Contamination

News & Analysis as of

Alert: Gas Station Owners: State to Pursue Claims of MTBE Contamination

Over a decade ago, Connecticut, like much of the country, had concerns over groundwater contamination from gasoline containing the additive MTBE. Although much of the country had let the issue of MTBE contamination fall by...more

The Ongoing Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Last week, citizens of Flint, Michigan filed two class-action lawsuits against Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and other government officials. ...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - SoCal Gas Co. expects to cap Porter Ranch gas leak ahead of schedule - CBS Los Angeles - Jan 19 An ongoing natural gas leak that has affected residents in the Porter Ranch-area...more

New Mexico Files RCRA Notice of Intent to Sue EPA

On January 14th, the State of New Mexico provided the legally required notice under the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to sue the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State of...more

Virginia Federal Court Holds Groundwater Contamination Triggers Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Dominion Virginia Power (Dominion) operates a coal-fired power plant in Chesapeake, Virginia. It maintains permits for its operations, including a Virginia solid waste management permit and a Virginia Pollutant Discharge...more

Energy Technology Connections Newsletter: Your Law Firm Link to Industry News - December 2015

A Note from the Editors - Our December edition of Energy Technology Connections brings you recent industry highlights, the latest news from Capitol Hill, and a list of upcoming energy industry events. First, we feature...more

“Reverse CEQA” Reversed: California Supreme Court Rejects CEQA Analysis of Impacts of the Environment on the Project

In California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (December 17, 2015) (Case No. S213478) (CBIA v. BAAQMD), the California Supreme Court rejected a requirement for so-called “reverse CEQA”...more

JOIN THE CLUB: EPA Sizing Up Hackensack River for Superfund Listing

The Hackensack River may be joining the likes of the Passaic River, the Hudson River, Gowanus Canal, Newtown Creek, Fox River, the Eighteen Mile Creek, and other waterways that have been placed on the Superfund National...more

EQT’s Lengthy Battle With the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Gets Its Day in State Supreme Court

On November 17, 2015, Pittsburgh-based energy company EQT Production Co. (“EQT”) presented its oral argument before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, requesting it set aside a February 20, 2015, ruling of Commonwealth Court...more

Jury in C-8 Exposure Case Awards $1.6M in Compensatory Damages, Denies Punitives

An Ohio federal jury in October handed out the first verdict in multi-district litigation (“MDL”) against E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. related to ammonium perfluorooctanoate, or C-8, in drinking water around DuPont’s...more

Eighth Circuit Holds Fear of Contamination Insufficient to Establish Nuisance Class

In a ruling that underscores the difficulty of securing class certification in toxic tort cases involving fear of contamination claims, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed a Missouri federal...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Reaffirms Restatement Approach to Nuisance, Trespass

In a ruling that further delineates the threshold for maintaining private nuisance and trespass claims in New Jersey, the state’s highest court held that defendant landowners were not liable for contamination to neighboring...more

Third Time Is the Charm for Refinery in Getting Claims Dismissed With Prejudice

In a case that tested a federal judge’s patience for inadequate pleadings, a Michigan federal court shut down a group of business owners’ repeated attempts to craft viable tort claims against an oil refinery in a...more

Seventh Circuit Affirms Exclusion of Plaintiffs’ Causation Experts in Vinyl Chloride Case

Underscoring the importance of sound science in expert opinions, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the exclusion of expert testimony that did not adequately draw or extrapolate from reliable...more

West Virginia Federal Court Certifies Class for Liability Purposes in Chemical Spill Suit

A West Virginia federal court certified a class for purposes of determining Defendants’ liability for a chemical spill that disrupted the water supply for approximately 300,000 residents in the Charleston area. Good v. Am....more

CERCLA Remains Ridiculous: A Remedy In Operation For 18 Years Is “Short Term”

Far too frequently, we are reminded just how hard judges must work to save CERCLA from itself. The decision last week in California River Watch v. Fluor Corporation is the most recent compelling example....more

While The Outcome In the Lower Fox River Case Continues to Change, The Legal Standard For Apportionment Is The Same

In 1832, Abraham Lincoln said that ” it is better to be only sometimes right, than at all times wrong, so soon as I discover my opinions to be erroneous, I shall be ready to renounce them.” Judge Greisbach of Eastern...more

Eighth Circuit Decertifies Environmental Nuisance Class Action Alleging “Fear of Contamination” Without More

The Eighth Circuit recently issued a decision reversing class certification for lack of commonality. In Smith v. ConocoPhillips Pipe Line Co., the Eighth Circuit considered a class action proceeding on a nuisance theory...more

Can Air Emissions Lead to CERCLA Liability?

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. (“CERCLA”) imposes fairly broad liability on potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) to pay for the investigation and...more

Flint Water System Troubles May Signal Numerous, Potentially Broad-Ranging Problems

For the City of Flint, Michigan, the immediate problem is that the water it provides its citizens is not safe to drink. For many other communities across the nation, the problem may be whether they can do the things necessary...more

Texas Court: No Prejudice Required to Deny for Late Reporting Under a Claims-Made Policy

This summer in Nicholas Petroleum, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2015 WL 4456185, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 7489 (Tex.App., Jul. 21, 2015), a Dallas panel of Texas’ intermediate level appellate court rejected policyholder...more

Important Changes in Litigating Oil and Gas Cases in Federal Court: What the 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules Mean for Oil and...

Many oil and gas disputes are litigated in federal court. In recent years, federal litigation has undergone significant changes in discovery practices and rules. For example, with the increase in electronically stored...more

Dirty Instruments Pose Threat to Outpatients, Too

Earlier this year, both patients and providers were shocked when a rash of hospital patients got seriously ill or died after medical devices used to examine their gastrointestinal tracts infected them because they were not...more

Offensive Discovery after Strudley and Changes to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure

Toxic tort cases often involve real property, especially in areas with large mining and energy sectors like the West and Southwest. The cases frequently have large potential damage values and require extensive discovery....more

Supreme Court Declares Canadian Corporations may be Liable for Acts of Foreign Affiliates

In a just-released decision, Chevron Corp v Yaiguaje, 2015 SCC 42, the Supreme Court of Canada held that Canadian courts have jurisdiction to decide whether a foreign judgment can be enforced in Ontario against either or both...more

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