Residential Real Estate Toxic Torts

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Storing Heating Oil In Residential Tank Is Not An Abnormally Dangerous Activity In New Jersey

The Appellate Division recent held that the storage of home heating oil in an underground storage tank is not an abnormally dangerous activity. In Ross v. Lowitz, the plaintiffs, John and Pamela Ross, owned property that was...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

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

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

EPA Rule Adopts Revised ASTM Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard as Alternative Means to Conduct All Appropriate...

The United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule on December 30, 2013, endorsing ASTM E1527-13, “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process,” as an...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

Six-Year Statute Of Limitations Applies To Spill Act Contribution Claims

In a stunning decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division held on August 23 that the State’s general six-year statute of limitations for property damage applies to private claims for contribution under the New Jersey Spill...more

The Seventh Circuit Still Wrong: Bernstein v. Bankert

Late last year I blogged on the dubious decision by the Seventh Circuit in Bernstein v. Blankert which held that a settling CERCLA party did not resolve its liability to the government until it had performed all of its...more

Absolute Pollution Exclusion Applies Indoors

In Midwest Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. Wolters, et al., — N.W.2d –, 2013 WL 2363239 (Minn. May 31, 2013), the Minnesota Supreme Court joined the minority view in holding that the absolute pollution exclusion applies to...more

Which Is Worse? EPA Oversight or Citizen Oversight?

Everyone who represents PRPs in Superfund settlements has his or her own horror stories regarding the scope of EPA’s oversight cost claims. We all know that oversight costs can end up as an appreciable percentage of total...more

Vapor Intrusion Developments

Potential buyers and sellers take note — on April 16, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) issued draft guidance that would require more evaluation of "vapor intrusion" (migration of any hazardous vapors...more

Appeal Court Confirms That Innocent Party Must Clean Up Pollution

In a decision in Kawartha Lakes (City) v. Ontario (Environment), on May 10, 2013, the Ontario Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the appeal of the City of Kawartha Lakes (the City), which sought to overturn a decision of...more

Abolishment of Limitation Periods for Contaminated Sites in BC Put on Hold

In 2012, the government of B.C. passed legislation that would eliminate any limitation period previously applicable to actions to recover the costs of environmental remediation under the Environmental Management Act, S.B.C....more

Dodging Deal Killers -- Anticipating and Solving Problems Related to Properties Being Sold or Purchased

In This Presentation: Contamination; Environmental Issues; Defective or Incomplete Land Use Approval; “As Is,” “Your Problem Not Mine” Seller; Encroachment; URM or Otherwise Seismically Challenged Property; Use,...more

Asbestos - Does it matter?

Asbestos was often used in the construction of residential properties, particularly in the 1950s to 1970s. Asbestos was primarily used as an insulator because it is heat resistant and has a high tensile strength. It was...more

The Intersection of Subrogation and Environmental Law — The Ninth Circuit’s Tyranny of Logic over Common Sense

In a decision that exalts casuistry over common sense, the Ninth Circuit recently held that an insurer who reimbursed $2.4 million in CERCLA response costs to its policyholder had no subrogation rights against the potentially...more

Difficulties Filing A Chinese Drywall Lawsuit

A few years ago, Ms. Colleen Stephens vacated her 5,000 square-foot, newly renovated home overlooking the bay in Virginia Beach. She and her family moved into a smaller home located further inland. While not happy with the...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

Responsible Parties and their LSRPs Now Obligated to Respond to Public Inquiries

Under the “traditional” site remediation program, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) responded to inquiries asking for the status of an investigation/cleanup of a site because it had all the information...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

Virginia Supreme Court Ends Chinese Drywall Debate

We are pleased to report that the Virginia Supreme Court has tacked down – or, more appropriately, “drywall-ed in” – the issue of whether a pollution exclusion in a property insurance policy precludes coverage for Chinese...more

Superfund Meets the Reality of Climate Change

What happens when Superfund runs headlong into Mother Nature? Hurricane Sandy provides a vivid answer. As the NY Times reports today, Hurricane Sandy had a significant impact on the Gowanus Canal Superfund Site in Brooklyn,...more

Indemnification Agreements Under CERCLA Do Not Affect Liability to Entities That Are Not Parties to the Agreement

Section 107(e) of CERCLA provides that - "No indemnification, hold harmless, or similar agreement or conveyance shall be effective to transfer from the owner or operator of any vessel or facility or from any person who...more

Insurance Coverage: October 2012

This past quarter brought us the long-awaited decision from the California Supreme Court on stacking of insurance policies. The Supreme Court has ruled that stacking of limits on successive policies is permitted on continuous...more

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