Contaminated Properties

News & Analysis as of

Post-Midwest: Section 99(2) of the EPA Proves a Powerful Tool

The Ontario Superior Court awarded damages for migration of dry cleaning solvents the defendant corporation spilled between 1960 and 1974 in Huang v Fraser Hillary's Limited, 2017 ONSC 1500 [Huang] under section 99(2) of the...more

5 tips for environmental due diligence in business transactions

Virtually all business transactions involve some level of environmental risk. The key is to identify all of the potential risks and collect sufficient information about them early in the due diligence period of a transaction....more

EPA Issues Guidance for Characterization and Remediation of Contaminated Sediment Sites Under CERCLA

In a Directive sent to Regional Administrators on January 9, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Office of Land and Emergency Management has identified eleven recommendations intended to facilitate the...more

Statute of Repose Bars Maryland Claims Arising From Exposure to Contaminated Fill

Exemplifying the power of the statute of repose as a defense to claims based on decades-old conduct under Maryland law, the Fourth Circuit held that claims stemming from hazardous improvements to real property were barred by...more

Alaska Creates Exception to General Rule that Injured Party Cannot Sue Insured’s Carrier

The Supreme Court of Alaska in Burnett v. Government Employees Insurance Company, 2017 WL 382648 (Alaska 2017) recently decided in a 3-2 decision that an insurer who voluntarily assumed the responsibility for cleaning up an...more

Court Finds Consultant Not Liable to Prospective Purchaser Regarding ESA Performed for Lender

A California appeals court ruled on February 8, 2017 (Mao v. PIERS Envtl. Servs., Inc., 2017 BL 37928, No. H041214, Cal. App. 6th) that an environmental consultant had no duty to a prospective purchaser of contaminated...more

Coal Plant Shutdown: Owners and Operators Need Vision – Part I

PDF Version Coal plant owners and operators can make a plant shutdown easier by planning now for the site’s future. This plan, or Vision, can help expedite shutdown efforts, reduce costs, improve relations with the local...more

Transfer Act for Lenders

A previous blog post addressed lender liability for environmental conditions on property a lender might acquire as a result of foreclosure. Another issue lenders in Connecticut must consider prior to foreclosing on a property...more

Can Zoning Stop Property Owners from Renting?

Local governments may not rely on zoning rules to prohibit renters in multi-family housing developments. Many local governments (and residents) prefer property owners living in their communities rather than tenants. This...more

Steven Lane v. State of Arizona, et al

Jones, Skelton & Hochuli Governmental and Appellate Group members John DiCaro and Justin Ackerman recently obtained summary judgment on a premises liability and fraudulent transfer lawsuit filed against Gavilan Peak, LLC. On...more

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Operators Should Implement Their Document Retention Policies And Protect Against Future Asbestos Claims

As far as contamination concerns go, asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are generally way down the list of issues at a shutdown coal plant. You hire certified contractors, bag the ACM and dispose of it in approved landfills....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

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Taking Steps to Control the Reopener

Operators shutting down coal-fired plants would be wise to plan ahead for potential future remediation obligations – aka the “reopener.” Predicting these obligations may be quite difficult, but operators can implement...more

You Should Know - December 2016

Presenting America’s Top Safety and Justice Stories of 2016 - Are you making all those lists and checking them twice? Gifts? Holiday cards? Party invitations? New Year’s resolutions? Well, here’s one more for you...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

VDEQ Changes Approach to No Further Action Letters and Officially Launches VURAM

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

GAO Audits EPA’s Management of Superfund Sites

In May 2015, U.S. Senators Rounds and Inhofe of the Committee on Environment and Public Works submitted a request to U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) to “review EPA’s efforts to clean up sites with contaminated...more

EPA Eases Path to Superfund Listing: Vapor Intrusion Component Added to the Hazardous Ranking System

Seyfarth Synopsis: With the EPA adding the consideration of vapor intrusion in its Superfund site investigations, hundreds of sites that previously would not rank high enough to qualify for listing on the National Priorities...more

Wash Those Sediments Right Outta Your RAO! NJDEP Releases New RAO Notice

Last week, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) announced a new Response Action Outcome (RAO) Notice, which allows Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) to issue an RAO for a site with...more

Just Compensation for Contaminated Land

When a government agency or private party involuntarily takes your property (a proceeding called eminent domain or condemnation), you are entitled to receive "just compensation" for the property. In North Carolina, "just...more

Wait, How Many Trucks? Ash Pond Closure by Removal

Utilities around the country have developed preliminary closure plans for surface impoundments storing coal ash, gypsum, and other coal combustion residuals (CCR). Some ash ponds are already in the process of closing. To...more

Spoliator Alert! Discarding Your Pipes, Sumps and Slabs Can Cost You

The New Jersey Appellate Court recently upheld a spoliation claim against a plaintiff company that sued prior owners for violations of New Jersey’s Spill Compensation and Control Act and common law claims of nuisance 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

Due Process Required for Environmental Remedy Selection: Appellate Division Rules NYSDEC Must Afford Responsible Parties an...

Hodgson Russ LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP successfully challenged the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) ability to implement a remedy without first providing a party an opportunity for a...more

Should You Litigate In Court or Arbitrate the Dispute?

Faced with the rising costs of doing business in our increasingly litigious society, today's employers are looking at any way to manage fees and costs associated with resolving disputes over employment decisions. Some of the...more

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