Contaminated Properties

News & Analysis as of

Toxic Tort & Product Liability Quarterly Vol. 9, No. 2, May 2016

In a case that may make it easier to prove causation in Maryland lead paint cases, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that neither direct evidence of the source of lead nor expert testimony was necessary when a trier of fact...more

North Carolina Court of Appeals Caps UST Damages to Diminution in Property Value

Illustrating the limits on damages available to North Carolina landowners in toxic tort cases, the North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s order capping damages at the diminution in the value of the...more

EPA Region III Assesses Largest Superfund Stipulated Penalty Ever

The Rodale Manufacturing facility in Emmaus, Pennsylvania was added to the National Priorities List in 1991 after more than 50 years of electrical component manufacturing. Operations at the facility included electroplating,...more

CDFA Creates New Brownfields Project Marketplace to Advise on Projects and Financing Resources --- Online Marketplace Scheduled...

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (“CDFA”), a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests, announced the creation of the Brownfields Project Marketplace...more

New Kansas Act Allows Relief for Purchase of Contaminated Property

On May 9, 2016, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law the Contaminated Property Redevelopment Act (the “Act”). The goal of this Act is to allow purchasers in Kansas to acquire real property with pre-existing...more

Money, Dirt and Steel: Spring 2016 Newsletter

A snapshot of noteworthy cases from the Spring terms of the North Carolina appellate courts related to lending practices, property rights and construction in North Carolina - Money - FORECLOSURE: - Lender...more

Eminent Domain for California’s Social Infrastructure

While much of the focus in California lately has been on eminent domain for transportation projects, there’s some new condemnations moving forward in both Northern California and Southern California for social — or community...more

New Chinese Soil Pollution Law Planned for 2017 Could Be Accelerated

On April 17, 2016, China Central Television (CCTV), the country’s state-run broadcast network, aired a report claiming that nearly 500 students apparently developed illnesses (including leukemia) at a school built on...more

Texas Court of Appeals Issues Important State Superfund Order

In a “case of first impression,” U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,texascapitol sitting in Austin, in TCEQ v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., issued an important decision interpreting the scope of the Texas Solid...more

Texas Supreme Court: Improper Application of Project-Influence Rule Resulted in Harmful Error

The Texas Constitution provides that “[n]o person’s property shall be taken, damaged or destroyed for or applied to public use without adequate compensation being made.” Tex. Const. art. I, § 17. The Texas Supreme Court has...more

Corner Briefing: California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act

This is the second edition in an ongoing series of "Corner Briefings" highlighting urban infill legal tools and opportunities. These updates identify new legal cases, legislative updates, grant opportunities and other urban...more

NYDEC Proposes Revisions to Brownfield Cleanup Program

The New York Department of Environmental Protection (DEC) has published notice regarding the proposed revisions to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) regulations. The revisions provide a minor revision to the term...more

Williams Mullen Construction Industry Newsletter - Spring 2016

2016 begins with the issuance of this Construction Industry Newsletter, our fifth. In this issue, we have articles on vapor intrusion, liability for project design, enforcement of mechanic’s lien and bond waiver clauses, and...more

About those calls from MassDEP…

Last month, we wrote about MassDEP’s trichloroethylene (TCE) site reevaluation initiative. MassDEP has begun the process of screening sites previously closed under the MCP to look for sites where TCE might exceed the new...more

When May a Previously Approved Site Closure Not Provide Closure - Reopening Vapor Intrusion Sites

We can expect the trend seen in Massachusetts and some other states of reevaluating and reopening previously closed sites to address the vapor intrusion pathway to grow. Massachusetts is the latest state to reevaluate...more

Selling Property “As Is” Won’t Protect Seller From Superfund Liability

Everyone is familiar with the two little words - “as is” - that pop up in real estate contracts. The “as is” clause is a means of allocating risk between seller and buyer. Generally, a seller who sells property “as is” will...more

EPA Seeks to Add Subsurface Intrusion to CERCLA Hazard Ranking System

The National Priorities List (“NPL”) is EPA’s list of the most contaminated sites in the country that warrant cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, (“CERCLA” a/k/a...more

Polluter Still Pays: BC Court of Appeal Upholds Award of Damages Against Historical Polluter

The British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld a lower court decision ordering ICI Canada Inc. (now PPG Architectural Coatings Canada Ltd) to pay $4.75 million in remediation costs following a trial which enforced the “polluter...more

Government Inaction May Give Rise to Claim for Condemnation Compensation

In a case of first impression in Maryland, the Court of Appeals, Maryland’s highest court, (the “Court”) held on January 22, 2016, that as a preliminary and procedural matter, government failure to act may give rise to a...more

MassDEP Issues Final LNAPL Guidance

MassDEP issued its long-awaited final policy on how to close LNAPL sites under revised 2014 regulations on February 19, 2016. The final policy, “Light Nonaqueous Phase Liquid and the MCP: Guidance on Site Assessment and...more

An Update on Reopening TCE Sites in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection plans to begin contacting some owners of properties with closed trichloroethylene (TCE) remediation sites and requiring them to conduct testing, following a review of...more

Double Counting and Inflexibility Are Unreasonable in 4A Negotiations Says Mass. Appeals Court: Court Affirms Award of Attorneys’...

Seeking 80 percent of remedial costs from each of two potentially responsible parties and “inflexibility” in pre-litigation negotiations are sufficiently unreasonable to trigger attorneys’ fees under the Massachusetts cleanup...more

Accutest Laboratories New England Notifies Clients of Potential Data Concerns

Notification of potential data quality issues by a Massachusetts laboratory is raising concerns about the possible impact on current and closed remediation sites in Massachusetts that relied on that data. Accutest...more

Complaints Are Not Totally Meaningless: A CERCLA Plaintiff Must Allege Disposal Against a Former Owner

I know it may surprise some litigators, but occasionally the allegations in a complaint do matter. In Garrett Day v. International Paper, the Court dismissed CERCLA claims brought by the current owner of a former paper mill...more

Maryland Court of Appeals Opens Door to New Class of Inverse Condemnation Claims

A property owner states a valid claim for inverse condemnation where the owner alleges that its property was taken by the government's failure to act in the face of an affirmative duty to act, the Maryland Court of Appeals...more

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