA’s Utility NSPS as Premature, Upholds EPA on Opacity Monitoring and...

In a unanimous decision issued on March 11, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected, on procedural and substantive grounds, a number of industry challenges to EPA’s new source...more

Manufacturers, Importers and Retailers Must Take Action Following DTSC Reveal of Priority Products

Once again, California is on the leading edge of environmental programs. An approaching April 1, 2014, deadline for publication of a “Priority Products List” under “Safer Consumer Products Regulations” that first went into...more

Waste Board Amends VRP Regulations: What’s Changed?

The Virginia Waste Management Board has amended the Virginia Voluntary Remediation Program (“VRP”) regulations. The amended regulations – known as Amendment 2 – went into effect on January 29, 2014. All sites now in the VRP...more

BP Oil Spill Update

On April 18, 2012, BP Exploration and Production Inc. and BP America Production Company (collectively “BP”) entered into an economic and property damages class action settlement with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the...more

BP Loses Bid to Cancel Oil-Spill Settlement Agreement

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently struck down BP’s request to cancel the settlement agreement it had arranged with the Plaintiff’s Setting Committee (PSC) in March 2012. BP’s effort to get this agreement, which...more

How Many Occurrences? Determining the Number of Occurrences for Fracking-Related Claims in CGL Policies

The controversy surrounding the use of the natural gas drilling process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract oil and gas is well-documented. While proponents argue that fracking presents the opportunity for an...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Class Action Alleging Groundwater Contamination From Refinery Because Homeowners’ Claims Lack Commonality

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently reversed the certification of a class of property owners who alleged an Illinois refinery leaked potentially carcinogenic chemicals into their property and water...more

Governor Christie Signs Legislation to Extend Site Remediation Reform Act

On January 21, 2014 Governor Christie signed legislation that extends the Site Remediation Reform Act regarding the requirement for property owners with known contamination that occurred prior to 1999 to submit a Remedial...more

Seventh Circuit Highlights Challenges To Class Certification In Environmental Litigation

Property owners in the town of Roxana, Illinois, a small village on the Mississippi River across from St. Louis, filed suit against Shell Oil Company and ConocoPhillips. The property owners alleged that a refinery owned by...more

The New ASTM Phase I Standard

On December 30, 2013, a new standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (“Phase I”), known as E1527-13 Phase 1 Standard for Environmental Site Assessments (“2013 ASTM Standard”) was adopted by the Environmental...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

Violation Notices Issued/Lawsuits Filed in Connection with Charleston Chemical Leak

Following the January 9 leak of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) into the Elk River from Freedom Industries’ storage facility in Charleston, W.Va., the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of...more

Coast Guard Issues Proposed Regulations and NVIC Regarding Marine Casualty Reporting on the OCS

In the continuing regulatory response - even more than three years after the fact - to the DEEPWATER HORIZON disaster, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has led off 2014 with proposed regulations that significantly change...more

NJ Legislature Passes Bill to Extend May 2014 Remedial Investigation Deadline – Christie Expected to Sign

One of the most draconian aspects of NJ’s 2009 Site Remediation Reform Act is the authority of NJDEP to take direct oversight of older cleanups, stripping responsible parties of cleanup decision-making and requiring a trust...more

Potential Recovery Opportunities Arising From Pollution Claims

Energy production in the United States is at an all-time high. In 2013, an average of 7.5 million barrels of oil were pumped every day, which bested the previous production record (2012) by one million barrels. Domestic oil...more

West Virginia Chemical Spill Likely to Bring Oil and Chemical Inspections and Perhaps Regulatory Changes for Facilities with Large...

Last Thursday residents of Kanawha County reported a foul licorice odor in the air. State and local officials traced the smell to a leak from a 35,000-gallon above ground storage tank along the Elk River. The chemical had...more

Be Careful What You Look For: EPA Updates “All Appropriate Inquiries” Environmental Diligence Standard

On December 30, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) amended its “All Appropriate Inquiries” rule, which sets out the standard for environmental due diligence in commercial and industrial property...more

U.S. EPA Amends Its "All Appropriate Inquiries Rule" To Reference Updated Standards for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

On December 30, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amended its All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) Rule, codified in 40 CFR Part 312, to include a specific reference to the updated ASTM International Standard...more

Ignoring Environmental Due Diligence Could Be Costly

We have all heard the saying “ignorance is bliss,” but in the area of real property acquisition, the more important idiom is “what you don’t know can kill you.” That may be a bit dramatic, but what you don’t know about a...more

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