Contaminated Properties

News & Analysis as of

Wisconsin Supreme Court Applies Pollution Exclusion to Well Contaminated with Manure

Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the pollution exclusion applies to well water contamination arising from the application of manure to nearby farmland, relieving a general liability insurer of its duty to...more

Environmental News Flash: New Jersey Supreme Court Rules That Six-Year Statute Of Limitations Does Not Apply To Spill Act Claims

In a much anticipated decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled yesterday in Morristown Associates v. Grant Oil Co. that the general six-year statute of limitations for injury to real property is not applicable to Spill...more

A Municipal Ordinance Requiring Registration and Maintenance of Vacant or Foreclosed Properties Preempted under Chapter 21E

A municipal ordinance imposing registration and maintenance obligations upon owners and secured lenders of buildings that are vacant or undergoing foreclosure was preempted by the Massachusetts remediation and clean-up...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 13

Welcome to the thirteenth edition of The Construction Advantage! In this issue, we bring you cases of expanded insurance coverage in New Hampshire and fraudulent concealment cases from California and Minnesota. We hope that...more

The Need For Expert Evidence To Make Out An Innocent Landowner Defense Under CERCLA

As every litigator knows, evidence almost always tells a story that is untidy and riddled with loose ends. This was illustrated by a recent innocent landowner case in California — Coppola v. Smith. There, a company had...more

Public Entities Can Inadvertently Waive Privilege in Response to a Public Records Act Request

California’s Public Records Act (PRA) law requires public entities to make their public records open for inspection and copying. Environmental practitioners often use PRA requests as a tool to obtain information regarding a...more

Part 201 Revisions – Streamlining the Pathways to Closure

On January 10, 2015, Governor Snyder signed SB 891 into law, enacting revisions to Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act ("Part 201), Michigan’s environmental remediation law. The revisions cover...more

Model Remedies Under Washington’s Model Toxic Control Act – A Modest First Step for Impacted Soil Sites

In December 2014, the Washington Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) issued a white paper discussing the status of its work toward developing “model remedies.” In 2013, the Washington Legislature directed Ecology to establish...more

Media Reports on 2014 "Fracking" Verdicts Miss the Real Story: Scientific Study Continues to Demonstrate the Safety of...

In April 2014, press reports widely suggested that a Dallas, Texas case was the first large verdict awarded on the basis of environmental damages sustained due to fracking. One advocacy journalism website's description of the...more

Environment 2015: Contamination and Waste Management Issues

This year is sure to bring a number of significant changes in the areas of waste management and cleanup, vapor intrusion, due diligence and issues related to real estate purchases. ...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Retroactive Application of Landfill Cleanup Statute

In 2004, the Illinois legislature amended the Illinois Environmental Protection Act to authorize mandatory injunctions to require cleanups of landfills. But could the courts use the statute to order cleanups of older...more

With Treatment, Less May Be More

As environmental regulators look more and more to scientific experts to devise treatments for contaminated sites, it might behoove those regulators to consider the import a a recent medical study which dramatically suggests...more

Class Certification Denied in Chemical Leak Lawsuit

An Arkansas federal judge recently denied a motion to certify a proposed class of property owners alleging that Whirlpool’s failure to clean up toxic chemicals at its facility diminished the value of their surrounding...more

PA Supreme Court Declines to Extend Multiple Trigger Theory to Property Damage Claims

Where an insured loss causes damages that straddle multiple policy periods, insurers and insureds must determine which policies are implicated. Clear rules regarding “trigger” of coverage benefit policyholders seeking to...more

Supreme Court's Petition Denial in Clean Air Act Pre-emption Case Reinforces Threat From Common Law Claims

The United States Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari earlier this month after the Iowa Supreme Court held in June that the plaintiffs' nuisance claims were not pre-empted by the Clean Air Act (CAA) in Freeman v....more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - New Critical Habitat for Gulf of Maine Atlantic Sturgeon to be Designated - The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has agreed to designate critical habitat...more

December 2014 - Real Estate FOUNDATION

In this issue - The CERCLA Divisibilty Defense: Back from the Dead? - Springing Recourse for Breach of Solvency and Debt Payment Covenants? Does New York Need Cherryland Legislation? - Mid-Construction...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014 #2

Ammonia Release Constitutes “Direct Physical Loss” Under Policy - Why it matters: A New York federal court recently ruled that the discharge of ammonia at a manufacturing plant – causing a facility shutdown for...more

DTSC’s Lien Procedure Found to Violate Due Process

In Van Horn v. Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”), a California Court of Appeal found that DTSC’s procedure for imposing liens on property under the California “Superfund” law violates due process of law....more

New York District Court Holds Lessee Not Liable Under CERCLA as an Owner

A New York federal district court recently held that a lessee will not be found liable under CERCLA as an owner where the lessee does not possess sufficient indicia of ownership. (Next Millennium Realty, LLC v. Adchem Corp.,...more

“Rip & Run” Asbestos Abatement Not Taken Lightly By the U.S. Government

On November 12, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, ruled on the Northern District of New York’s sentencing of an air monitoring contractor criminally prosecuted for “rip & run” asbestos abatement projects, i.e.,...more

Condemnation and Contamination: The Spectre of Double Liability

Agencies acquiring private property for a public project conduct thorough investigations to determine whether the property has environmental contamination. If contamination is found, the question arises whether evidence of...more

CERCLA Cost Recovery v. Contribution Again: It’s Still Unfair

Parties in CERCLA cases continue to deal with the consequences of the Supreme Court decisions in Aviall and Atlantic Research which essentially created two classes of PRPs: (1) PRPs who entered into CERCLA settlements with...more

“Voluntary” ? “Obligatory”: Good Deeds Do Not Trigger Coverage

Liability policies typically provide coverage for amounts the insured “become[s] legally obligated to pay”—but they leave open the question of how that obligation should be determined. Judgments and settlements clearly...more

Every Picture Tells a Story... Convincing Regulators and Courts of Your Client’s Position

When facing the potential of spending large sums of money on remediation, administrative enforcement, or litigation due to a chemical release to the environment, you must be able to take the collected information and data and...more

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