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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

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

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

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

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

Failure to Perform Appropriate Pre-Purchase Investigation Renders Buyer Liable for Cleanup

New Jersey property buyers need to be aware of liability for existing contamination as a result of failing to do an appropriate environmental investigation prior to purchasing. The recent case State Farm Fire and Cas. Co. v....more

CERCLA and Original Sin -- Who Has to Pay For Other People's Contamination

In an environmental dispute between innocents involving a Church and a downgradient property owner, a federal court recently found the Church, although without original sin, was less innocent and should bear all the costs of...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

Maine DEP to Revise Oil Remediation Standards

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced plans to revise its “Remediation Guidelines for Petroleum Contaminated Sites in Maine” issued on December 1, 2009. The “Preliminary Draft” available for comment...more

Practical Considerations in Real Estate Transactions in Light of SRRA

Originally published in the June 4, 2012 edition of New Jersey Law Journal. In an effort to expedite the remediation of more than 20,000 contaminated sites, New Jersey passed the Site Remediation and Reform Act (SRRA) on...more

Divisional Court Affirms the Decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal in Kawartha Lakes

In its recent decision in The Corporation of the City of Kawartha Lakes v. Director, Ministry of the Environment (Kawartha Lakes) issued on May 28, 2012, the Divisional Court affirmed the reasoning of the Environmental Review...more

Changes Coming to the IRIS Program

In response to mounting criticism, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program is implementing several new changes. IRIS is a human health assessment program and database...more

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