Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

News & Analysis as of

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

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Launches Advisory Panels: On June 15, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched two advisory panels designed to facilitate small businesses to provide feedback to EPA...more

OSHA, EPA and DOI Increase Maximum Civil Penalties

This summer, many federal agencies increased civil monetary penalties as much as 150 percent in response to new legislation mandating that federal agencies "catch up" with inflation and remedy past government failures to...more

EPA Raises Statutory Civil Penalty Amounts

If the cost of doing business includes responding to and resolving periodic environmental and worker safety enforcement matters, the price goes up on August 1. The EPA is raising statutory civil penalty amounts for the many...more

Gasoline with Lead is not Subject to the Petroleum Exemption in Massachusetts Clean-Up Statute Says Top Mass. Court

In a decision that has broad implications, gasoline with additives such as lead is not included in the exemption under the Massachusetts remediation statute, Chapter 21E, for oil releases located in certain drinking water...more

Regulatory Enforcement for Food and Beverage Industry Heats Up

Mid-to-late June 2016, federal and state authorities brought a variety of enforcement actions against food and beverage companies under environmental, health, and safety statutes, suggesting increased governmental oversight...more

Maximum Civil Penalties for Violations of Environmental Statutes are now Significantly Higher After Inflation Adjustment

Seyfarth Synopsis: EPA finalized its new per violation penalty rules that in some cases now increase by substantial amounts. In a federal rulemaking published last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)...more

Food and Beverage Industry in Regulatory Enforcement Crosshairs

Recent federal and state enforcement actions against food and beverage companies under environmental, safety and health statutes highlight the need for this industry to pay attention to both basic and unique compliance...more

An Air of Change in CERCLA Liability? Pakootas v. Teck Cominco and CERCLA’s Federal Permit Shield

A case recently argued before the Ninth Circuit, Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., 9th Cir., No. 15-35228, could pave the way for a new theory of liability for parties who release air emissions during the course of...more

Insurers Take Notice: Ninth Circuit Rules that EPA Request Letter Triggers Duty to Defend

On May 11, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a general liability insurer owed a duty to defend an environmental matter even though no suit had technically been filed. Ash Grove Cement Co v. Liberty Mutual...more

8th Circuit Court Finds Class Action Inappropriate to Resolve Neighborhood Claims for Damages Arising From Environmental...

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Eighth Circuit found that a class action could not be sustained in an environmental pollution case because “the class lacks the requisite commonality and cohesiveness to satisfy Rule 23.”...more

Commonality and Cohesiveness Lacking for Class Contamination Claims

On May 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, in Ebert, et al., v. General Mills, Inc., reversed the federal district court’s decision to grant class certification in an environmental contamination...more

EPA Proposes to Amend the Site Remediation NESHAP to Remove the Exemption for Site Remediation Activities Performed under CERCLA...

On May 13, 2016, EPA proposed to amend several provisions of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs): Site Remediation. The Site Remediation Rule currently exempts from hazardous air pollutant...more

More Than Chickens, Lizards and Polar Bears – Environmental Case Law Update (Dec. 2015 – Mar. 2016)

This blog, although not brief, is a brief report on some of the significant environmental law and administrative cases decided in late December and the first quarter of 2016. U.S. SUPREME COURT - FERC Final Rule re...more

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

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