Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

News & Analysis as of

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

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

Insights Newsletter - Spring 2015

In This Issue: - The Importance of Accredited Investors for Small Business Capital Formation - “All Appropriate Inquiries”: Update on the Environmental Due Diligence Standard - A Hunt for Justice Erodes...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

(US) Revised Phase I Environmental Standards Will Impact Property Acquisitions this Fall

The All Appropriate Inquiries Rule (the “AAI Rule”), set forth at 40 CFR Part 312, serves as a benchmark protocol for inspecting a property’s environmental condition. If the benchmark is met, a prospective purchaser can be...more

Superfund Divisibility Defense Gets New Life

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, is a federal law under which contaminated sites are identified and evaluated by the Environmental Protection...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

A $6 Million Reminder to Observe Corporate Formalities: Environmental Prosecutors Pierce Another Corporate Veil with Ohio Decision

With ever-growing concern about environmental liability exposures, many shareholders rely on corporate structures – both simple and complex – to help insulate themselves from direct responsibility for the acts and omissions...more

District Court Imposes Divisibility Cap on Superfund Liability

A Wisconsin district court has ruled that NCR Corporation’s liability for contamination in the Fox River is limited to NCR’s share of contamination contributed to the river....more

PRP in CERCLA Enforcement Action Saves Millions of Dollars with Successful Divisibility Defense

Action Item: On March 15, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in United States v. NCR Corp., No. 10-C-910 (E.D. Wis. May 15, 2015), held that a potentially responsible party (“PRP”) at...more

Are Concurrent CERCLA Claims For Section 107(a) Cost Recovery and Section 113(f) Contribution Permissible?

Given the uncertainties after Cooper Industries v. Aviall about what cause of action a PRP has for recovering response costs under CERCLA, many parties take the prudent course of pleading claims under both for cost recovery...more

Louisiana Court Rules that Migration of Chemicals from Spill Not a “Continuing Tort”

In a case that may make it more difficult for plaintiffs to maintain years-old toxic tort cases in Louisiana, a state appellate court ruled that a 1983 chemical spill did not constitute a “continuing tort.” ...more

When Does a Judge Refuse an Unopposed Motion to Enter a Consent Decree?

Last week, Judge John Copenhaver refused to allow a motion by the United States to enter a consent decree that would have resolved government claims against DuPont concerning alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, CERCLA,...more

Non-Settling CERCLA Defendants Beware: Ninth Circuit Provides Lower Courts with Discretion to Allocate Liability Using Equitable...

There is a split of authority on how credits for settlements under the Comprehensive Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) are allocated to non-settlors. Some courts have applied the proportionate share...more

Ninth Circuit Widens Judges’ Discretion to Allocate CERCLA Contribution Damages

Trial court may select the method of accounting for prior settlement in allocating response costs among liable parties, but claims to recover settlement payments are limited to costs consistent with the National Contingency...more

Ninth Circuit Addresses Several CERCLA Issues of First Impression in the Circuit

In AmeriPride Services Inc. v. Texas Eastern Overseas Inc., the Ninth Circuit examined several issues under CERCLA, some of which were issues of first impression in the Circuit, including: - Whether a district court...more

Allocating The Liability Shares of Settling PRPs Under CERCLA

Allocation of liability under CERCLA can get messy. One particularly complex issue arises in a private cost recovery action where some but not all the PRPs have settled with the private party. In contrast to a government...more

Dividing CERCLA Site Just Won't Cut It On Liability

In an order on March 3, U.S. District Judge William C. Griesbach, who is presiding over the long-running Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act litigation concerning the Lower Fox River and...more

W.Va. Senate Bill 423 Amends Aboveground Storage Tank Act

Even before the June 6, 2014 effective date of the Aboveground Storage Tank Act (the “AST Act” or “Act”), W. Va. Code §§ 22-30-1 et seq., representatives of the industries most impacted by the expansive and detailed AST Act...more

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