News & Analysis as of

Contaminated Properties

In Task Force Report, the EPA Provides a Glimpse Into the Future of Superfund

by Faegre Baker Daniels on

On May 22, 2017, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the formation of the Superfund Task Force. During his short time at EPA, Administrator Pruitt has emphasized the need to “streamline...more

Allocation Governed by “All Sums” Where Policy Contains “Prior Insurance” or “Non-Cumulation” Clause

by Cozen O'Connor on

On July 18, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit adopted the New York Court of Appeals’ previous holding that the “all sums” provision in the insuring agreement permits an insured to access the limits of all...more

Another Oil Field Contamination Plaintiff Waits Too Long

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

Suggestions to Texas lessors after ExxonMobil v. Lazy R Ranch, et al: Claiming that you were not aware of contamination from oil spills you’ve know about for 20 years is a tough sell, and suing your long-time lessee for...more

EPA Administrator Makes Streamlining Superfund a Priority

by Williams Mullen on

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt believes that “Superfund cleanups take too long to start and too long to complete.” That’s the impetus behind a May 22, 2017 internal memo he issued regarding EPA’s Superfund program. ...more

De vervuiler van bodemverontreiniging betaalt niet meer? (Dutch)

by Dentons on

The polluter pays (we always thought). No, for soil contaminants that originated before 1987 (the so-called 'historical pollutants'), this point of departure does not last long. Since 2006, the Land Protection Act has entered...more

Superfund Changes Afoot

Since taking over as EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt has made it clear that he intends to focus on—and overhaul—the Superfund program. Calling the program “at the center of the Agency’s core mission”, Pruitt has put in place...more

Safety, Health and Environment Matters - Spring 2017

by DLA Piper on

Shortly before this edition of SHE Matters went to press, the latest developments occurred in the long-running litigation between Client Earth and Government over air quality in the UK, excessive ambient levels of nitrogen...more

Tenth Circuit Finds CERCLA Contribution Claim Not Barred by Bankruptcy Approval of a Settlement Estimating Liability for the Site

Asarco LLC v. Noranda Mining, Inc., 844 F.3d 1201 (10th Cir. 2017). In a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) contribution action, the Tenth Circuit ruled that a mining company, whose...more

Transformational Brownfield Projects Eligible for Substantial Tax Incentives Under Recently Enacted Legislation

by Miller Canfield on

Brownfield redevelopment authorities and developers and owners of transformational brownfield redevelopment projects are eligible for substantial tax incentives under legislation signed by Governor Snyder on June 8,...more

Dry Cleaner Who Contaminated Neighbour’s Property Ordered To Pay Significant Damages

In Huang v. Fraser Hillary’s Limited the plaintiff, a property owner, brought an action against his neighbour, Fraser Hillary’s Limited (“FHL”), a dry cleaning business, and David Hillary (“Hillary”) the owner of a...more

The Cost of Maine VRAP Protection to Increase

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

The cost to obtain liability protection under Maine’s very popular Voluntary Response Action Program (VRAP) will soon increase. Effective January 1, 2018, the cost of Maine DEP assistance in reviewing a voluntary response...more

Cleaning Up the Cleanup Process? Administration’s Power Shift Increases Uncertainty to Superfund

In May, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took several steps that are likely to refocus the Agency’s attention from greenhouse gas emission reductions and other novel uses of existing environmental laws to more...more

A New Budget, a New EPA Administrator, and New Uncertainty for Superfund Cleanups

by Miles & Stockbridge P.C. on

When Scott Pruitt took over the post as Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), he made it clear that one of his top priorities was to expedite cleanups at contaminated sites across the...more

Superfund Reform, Part 2: Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

Last week, I offered less than fulsome praise of EPA Administrator Pruitt’s announcement that he was taking control of remedial decision for big Superfund sites. Now, he’s followed up with a memorandum announcing...more

Superior Court Invalidates Hexavalent Chromium Drinking Water Standard

Earlier this month, Judge Christopher E. Krueger of the Sacramento Superior Court issued an order invalidating the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for hexavalent chromium. The California Department of Public Health (“DPH”)...more

EPA Centralizes CERCLA Remedy Selection Authority

by WilmerHale on

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt last week issued a memorandum revising the existing delegations of authority related to implementation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response,...more

EPA Issues New Contaminated Sediments Guidance

by Williams Mullen on

Earlier this year, EPA released revised guidance for remediation of contaminated sediments at sites being addressed by EPA under CERCLA (the “New Sediment Guidance”). The guidance identifies six key clarifications to EPA...more

The Texas Supreme Court Opens the Door for More Oilfield Contamination Lawsuits

by King & Spalding on

On April 28, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court held that landowners have a clear path to the courthouse to pursue claims against oil companies for oilfield contamination. Forrest Oil Corp., n/k/a Sabine Oil & Gas v. El Rucio...more

Oil Field Contamination Award Upheld

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

Forest Oil Corporation v. El Rucio Land and Cattle Inc. et al deserves your attention for four reasons: You won’t see another one involving damage to a rhinoceros pen...more

U.S. Fifth Circuit Affirms Application of the Subsequent Purchaser Doctrine in Oilfield Contamination Case, Recognizes “Clear...

by Liskow & Lewis on

In Guilbeau v. Hess Corporation, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the application of Louisiana’s subsequent purchaser doctrine to bar a plaintiff’s claims for property damage resulting...more

How to Effectively Manage Vapor Intrusion Risks When Acquiring and Developing Property

With increasing concern and attention being raised by regulatory agencies and the public on protecting building occupants from exposure to vapor intrusion (VI)-related contaminants, parties acquiring and developing property...more

When is an Environmental Contamination Claim Too Old to Extend the Limitation Period?

by Bennett Jones LLP on

40 to 60 years may be too old when determining whether to extend a limitation period for a negligence-based environmental contamination claim, the court recently ruled in Brookfield Residential (Alberta) LP (Carma Developers...more

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

by Bennett Jones LLP on

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

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

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

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

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

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