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Aboveground Storage Tank Act Interpretive Rule

This morning, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) filed a proposed interpretive rule (the “Interpretive Rule”) with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office implementing, in part, the recent...more

NPDES Permits Are Construed Narrowly Against the Permittee

In July, we noted that the Clean Water Act’s permit shield defense would be construed narrowly, applying only where a permittee had clearly disclosed that the relevant pollutant to the agency. This week, in Alaska Community...more

Environmental Due Diligence: A Practical Guide to Environmental Site Assessments Part 2

If after a Phase I ESA, the EP determines further investigation is warranted, that more invasive investigation takes the form of a Phase II ESA. The primary purpose in conducting a Phase II ESA is to evaluate any REC(s)...more

Fourth Circuit Affirms Liability for Selenium Discharges - Rejects Permit Shield Defense

By a published decision released on July 11, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a district court decision out of the Western District of Virginia finding that A & G Coal Corporation (“A & G”)...more

Chemical Safety Board investigator outlines discoveries from West Fertilizer, Charleston water incidents

A fertilizer plant surrounded by homes, schools, and a hospital. A chemical tank that was externally examined but not drained of liquid for a more thorough inspection. These were some of the factors that contributed to two...more

Environmental Due Diligence: A Practical Guide to Environmental Site Assessments Part 1

Environmental Site Assessments (“ESA”) assist potential purchasers acquiring an interest in commercial real estate with determining a baseline for certain environmental conditions of the property and potentially establishing...more

EPA Proposes Clarification on CERCLA’s “All Appropriate Inquiry” Standard

Step by step, inch by inch. Slowly but diligently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been working to clarify what standards and practices may be used for conducting “all appropriate inquiries” (AAI) under the...more

EPA Proposes to Delete Reference to Superseded 2005 ASTM Standard from “All Appropriate Inquiry” Rule

On June 17, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency published a proposal to delete reference to the 2005 version of the ASTM Phase I environmental site assessment standard from the federal “all appropriate...more

EPA Issues Proposed Rule to Remove Reference to ASTM E1527-05 in All Appropriate Inquiries Rule

On June 17, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a proposed rule to amend the standards and practices for complying with the “All Appropriate Inquiries” rule under the Comprehensive Environmental Response,...more

United States Supreme Court Holds that CERCLA Allows State Statutes of Repose to Limit Plaintiffs’ Injury Claims

This week, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling of interest to any Potentially Responsible Party regarding the effect of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) on state...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - June 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus: California is ahead of EPA on climate rules - Los Angeles Times - Jun 5: In 2006, when California adopted AB 32, its landmark global warming law, it acted virtually alone. Now, the state...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

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

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