Contaminated Properties

News & Analysis as of

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

Never Say Never to Lone Pine Orders

After our last two posts, we received emails blasting us for being insensitive to the plight of injured plaintiffs. That struck us as unfair, given that the posts pertained to the technical issues of choice of law and choice...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Exide cleanup: Los Angeles County approves $2 million to facilitate lead removal at homes: Los Angeles Times - Oct 27: Los Angeles County supervisors, frustrated by what they say is a...more

Focus on China - October 2015

Welcome to the third issue of Focus on China Compliance for 2015. According to the FCPA Blog’s October 2015 Corporate Investigations List, China leads the countries reported to be involved in FCPA investigations with 29...more

Eighth Circuit Decertifies Environmental Nuisance Class Action Alleging “Fear of Contamination” Without More

The Eighth Circuit recently issued a decision reversing class certification for lack of commonality. In Smith v. ConocoPhillips Pipe Line Co., the Eighth Circuit considered a class action proceeding on a nuisance theory...more

Environmental Stigma Can Reduce Value of Property - Application of a 5 Percent “Standard” Stigma Devaluation for Contaminated...

In a case that will have an impact on the owners of property that has been devalued as a result of environmental conditions, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently agreed that contaminated real estate could be appraised at 5...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

New Jersey’s Appellate Division Holds State May Be Liable for Cleanup Costs under New Jersey’s Spill Act

Action Item: On August 26, 2015, in a case of first impression, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court in NL Indus., Inc. v. State of New Jersey, No. A0869-14T3, 2015 N.J. Super. LEXIS 161 (N.J. Super. Ct....more

It’s Not Their Fault: New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds Dismissal of Nuisance and Trespass Claims in Environmental Context

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently clarified the elements needed to sustain a claim for nuisance and trespass in the environmental context. Generally, plaintiffs assert claims under common law such as nuisance and...more

Real Estate Gazette - Issue 21: Focus on Hospitality and Leisure

Welcome to Issue 21 of DLA Piper’s Real Estate Gazette. at the end of the northern hemisphere summer many people have just returned from time spent relaxing in idyllic surroundings. However, what about the massive business...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: Clean Water Act rule faces challenges from both sides - Courthouse News Service - Aug 18: A widely publicized new rule clarifying the definition of ’waters of the United States’ under the...more

Winn Everett's Environmental Virtues Are Yin to the Yang of Casino Profits

The site in Everett where Steve Winn wants to build a resort/destination casino at a cost of more than a billion dollars has got to be the most run-down, contaminated, crummy looking oceanfront properties in Greater Boston. ...more

Dust in the Wind

Delta Blue Blueberries filed suit in California against Wilbur-Ellis Company, Semi-Tropic Water Storage District, and Alpine Helicopter Service Inc. for negligence and trespass. (Case No. 39-2015-0032670-CU-NP-STK in the...more

Fifth Circuit Holds Insurer Waived One-Year Reporting Requirement in Pollution Buy-Back Endorsement

In its recent decision in Cox Operating, L.L.C. v. St. Paul Surplus Lines Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13318 (5th Cir. July 30, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, applying Texas law, had...more

Natural Contaminants Exceed Human-Made Contaminants in California’s Groundwater

Defendants in groundwater contamination cases in California have additional evidence to direct blame where it should be placed – on naturally occurring contaminants. An extensive study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has...more

Tenth Circuit Finds Price-Anderson Act Does Not Preempt Nuisance Claims

This decision departs from all other federal circuits that have addressed the issue and, if adopted by other courts, represents a significant expansion of potential liability for operators in the nuclear energy industry....more

Seeing Green: New York’s Reformed Brownfields Cleanup Program Creates Opportunities for Redevelopment to Generate Refundable Tax...

Now is the time to begin brownfield redevelopment projects in the State of New York. Reauthorization of and reforms to New York’s Brownfields Cleanup Program, which provides tax credits to redevelop contaminated properties,...more

New York Court Enforces Voluntary Payment Provision

In its recent decision in SI Venture Holdings, LLC v. Catlin Specialty Insurance, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89925 (S.D.N.Y. July 10, 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York had occasion to...more

New Application Process Takes Effect for New York Brownfield Cleanup Program, Additional Regulations Pending

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has announced that as of July 1, 2015, the reformed New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) became effective. NYSDEC transitioned to a new...more

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

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

South Carolina Court Limits CERCLA Remedies

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) allows the federal government to collect funds from or to order a “potentially responsible party” (“PRP”) to clean up contaminated sites. 42...more

CAFA Local Controversy Exception Established Through Sampling and Statistics

An Illinois federal district court recently credited sampling data as evidence sufficient to establish the citizenship of putative class members for purposes of invoking the local controversy exception to CAFA...more

Superfund Divisibility Defense Gets New Life

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, is a federal law under which contaminated sites are identified and evaluated by the Environmental Protection...more

Defendants Saved by Louisiana Subsequent Purchaser Rule

Another Louisiana court has ruled that the Subsequent Purchaser Rule applies to damages following a mineral lease. In Bundrick v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. it is the 3rd Circuit. The Rule: An owner of property...more

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