Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

News & Analysis as of

CERCLA Divisibility: Two Strikes and Bases are Loaded

Joint and several liability means one defendant can be liable for all of the damages in a case, even where other defendants are at fault. In the CERCLA arena, this means a potentially responsible party can be forced to pay...more

CERCLA Update: Court Reverses Divisibility Ruling

Earlier this year, we reported on a case that seemed to breathe new life into the divisibility defense under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).  Under CERCLA, a party that...more

Environmental Notes - October 2015

In a significant setback for the Obama Administration, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has temporarily blocked implementation of the Clean Water Rule issued jointly by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers...more

EPA Puts Refrigeration Firm on Ice

Millard Refrigerated Services Inc. learned the hard way that a company's failure to correct deficiencies in its processes can lead to significant consequences. Following three releases to the atmosphere from 2007 to 2010,...more

Changes in Environmental Due Diligence in Commercial Real Estate Prevent Toxic Investments

Financial due diligence in a commercial real estate purchase is a necessity, but equally important to purchasers and lenders is environmental due diligence. Many properties may have environmental issues from prior use, and...more

CERCLA Remains Ridiculous: A Remedy In Operation For 18 Years Is “Short Term”

Far too frequently, we are reminded just how hard judges must work to save CERCLA from itself. The decision last week in California River Watch v. Fluor Corporation is the most recent compelling example....more

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

On October 15, 2015, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Wilson Center) issued a report, "The DNA of the U.S. Regulatory System: Are We Getting It Right For Synthetic...more

Can Air Emissions Lead to CERCLA Liability?

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. (“CERCLA”) imposes fairly broad liability on potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) to pay for the investigation and...more

Pre-enforcement Review? Not Enough. How About Pre-issuance Review?

In Sackett, the Supreme Court ruled that EPA could not issue enforcement orders under the Clean Water Act without allowing the subjects of the order the right to bring a pre-enforcement challenge to such orders under the...more

Intruder Alert – EPA Issues Final Technical Guidance on Vapor Intrusion

This summer, EPA issued two, long-awaited final technical guides for assessing and mitigating the intrusion of hazardous vapors from subsurface contamination into overlying buildings. EPA’s issuance of these technical guides...more

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

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

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