News & Analysis as of

Contaminated Properties Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

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

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

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

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

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

Potential Expansion of MTCA to More Owners/Operators of Contaminated Properties in Washington

by Perkins Coie on

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

Environmental Notes - December 2016

by Williams Mullen on

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

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...

by Hodgson Russ LLP on

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

Ninth Circuit Rejects CERCLA Liability for Air Emissions

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

Do air emissions of hazardous substances create a cleanup liability under the Superfund? In the closely watched case of Pakootas, et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., the Ninth Circuit said, “no,” becoming the highest court...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016 #5

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Supreme Court rules in state’s favor on Delta property rights - Sacramento Bee - Jul 21 - The California Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that the state has the right to...more

Environmental Liabilities in Oil & Gas Sales Under Bankruptcy Code Section 363

by Perkins Coie on

Since the beginning of 2015, at least 77 companies in the oil and gas industry have sought bankruptcy relief in the United States. The flow of oil and gas company bankruptcies shows no sign of slowing down and, based on the...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Air Emissions Not Covered by CERCLA

by Morgan Lewis on

Decision finds operator of a lead and zinc smelter not liable as an “arranger” under CERCLA for aerial deposition of heavy metals. On July 27, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously held...more

8th Circuit Court Finds Class Action Inappropriate to Resolve Neighborhood Claims for Damages Arising From Environmental...

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Eighth Circuit found that a class action could not be sustained in an environmental pollution case because “the class lacks the requisite commonality and cohesiveness to satisfy Rule 23.”...more

New Chinese Soil Pollution Law Planned for 2017 Could Be Accelerated

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

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

Williams Mullen Construction Industry Newsletter - Spring 2016

by Williams Mullen on

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

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

by Williams Mullen on

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

by Williams Mullen on

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

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

Stop the Presses. Superfund is Stupid.

I know that pointing out CERCLA’s stupidity has something of a dog bites man quality, but sometimes Superfund’s stupidity bears repeating. Today’s exhibit? New York v. Next Millenium Realty, in which Judge Feuerstein held –...more

Eminent Domain: Be Careful What You Ask For

by Snell & Wilmer on

The condemnation of property for public works may not always be as clean and easy as the government would like. Although local governments are often critical players in the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated...more

Financial Assurance Requirements are on the Horizon for Hard Rock Miners

by Stoel Rives LLP on

On January 29, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to finalize the long-awaited “financial assurance” regulations under section 108(b) of...more

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