Toxic Torts Updates

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New Application Process Takes Effect for New York Brownfield Cleanup Program, Additional Regulations Pending

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has announced that as of July 1, 2015, the reformed New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) became effective. NYSDEC transitioned to a new...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus - BP pays record $18.7 billion to settle claims in Gulf oil spill Bloomberg - Jul 2: BP Plc reached a record $18.7 billion agreement to settle all federal and state claims from the 2010...more

US Supreme Court Nixes EPA Regulations on Mercury Emissions – Must Consider Costs Early!

In Michigan v. EPA, the U. S. Supreme Court invalidated EPA’s rules limiting emissions of mercury and other pollutants from power plants, ruling that EPA inappropriately ignored the costs of regulation – particularly...more

Texas Supreme Court Rules that CERCLA PRP Letters and Enforcement Proceedings Are “Suits” Subject to the Duty to Defend Under...

On June 26, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court held that enforcement proceedings under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”)—including the issuance of a “PRP letter” notifying...more

What Comes Next for Mercury Emissions from Power Plants?

The U.S. Supreme Court held this morning that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acted unreasonably when it determined in 2000, and again in 2012, that it was “appropriate and necessary” to regulate mercury...more

Supreme Court: EPA Must Consider Costs in Power Plant Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Michigan v. EPA, reversing a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and holding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must consider...more

China’s Top Court Clarifies Environmental Tort Liability Standards

On June 1, 2015, China’s Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”) issued an interpretation, The SPC Interpretation on Several Questions Concerning Applicable Law in the Adjudication of Environmental Tort Liability Dispute Cases...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: House of Representatives Approves TSCA Reform Bill in Near-Unanimous Vote (6/15)

Tangible reform is finally on the horizon for the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), 15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. following a recent vote by the House of Representatives overwhelmingly in favor of a new reform bill. Enacted in...more

Estate Planning for Real Estate

Almost all estate planning clients own real estate in one form or another – a residence, a vacation home, or rental property. Real estate presents unique challenges in estate planning because debt is often associated with the...more

Environmental Litigation, Compliance and Transactional Costs to Increase as a Result of EPA’s New Vapor Intrusion Guidance

Action Item: Vapor intrusion has been a primary concern of state and federal environmental agencies for the past decade, and, accordingly, remedial actions have included vapor migration and intrusion as an exposure pathway....more

Q&A Series: Locke Lord’s Jim Tyrrell on the Keys to a Winning Products Liability Defense

What is the key to succeeding for a client in a complex products liability or toxic tort matter? JT: It’s all in the ‘C’s.’ Command of the facts, command of the law, command of the science, command of the courtroom and...more

EARL e-News: EPA Releases EJ Mapping and Screening Tool - Updates on Environmental, Administrative and Regulatory Law

On June 10, 2015, EPA released EJScreen, an environmental justice (EJ) screening and mapping tool which replaced EJView, a previous publicly available EJ screening tool. EJScreen will provide EPA with a nationally consistent...more

EPA Takes Positions on Vapor Intrusion

In a busy day for vapor intrusion, last week the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency made several announcements about vapor intrusion. First, it announced it had submitted a draft rule to the White House OMB seeking to...more

A Year After Waldburger, Are Lower Courts Ready to Dump CERCLA's Broad Remedial Purpose?

In the Winter 2015 issue of the ABA’s Natural Resources & Environment magazine, John Barkett retraced the Supreme Court’s treatment of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA)...more

Environmental Notes - June 2015

In this Issue: - EPA Issues SIP Call to Eliminate SSM Defense - EPA and Corps Define “Waters of The United States” - Frequent Questions: EPCRA 313 - Generators Need to be Vigilant About TCLP Sampling...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus: Offshore oil drilling banned along new stretch of California coast - San Jose Mercury News - Jun 10: In the largest expansion of national marine sanctuaries in California in 23 years, the...more

South Carolina Court Limits CERCLA Remedies

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) allows the federal government to collect funds from or to order a “potentially responsible party” (“PRP”) to clean up contaminated sites. 42...more

EPA Releases Draft Assessment of Potential Hydraulic Fracturing Impacts on Drinking Water Resources

On June 4, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft of its highly anticipated study, Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources (the...more

Recent Maritime Cases Illustrate the Different Legal Risks Involved with Conducting Offshore Oil and Gas Operations

In May 2015 a U.S. District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals each issued opinions that address important legal issues concerning risk management in the offshore energy industry. In Marquette Transportation Co. Gulf-Inland, LLC...more

Alameda Drug Disposal Ordinance: Supreme Court Denies Petition for Writ

The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to the Alameda County Drug Disposal Ordinance (“Ordinance”) brought by three pharmaceutical trade organizations. The Court’s decision leaves in force the Ninth...more

B.C. Court Awards Remediation Costs Before They Are Incurred

The recent decision of the British Columbia Supreme Court (Court) in Dolinsky v. Wingfield may allow those who have to clean up contamination on their lands to obtain those costs from the responsible parties before actually...more

Ninth Circuit Adheres to Narrow Interpretation of “Local Single Event” Exception Under CAFA

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a suit brought against Boeing and its environmental remediation contractor over alleged groundwater contamination that occurred over the course of 40 years...more

New Discovery Order Requiring Greater Transparency Regarding Bankruptcy Trust Claims in Southern California Asbestos Litigation

On May 27, 2015, the Honorable Emilie H. Elias, the coordination judge who presides over all asbestos litigation in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego (LAOSD), issued a discovery order entitled “Case...more

PRPs May Want To Dig In With Divisibility Defense

In a victory for potentially responsible parties at multiparty contamination sites, a federal district court in U.S. v. NCR Corp., No. 10-C-910 (E.D. Wis. May 15, 2015), held a PRP established that environmental harm at a...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Crews struggle to clean up oil spill near Santa Barbara: KQED - May 21: Crews will begin excavating the 24-inch pipeline that ruptured Tuesday, unleashing a flow of crude oil that has...more

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