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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

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

Local Agencies Empowered to Order the Cleanup of Contaminated Properties - Assembly Bill 440 Provides Agencies Immunity from...

Gov. Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 440 into law, providing an important tool for local agencies to force the cleanup of contaminated properties within their borders. AB 440 builds upon the Polanco Redevelopment Act...more

Texas Environmental Update - October 2013

We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated...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

May 2014 is not that far away – New Jersey’s Mandatory Deadline for Remedial Investigations

The Site Remediation Reform Act (“SRRA”) established a May 7, 2014 deadline for completing the remedial investigation for all sites that triggered remediation requirements prior to May 7, 1999. If a responsible party fails...more

Clean Air Act Enforcement in the Pharmaceutical Industry - Major Pharmaceutical Company to Pay $2.2 Million to EPA to Resolve...

On June 28, 2013, King Pharmaceuticals LLC (“King”) agreed to pay a $2.2 million fine and take measures to comply with the Clean Air Act (CAA) to resolve alleged failures to comply with major source requirements at its...more

Environmental Groups Seek to Impose Selenium Treatment Obligations on Property Owners

The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, and Sierra Club have filed five (5) lawsuits in the last two months in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, alleging...more

EPA’s New "Institutional Controls" Guidance May Raise Issues in Cleanups and Transactions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued two guidelines with far-reaching implications for real estate transactions involving contaminated sites, including sites owned by the Department of Defense. The...more

DEEP Updates Engineered Control Financial Assurance Guidance

On January 31, 2013, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) unveiled revisions to guidance on financial assurance for engineered control variances under the Remediation Standard Regulations...more

EPA Lifts Threat of CERCLA Liability for Some Tenants of Brownfields

Tenants who lease currently or formerly contaminated property can now benefit from protections from cleanup liability that were once available only to purchasers of such property. EPA announced its new policy in a December...more

Brownfield Tenants Gain CERCLA Liability Protection

Good News: Brownfield Tenants Gain CERCLA Liability Protection - In December 2012, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Guidance Memo set out a new EPA enforcement policy. In sum, on a discretionary basis, the...more

EPA Guidance Further Clarifies The Protections Available To Tenants Under Superfund’s BFPP Defense

As part of an evolving effort to encourage the redevelopment of brownfield properties, the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund”) was amended in 2002 to provide...more

Supreme Court Reaffirms CWA Discharge Ruling in L.A. Stormwater Case

On January 8, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld its 2004 ruling that the movement of polluted water between separate sections of the same waterbody does not constitute a “discharge” of pollutants requiring a...more

Who Knew? The National Research Council Discovers That Many Groundwater Cleanups Will Take More Than 100 Years

Daily Environment Report today noted that the National Research Council has produced a study, Alternatives for Managing the Nation’s Complex Contaminated Groundwater Sites, which assesses the scope of the groundwater...more

National Academy of Sciences Group Recommending Methods to Facilitate Transition of Cleanup Programs from Problem Identification...

The National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), today released a report, “Alternatives for Managing the Nation’s Complex Contaminated Groundwater Sites” (available from the National Academies...more

Use of Lone Pine Orders in Methane Migration and Other Groundwater Contamination Litigation

Introduction - In two recent groundwater contamination cases pending in federal district court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the court refused to enter Lone Pine orders which would have shifted the burden to...more

Settling Water-Based Superfund Liabilities -- A Toxic Brew

In a poignant moment in Godfather III, Al Pacino’s character says: “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in”. EPA's recent eye-popping announcement of a $366 million encore settlement by AVX with respect to the...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

Chart v. Town of Parma

Decision granting standing to park user concerned about contaminated soil

Standing: The Court denied the Town’s motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of standing. She found that plaintiff has standing because he stopped walking the nature trails after learning of the contamination and is...more

Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC v. Burtle, No. 11-1219 (U.S. 7th Cir. Aug. 21, 2012)

U.S. 7th Circuit affirmed district court's exclusion of expert's valuation of property

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the district court's exclusion of expert evidence regarding valuation of property. In the recent case, Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC v. Burtle, No. 11-1219, 2012 WL...more

REGULATORY: D.C. Regulatory: Courts Reject Post-Deepwater Horizon Environmental Challenges By Charles J. (Tim) Engel

Soon after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, environmental groups launched wide-ranging challenges to all phases of offshore oil and gas exploration and development. They filed lawsuits against the...more

Contaminated Land: Cleaning up the Statutory Guidance in England

Revised Statutory Guidance in relation to the contaminated land regime, and regulations amending the definition of when land will be considered to be contaminated, came into force on 6 April 2012. There are two significant...more

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