News & Analysis as of

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

Ninth Circuit: US Must Pay Share of CERCLA Cleanup Costs at Former Military Plant

by Morgan Lewis on

The decision could make it easier to recover from the government for CERCLA response costs at former defense production facilities and shift leverage in settlement discussions....more

Climate change liability? The escape of the salmon

by DLA Piper on

Many industries are increasingly concerned with predicting the damage that climate change will cause to people, business and the environment. And businesses are asking themselves a related question: what can be done to...more

Trump Track: EPA Beginning Anew at Portland Harbor Superfund Site?

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

Although no official pronouncement has been issued, it appears that EPA Headquarters is looking at resetting the scoreboard for the Portland Harbor Superfund site. EPA had already signaled that it would be reviewing...more

How Wrong Does a District Court Have to Be to Abuse Its Discretion?

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a District Court decision allocating 100% of CERCLA response costs at a San Diego Superfund site to TDY Holdings, which operated an aeronautical manufacturing plant from 1939 to...more

U.S. Reversed on 100% Allocation to Contractor

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court decision allocating 100% of CERCLA response to costs to a U.S. military contractor, where both the U.S. and the contractor were liable parties. TDY Holdings,...more

Protecting Purchasers in Commercial Property Transactions

by Snell & Wilmer on

Congratulations! Your company just bought a large commercial property to manufacture its widgets. Unfortunately, you just received a notice from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) that the previous owner...more

The Soft Underbelly of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

by Clark Hill PLC on

Winston Churchill once used the phrase the “soft underbelly of Europe” to attempt to coax the Allies into invading Europe to force Germany to split its resources. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) also has a...more

Ninth Circuit: defense contractors need not shoulder wartime cleanups alone

by DLA Piper on

A recent decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal rejected a lower court finding that the US government had no responsibility for cleaning up site contamination arising, in part, from work done to support the...more

Hurricanes and Flooding: Surely EPA Regulations are Suspended?!

by Williams Mullen on

It seems to happen every year. A natural disaster disrupts fall football season, and interstates are full of evacuees gobbling up hotel rooms and squatting in the nearest safety zones. In those times, no one ever thinks of...more

Court Holds That Self-Insured Retentions Exhaust Vertically And Awards Insured Mandatory Prejudgment Interest in Stringfellow Site...

In State of California v. Continental Ins. Co. (No. E064518; filed 9/29/17), a California appeals court ruled that after Continental was ultimately held to pay its policy limits for remediation of the Stringfellow hazardous...more

CERCLA Trumps As-Is Sales

by Clark Hill PLC on

A federal court in Alaska assessed responsibility against the City of Fairbanks (City) for remediation costs found necessary to clean up property it previously owned. The court concluded that the City should have mitigated...more

CERCLA Task Force Issues Recommendations Aimed at Improving the Superfund Program

by Clark Hill PLC on

On August 2, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced recommendations aimed at accelerating action on Superfund mega-sites, specifically expediting cleanups and promoting redevelopment and community revitalization. The...more

Hurricane Irma Client Alert: Addressing Environmental Releases and Obligations

by Morgan Lewis on

As the cleanup begins in Florida, companies face challenges in meeting existing environmental obligations and addressing the environmental impacts of the storm....more

Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Escapes CERCLA Liability

by PretiFlaherty on

The owners of a shipyard sued a prior owner and the current owner of an adjacent former steel mill property in Baltimore, Maryland for recovery of cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation,...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Settling a Non-CERCLA Environmental Claim Can Trigger the Time-Period to Bring a CERCLA Contribution Claim

by Lane Powell PC on

Under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) a responsible party that settles with the government via a consent decree to cleanup or pay for remediation has three years to...more

Hurricane Harvey Client Alert: Addressing Environmental Releases and Obligations

by Morgan Lewis on

As the cleanup begins, companies face challenges in meeting existing environmental obligations and addressing the environmental impacts of the storm....more

Trump Track: Is Superfund Small Ball Best?

The most active agency in carrying out the Trump agenda in its first year has been the EPA, where there has been a raft of efforts to roll back the regulatory initiatives of the Obama Administration. However, in one area the...more

Montrose III: Appeals Court Rejects “Elective Vertical Stacking,” but Declines to Find “Universal Horizontal Exhaustion” Absent...

In Montrose Chemical Corp. v. Superior Court (No. B272387; filed 8/31/17) (Montrose III), a California appeals court found that excess insurance is not triggered for continuous and progressive losses until there has been...more

The Arbitrary and Capricious Standard Remains in the Eye of the Beholder

In a very interesting – and extremely rare – case, Emhart Industries has successfully defended itself against a unilateral administrative order issued by EPA under CERCLA, on the ground that key decisions made by EPA were...more

United States Liable as an Owner Under CERCLA for Contamination on Navajo Reservation Land

by Snell & Wilmer on

Last week, a United States District Court in Arizona held that the United States was an “owner” of Navajo Reservation Trust Land for purposes of CERCLA liability. See El Paso Nat. Gas Co. v. United States, 2017 WL 3492993 (D....more

EPA’s Task Force Recommendations to Revamp and Expedite Superfund Cleanups and Process – A Welcome Change

by Miles & Stockbridge P.C. on

While the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) Superfund program under the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act or “CERCLA” has often been dubbed the “Comprehensive Employment and Retirement Lawyers...more

Ninth Circuit Addresses Finality Requirements for CERCLA Contribution Actions

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals revived a contribution action under CERCLA, and in the course of ruling, it addressed three issues of first impression in the Circuit regarding contribution litigation under CERCLA. Asarco,...more

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Three Issues of First Impression for Parties in CERCLA Contribution Actions

by Nossaman LLP on

In Asarco LLC v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. 14-35723 (9th Cir. Aug. 10, 2017), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a published opinion interpreting the statute of limitations for contribution...more

Can a RCRA Settlement Also Be Used as a Basis for a CERCLA Contribution Action?

On August 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided the case of ASARCO LLC v. Atlantic Richfield Company, which involves the ongoing liability to clean up the East Helena Superfund Site, located “in and...more

EPA Task Force Issues Recommendations to Reform Superfund Program

by Morgan Lewis on

The proposed reforms seek to accelerate cleanup and reuse of sites to reduce risks, reduce costs, and hasten redevelopment....more

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