Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

News & Analysis as of

New Chinese Soil Pollution Law Planned for 2017 Could Be Accelerated

On April 17, 2016, China Central Television (CCTV), the country’s state-run broadcast network, aired a report claiming that nearly 500 students apparently developed illnesses (including leukemia) at a school built on...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, April 2016

EPA Issues SNUR For TCE: On April 8, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for trichloroethylene (TCE). 81 Fed. Reg....more

4th Circuit Revisits N.C.’s Statute of Repose; No Bar to Hazardous Waste-Related Personal Injury Claims

Twice, courts have been called upon to interpret North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose in connection with injuries allegedly stemming from the release of hazardous substances. CTS Corporation v. Waldburger involved CTS’s...more

Williams Mullen Construction Industry Newsletter - Spring 2016

2016 begins with the issuance of this Construction Industry Newsletter, our fifth. In this issue, we have articles on vapor intrusion, liability for project design, enforcement of mechanic’s lien and bond waiver clauses, and...more

Environmental Notes - March 2016

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Jurisdictional Determinations May be Appealed - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the presence or absence of wetlands and other “waters of the United States” on a...more

Selling Property “As Is” Won’t Protect Seller From Superfund Liability

Everyone is familiar with the two little words - “as is” - that pop up in real estate contracts. The “as is” clause is a means of allocating risk between seller and buyer. Generally, a seller who sells property “as is” will...more

EPA Seeks to Add Subsurface Intrusion to CERCLA Hazard Ranking System

The National Priorities List (“NPL”) is EPA’s list of the most contaminated sites in the country that warrant cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, (“CERCLA” a/k/a...more

Complaints Are Not Totally Meaningless: A CERCLA Plaintiff Must Allege Disposal Against a Former Owner

I know it may surprise some litigators, but occasionally the allegations in a complaint do matter. In Garrett Day v. International Paper, the Court dismissed CERCLA claims brought by the current owner of a former paper mill...more

Environmental Notes - February 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked implementation of President Obama’s signature plan to address climate change pending a decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on the plan’s legality. The Clean Power Plan is being...more

Case Law Updates

Clean Water Act - In last month’s edition of Environmental Notes, we discussed the potential impact of two recent federal district court decisions finding that a citizen suit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) could be...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, February 2016

NAS Hosts Workshop On Low Dose Toxicity: On February 3, 2016, the National Academies of Sciences (NAS), Engineering, and Medicine Low Dose Committee heard presentations on several chemicals and the potential effect each may...more

Stop the Presses. Superfund is Stupid.

I know that pointing out CERCLA’s stupidity has something of a dog bites man quality, but sometimes Superfund’s stupidity bears repeating. Today’s exhibit? New York v. Next Millenium Realty, in which Judge Feuerstein held –...more

Proposed Rule Adding Vapor Intrusion Component to Hazard Ranking System Will Likely Appear in Federal Register This Month

A proposed rule that would add a vapor intrusion component to the Hazard Ranking System (“HRS”), the primary screening tool for the CERCLA National Priorities List (“NPL”), is scheduled for publication in the Federal...more

Maryland Environmental Reporting Regulations On Hold For Now

Property owners and developers in Maryland have dodged another bullet, at least for now, with respect to their environmental reporting obligations. On October 31, 2014, the Maryland Department of Environment (“MDE”) proposed...more

Eminent Domain: Be Careful What You Ask For

The condemnation of property for public works may not always be as clean and easy as the government would like. Although local governments are often critical players in the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated...more

Financial Assurance Requirements are on the Horizon for Hard Rock Miners

On January 29, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to finalize the long-awaited “financial assurance” regulations under section 108(b) of...more

Environment 2016: Waste Management and Contamination Issues

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized and proposed a number of rules and guidance in 2015 - changes the regulated community will need to monitor closely in 2016, including how many states may implement...more

Environmental, Health & Safety – What to Watch in 2016

To round out our series on industry and legal outlooks for 2016, I have compiled some of the many things for manufacturers to be aware of in the Environmental Health & Safety world for 2016....more

Is It Remedial or Removal — The Distinction Is Critical in Determining the Statute of Limitations for Actions under CERCLA

Under CERCLA activities to clean up hazardous substances are characterized as either “removal actions” or “remedial actions.” Generally, removal actions are interim actions to clean up or remove hazardous materials. 42...more

Environmental Notes - January 2016

Dominion Virginia Power (Dominion) operates a coalfired power plant in Chesapeake, Virginia. It maintains permits for its operations, including a Virginia solid waste management permit and a Virginia Pollutant Discharge...more

How Should You Respond to EPA Information Requests? Very Carefully.

You're looking through your mail one morning when you see it: a certified letter from EPA. The letter requests information about your company's operations over the last 20 years. It includes paragraph-after-paragraph of...more

EPA Opens Door to Electronic Audit Policy Self-Disclosures

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) launched its new eDisclosure Portal for electronic self-disclosures of violations made under the Audit Policy and the Small Business Compliance Policy...more

EPA Launches eDisclosure Portal to Modernize Self-Reporting

Under EPA’s long-standing Audit Policy and Small Business Compliance Policy, companies that discover, disclose, and correct environmental violations may be entitled to penalty mitigation and other benefits. On December 9,...more

EPA Launches Modernized eDisclosure Portal for Self-Disclosed Civil Violations

On December 9, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Federal Register Notice announcing the launch of the eDisclosure portal, a centralized web-based system for receiving and automatically...more

Can Air Emissions Result in CERCLA Liability?

Liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) results from “releases” of hazardous substances. The term “release” is usually used in the context of something spilled or...more

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