Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

News & Analysis as of

U.S. District Court Finds U.S. Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center Acted Arbitrarily and Capriciously When Denying Oil...

Action Item: In December 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center (“NPFC”) wrongfully denied a reimbursement claim by the Water Quality...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, February 2017

TSCA/FIFRA/NTP - EPA Proposes Regulation Of TCE Use In Vapor Degreasing Under TSCA Section 6(a): On January 19, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule under Section 6(a) of the...more

Climate Change Hits EPA: 30 Pending Regulations Frozen

In accordance with direction from the Trump administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has published a final rulemaking delaying the effective date of 30 pending regulations until at least March 21,...more

EPA Proposes to Require $7+ Billion of Financial Assurances from U.S. Hardrock Mining Industry Under CERCLA Section 108(b)

Last week the EPA officially published its proposal to impose over $7 billion of financial assurance requirements on the owners and operators of currently active or idle hardrock mines and mineral processing facilities. 82...more

Early January Environmental Odds And Ends

“The old order changeth, yielding place to new.” January 2017 has been a very active month, with several important environmental and federal administrative court rulings being issued, and many significant rules being proposed...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, January 2017

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Promulgates Final TSCA Reporting And Recordkeeping Rule For Nanoscale Materials: After over a decade of effort, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued on January 12, 2017, a...more

Comment Period Begins for EPA CERCLA 108(b) Bonding Rule for Hardrock Mining Industry

On January 11, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule for financial assurance requirements under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act for the hardrock...more

Subsurface Intrusion Pathway Will Now Be Considered During CERCLA Site Listing Process Under New EPA Rule

On January 9, 2017, EPA issued a final rule adding subsurface intrusion (SsI) as a component to the Hazard Ranking System (HRS), which is the mechanism that is used for determining the eligibility of sites for CERCLA’s...more

Tenth Circuit: Asarco’s Settlement in Bankruptcy Proceeding Does Not Bar CERCLA Contribution Claim

A unanimous panel held that Asarco’s settlement in bankruptcy for its “share of response costs” did not preclude it from later bringing a CERCLA contribution claim....more

Potential Expansion of MTCA to More Owners/Operators of Contaminated Properties in Washington

The Washington State Court of Appeals recently held the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) liable as an operator or owner of a contaminated site under the Model Toxics Control Act, RCW 70.105D (MTCA), in Pope Resources, LP...more

Tenth Circuit: Judicial Estoppel Should Not Bar Asarco’s Latest Claims for Cost Recovery At CERCLA Mining Site

On January 3, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a ruling reversing the district court’s decision that Asarco could not proceed with its claims for cost recovery at a Utah Comprehensive Environmental...more

Green Building Risk Assessment: Necessary for Today’s Real Estate Deal Due Diligence

The next building you buy, finance or develop may be “green.” As the use of green building standards like LEED® or ENERGY STAR® has become commonplace, human health standards such as WELL Building Standard™ have emerged,...more

EPA Issues Financial Responsibility Requirements for the Hardrock Mining Industry and Announces Intent to Regulate Other...

On December 1, 2016, EPA signed a proposed rule setting forth financial responsibility requirements for the hardrock mining industry under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and...more

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

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Proposes To Add Nonylphenol Ethoxylates To Section 313: On November 16, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to add nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) as a category for...more

Environmental Notes - December 2016

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) has clarified its approach to issuing “no further action” letters (“NFAs”) for sites with both petroleum and non-petroleum contamination. This clarified approach will...more

Common Stock Used to Reimburse EPA for CERCLA Response Costs

A recent CERCLA settlement provides an unusual method for reimbursing response costs incurred by EPA at a Superfund site. Under a proposed Consent Decree concerning the Yavapai Penta Superfund Site in Prescott, Arizona,...more

EPA Adds Vapor Intrusion to Hazard Ranking. Can You Say “Deck Chairs on the Titanic?”

EPA has finally issued a final rule including vapor intrusion in the Hazard Ranking System. The good news is that this is appropriate, because VI is one of the few real hazards regulated by the Superfund program. The bad...more

EPA Proposes Financial Responsibility Requirements for Hardrock Mining Industry - The Proposed Rule Could Set a Precedent for...

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy on Dec. 1, 2016, signed a pre-publication version of a proposed rule that seeks to establish financial responsibility requirements for approximately 221...more

EPA Releases CERCLA Financial Assurance Rule

EPA has released its long-awaited proposed CERCLA financial assurance regulations for the hardrock mining industry. When finalized, these regulations will serve as a model for financial assurance regulations for other...more

Impacts of the 2016 U.S. Election on Environmental Law, Policy, and Enforcement

The 2016 election results will have wide-ranging impacts on the future direction of environmental law, policy, and enforcement in the U.S. With 100 lawyers in offices around the U.S. focused on environmental and natural...more

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

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Extends Comment Period On Proposed SNUR: On October 21, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has reopened the comment period on a proposed Significant New...more

Trump’s Impact on Environmental Law? Let the Speculation Begin!

What will a Trump Presidency mean for environmental law? I’m not sure my crystal ball if better than anyone else’s, but here are a few quick thoughts...more

Environmental Notes - November 2016

EPA has revised its procedures for making certain changes to its “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods,” also known as SW-846. The test method and its compendium of guidance documents provide...more

EPA Plays Defense in Mine Disaster

EPA finds itself in unfamiliar territory as the agency defends its involvement in a multi-state environmental disaster. In 2015, a contractor acting under EPA’s supervision used an excavator to dig away tons of rock and...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain/West Coast Case Law Highlights

Ninth Circuit Issues Major Cercla Decision Finding That Arranger Liability Cannot Be Based On Contamination Deposited On A Site By The Wind - Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, No. 15-35228, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13662 (9th...more

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