Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

News & Analysis as of

Buyers Must Soon Comply With New Environmental Due Diligence Standard

Purchasers of commercial real estate must meet a new standard to qualify for liability protection under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and analogous state laws. Since...more

Policy and Legal Implications of Implementing Renewable Energy at Scale: Supply and Demand Geographic Mismatch (Part 2 of 6)

The Problem: Supply and Demand Geographic Mismatch Because much of America’s renewable energy supply is inland and demand is on the coasts (about 52% of the U.S. population is coastal), demand cannot meet supply without...more

Miners and States take Notice, the EPA is Updating its CERCLA Financial Responsibility Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has recently announced that it would take steps to finalize rules establishing financial responsibility requirements for hard rock mines under section 108(b) of the...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, September 2015

EPA Releases TSCA Assessment Documents For Flame Retardant Chemicals: On August 18, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released for public comment three Problem Formulation and Initial Assessment documents...more

The Animas Spill: EPA Liability and Insurance Coverage

When a contractor for the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally released three million gallons of contaminated mining work wastewater into the Animas River in August 2015, the EPA immediately took responsibility, as it...more

CERCLA: ATSDR Proposes Updated Toxicological Profile for 13 Perfluoroalkyls

On September 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), in accordance with guidelines developed by ATSDR and the U.S. Environmental Protection...more

Insurance Recovery Law - August 2015 #2

Good News for Corporate Policyholders: Insurer Cannot Refuse Coverage Based on Insured's Assignment of Rights Under Policies After Loss Has Occurred - Why it matters: Reversing its holding in a 2003 case, the Supreme...more

Is Superfund a Machine for Manufacturing Tea Party Members?

A group of PRPs received an oversight cost bill pursuant to a CERCLA consent decree. (The following details are intentionally vague to protect both the innocent and the guilty.) The bill was for several hundred thousand...more

5th Circuit Revives FDIC’s Suit Against Goldman, Deutsche Bank, and Royal Bank of Scotland

On August 10, 2015, the Fifth Circuit revived a securities fraud suit brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as receiver for Guaranty Bank against Goldman Sachs & Co., Deutsche Bank AG, and the Royal...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, August 2015

EPA Issues Direct Final Rule On Significant New Use Notification Electronic Reporting: On July 20, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direct final rule amending the Toxic Substances Control Act...more

Texas Says EPA Administrative Actions under CERCLA Trigger Duty to Defend

As any company facing EPA administrative action under CERCLA knows, the financial risk and defense costs associated with those proceedings can be the same as the risk and costs of an EPA lawsuit under CERCLA. But insurers...more

Foundation: July 2015 • Vol. II, Issue 2

Warranty/Guaranty Provisions in Construction Contracts - The most confusion I have seen in the discussion of construction topics concerns the concepts of “warranty” and “guaranty.” This article will address the...more

Orrick's Policyholder Insider Quarterly

Five Lessons Health Care Companies Should Learn From Cyberattacks - The American health care industry is under attack by sophisticated hackers seeking access to electronic medical records. Since January, three health...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, July 2015

EPA Seeks Comment On Series 810 Test Guidelines: On June 17, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability for comment of several Series 810, non-binding, draft test guidelines developed by...more

Insurance Recovery Law - July 2015 #2

California Court: Rejected Demand Within Policy Limits Not Necessary for Bad Faith Claim - Why it matters: Insurers must proceed with caution when they become aware that a settlement within policy limits is possible,...more

CERCLA Statute of Limitations Applies To Contribution Claims By A Party to a Private Settlement

Sometimes cases seem to be deciding issues that are so obvious it’s hard to figure out why they get any serious attention from the courts. One such case is ASARCO, LLC v. Celanese Chemical Company recently decided by the...more

Texas Supreme Court Decides that PRP Letters Issued by the EPA Under CERCLA Constitute a “Suit”

In McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corporation v. The Phoenix Insurance Company, No. 14-0465, —S.W.3d— (Tex. June 26, 2015), a 5-4 majority of the Texas Supreme Court held that the undefined term “suit” in the standard-form...more

Texas Joins Majority of States Holding that EPA’s CERCLA Proceedings Constitute a 'Suit' under Standard-Form CGL Policies

In response to a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled that proceedings conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Comprehensive...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

EPA Issues Long-Delayed Guidance for Assessing and Mitigating Vapor Intrusion Risks at Contaminated Sites

On June 11, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency released long-delayed final guidance for evaluating and mitigating risks at sites where vapor intrusion is an actual or potential concern. The final guidance...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

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, June 2015

EPA Denies Petition To Ban Triclosan: On May 13, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied a petition submitted in January 2010 by Food & Water Watch and Beyond Pesticides seeking to ban triclosan, an...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

“Clearing” the Waters – U.S. EPA and the Army Corps Finalize “Waters of the United States” Definition

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“U.S. EPA”) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) issued their highly anticipated final revision to the definition of “waters of the United...more

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