News & Analysis as of

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act Contamination

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

Proposed Draft Legislation Clamps Down on Soil Pollution in China

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

On 22 June 2017, Chinese legislators released draft proposals to combat soil pollution in China at a bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The legislation complements the State...more

New York Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Pollution Caused by Covered and Uncovered Causes

In its recent decision in Matter of Midland Ins. Co., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5065 (N.Y. 1st Dep’t June 22, 2017), the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, had occasion to consider the...more

Disposal of Contamination = Disposal of Evidence. Be Careful What You Throw Away!

by Snell & Wilmer on

In a recent unpublished case, the Superior Court of New Jersey held that the Plaintiff in a CERCLA case had committed spoliation when, during the course of the remedial activity, it disposed of various contaminated materials....more

Recent PFAS Case Law – RCRA, CERCLA and Toxic Tort Claims

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

A new class of emerging contaminants poses challenges at remediation sites and for the protection of drinking water, and is generating new toxic tort litigation. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are emerging...more

Environmental Notes - November 2016

by Williams Mullen on

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

by Williams Mullen on

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

Air Dud: Emitters of Hazardous Substances Not Liable Under CERCLA

by K&L Gates LLP on

In a case of first impression, the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that facilities with air emissions that included hazardous substances could not be liable for remediating other properties contaminated by those hazardous...more

Unique Ruling Regarding Joint CERCLA Liability and Government Contracting Law and Practices

Lockheed Martin Corporation, one of the largest defense contractors in the United States, operated three California facilities that manufactured solid-propellant rockets for the United States Department of Defense pursuant to...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects CERCLA Liability for Air Emissions

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

Do air emissions of hazardous substances create a cleanup liability under the Superfund? In the closely watched case of Pakootas, et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., the Ninth Circuit said, “no,” becoming the highest court...more

Clearing the CERCLA Air: Ninth Circuit Holds Air Emissions Are Not Disposal

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In a case of first impression, this week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the owner of a Canadian smelter was not liable as a person who “arranged for disposal” of hazardous substances when it emitted those...more

New Ninth Circuit Decision Precluding CERCLA Liability for Airborne Emissions

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued in the long-running Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd. litigation another important decision further defining the scope of liability under the federal Comprehensive...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

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

EPA Issues Long-Delayed Guidance for Assessing and Mitigating Vapor Intrusion Risks at Contaminated Sites

by King & Spalding on

On June 11, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency released long-delayed final guidance for evaluating and mitigating risks at sites where vapor intrusion is an actual or potential concern. The final guidance...more

Minnesota Federal Court Clarifies Pleading Standard in Vapor Contamination Case

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In an opinion that may help clarify the jurisdictional and pleading requirements for plaintiffs seeking damages and injunctive relief for alleged injuries from vapor intrusion, the federal district court in Minnesota denied a...more

Environmental Claims: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

Asarco LLC v. Goodwin, 756 F.3d 191 (2nd Cir. 2014) – A reorganized company (Asarco) sought contribution for payment of environmental claims from beneficiaries of trusts created under John D. Rockefeller’s will. The...more

Is Death A Defense To CERCLA Liability?

In contrast to the early days of Superfund when no argument for extending CERCLA liability was too far-fetched, the Second Circuit recently rejected one of the all-time “Hail Mary” passes for CERCLA contribution. The case,...more

EPA Proposes to no Longer Accept 2005 Version of ASTM Standards and Practices for Environmental Site Assessments as Basis for...

by BakerHostetler on

On June 17, 2014, EPA published a Proposed Rule to no longer acknowledge the 2005 version of ASTM International’s recently updated version of its standard for environmental site assessments – Standard 1527-13 – to meet the...more

EPA Proposes Change to Environmental Due Diligence Rule For Property Transactions

by Miller Canfield on

For the second time in a year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to amend the “all appropriate inquiry” rule under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). ...more

EPA Proposes to Delete Reference to Superseded 2005 ASTM Standard from “All Appropriate Inquiry” Rule

by Pullman & Comley, LLC on

On June 17, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency published a proposal to delete reference to the 2005 version of the ASTM Phase I environmental site assessment standard from the federal “all appropriate...more

CERCLA’s Statutory Liability Defenses — How Strict Is CERCLA Liability?

It was no surprise that the Second Circuit in In re September 11 Ligitation recently affirmed the lower court’s ruling that contamination caused by the 9/11 attacks was within CERCLA’s “Act of War” defense. Although CERCLA...more

Time-Barred Claim . . . Or Is It? Supreme Court Agrees To Review Fourth Circuit State Statute of Repose Case

As reported on the Ogletree Deakins Environmental Law blog in July of 2013, a divided panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA or...more

When Does the Statute of Limitations Run on CERCLA Claims? No, Never? Well, Hardly Ever

In State of New York v. Next Millenium Realty, decided earlier this week, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed the wisdom of Gilbert and Sullivan. It is very difficult to blow the statute of limitations in CERCLA...more

CERCLA Preempts State-Law Claims Arising Out Of Petroleum Contamination

by BakerHostetler on

In what appears to be a first, a federal district court has held that the “Petroleum Exclusion” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) preempts state-law contribution claims...more

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